With the announcement earlier this week that the iPhone will be available through Verizon in February, the news has been full of iPhone versus Droid and AT&T versus Verizon predictions – even Jon Stewart got into the act! Hard to believe that smart phones could edge out laptop and desktop computers, but with trends like cloud computing, an increasingly mobile workforce, and 3G, 4G and promised 5G networks smart phones start to look, well, SMART.
Early in 2010, Gartner, Inc., predicted that, by 2013, mobile phones will be the most common device used to access the Web. About the same time, an InformationWeek digital supplement on mobile computer reported on a survey of 307 businesses. Results confirm that – over the next two years, within their company — businesses expect smaller mobile devices to increase as a percentage of end-user devices by 87 percent.
What implications of smart phone genius are apt to influence direct marketing? Here are three to take charge of now:
1. QR codes. As both an advertisement and a response device, QR codes are all in one. You can’t get more direct than that. These little cues will appear on everything: direct mail, email, banners, retail displays, e-newsletters, ecommerce sites, and smart phones (every smart phone). QR codes also can be beautifully personalized by digital printers, turning p-URLS (personalized landing pages) into q-URLs.
2. Marketing videos. As users become increasingly familiar with streaming entertainment from Netflix and Boxee, so will the appetite for shorter video streams grow. YouTube is already a favorite source for “learning.” Coupled with smart phones, YouTube is “learn as you go.” Make some of your website content video now.
3. SMS, a.k.a. Text. Americans may not use it to market as much as users in Asia and Europe (yet), but reports note that SMS marketing is up…. way up. Though spammers and government regulators could ultimately clip the mobile wings, advocates say the humble text message is on a roll, particularly when it’s used for customer alerts, pizza orders, coupons, and other local advertising.
Caution: As with all media in the social age, keep it relevant.