Quick facts hot off the press:
- eMarketer estimates 31% of mobile users, (73.3 million in US), have a smartphone in 2011.
- Among marketers who are planning to implement a mobile program (34%) mobile web search and display will get the most resources.
- 69% of US smartphone owners have downloaded a mobile app as of October 2010 (eMarketer).
- Brand example: IHG’s mobile application lets current and future guests tap into the collective knowledge and experiences of InterContinental Concierge Teams in more than 120 destinations to get recommendations for restaurants, shops and nightspots, as well as insider tips on local culture, attractions and events.
More and more, phones are operating as multi-purpose digital tools, driven by utility. For travelers in particular, whether researching a trip, staying organized while in-transit, connecting with surroundings, or even relating to brands, convenience-driven utility is essential for any meaningful and lasting mobile experience. To plan for utility, begin by considering needs, immediacy, and context. In identifying utility-driven needs, start by first asking the obvious questions: What do travelers need while they travel? What can travel brands offer travelers to make their lives more seamless on-the-go? How does location factor into the business' strengths and needs as a travel brand with locations around the globe?
For mobile immediacy, focus on simple, direct and easily completed calls-to-action in rich media, static display and search media. Long headlines and drawn-out flash animations translate much differently when the screen and media units are pocket-sized. If campaign's call-to-action can happen within the unit, you’ll see far more response. Finally, think about value-add information that can be displayed right in the unit, such as delivering addresses, phone numbers or directions specific to the mobile user’s current location. The Dunkin Donuts ad featured to the right is a strong example of immediately impactful, direct mobile display banner, which includes value-add information in the form of a nearby address.
Finally, mobile is expanding the possibilities of marketing context in unprecedented ways. Geo-targeting based on phone GPS data and check-in information is not only helping to drive conversion-by-proximity, it’s also helping marketers gain deeper insights at specific points in the customer journey, which go far beyond the click or check-in. As mobile evolves into a direct response end-point of cross-channel strategies, these insights will help marketers inform campaigns and better judge success.
Moving from Early Adopters to Mainstream - Another Reason for Utility:
One major shift that will occur is the demos that use smartphones. Right now, advanced mobile usage in areas like application downloads and banner click through is highest among an early a
dopter audience (affluent, 35-54.) As smartphones continue to become mainstream, we'll see less trigger-happy click through among early adopters and more basic usage but the mainstream. Again, it comes back to utility. The mainstream is not going to click on branded mobile media just for novelty's sake - they are going to expect real value - which will likely be in the form of utility.