People often ask me for my thoughts on the future of technology, specifically as it relates to mobile and mobile marketing. For the answer, we must first look at some top-level trends in technology that are changing the game forever.
The Cloud: The idea that data doesn’t need to be stored solely on an individual device anymore. By putting the data in a readily accessible medium like a web server, it can be accessed virtually anywhere, at any time.
Think for a second about renting movies. You used to have to go down to the store and pick out a DVD that they had in stock, then head home and put it in your player. Now, with the click of a button, virtually ALL movies are instantly available to watch on any number of machines.
Another example, email. Most people have email accounts that are web-based, allowing them to check their email from almost anywhere. Do you remember 10 years ago when you couldn’t check your email because you weren’t on YOUR computer at home?
Convergence: Devices are getting more powerful, and their interconnectivity even more seamless. I can sit at my computer, add a calendar item, then check my phone and it’s already noted there. Technology allows all of my devices to sync up almost instantly.
Personalization: Because of the greater power of these devices, the user experience is getting more intuitive and engaging. By collecting data from the user, and having the technical horsepower to crank through some sophisticated algorithms, a successful marketer can develop a more personalized campaign to build a stronger and more sustainable relationship with that consumer.
So, back to how this impacts the future of mobile and mobile marketing. Consumers are being trained to expect greater accessibility to information, as well as a more sophisticated and engaging experience. Websites are no longer just digital magazine pages – they move, change instantly when clicked, anticipate what your next move is. We as mobile marketers need to understand the expectations of our consumers and deliver them a meaningful experience.
The SMS Masterminds is currently BETA testing a new input device called our Loyalty Touch Pad, which allows consumers to “check in” to their loyalty program each time they visit their favorite retail location. What makes this program engaging is its seamless integration with a text message marketing campaign, mobile websites, Facebook, and more. We can interact with consumers based on their number of check ins, or lack of check in. Imagine, you get a text from your favorite restaurant that says “Hi Alex, it’s been a couple weeks since we’ve seen you. Come in today for 2 for 1 entrees”. What about an automated Facebook post to that consumer if they haven’t been in for a month?
This is an exciting time for mobile marketing, a win-win for marketers and consumers. Watch for some amazing innovations as more dollars get pumped into mobile over the next few years.