Archive for November 2009

Smart Phone Usage on the rise

In a recent article by MediaPost, Nielsen is predicting that by 2011, most cell phone users will be using a smart phone rather than a regular phone with less functionality and capabilities. The implications for this are huge for marketing and commerce. Smart Phones have way more functionality and can enable everything from mobile apps to mobile commerce to mobile marketing and digital media. One of the coolest applications is digital loyalty, whereby people will be able to utilize their cell phones with bar codes for their favorite grocery and retail stores in lieu of carrying plastic cards on their key chains, as long as the retailers upgrade their scanners. I can’t help but be a little scared with how important my cell phone will become in the next three years (as if it doesn’t control my work/life/schedule today…). The idea of having my wallet on my cell phone with contactless payments, loyalty cards, contacts, schedule, email and more becomes the proverbial having all your eggs in one basket and makes me cringe upon the thought of losing this device somewhere. Either way, the adoption of smart phones has been the single biggest hold-up (in my opinion) for a lot of mobile marketers and brands that want to engage consumers with communications and rich media via their mobile device.

Social media prompting coupon dependency

In a very interesting blog post, which you can find here, Gavin Dunaway talked about how Social Media is spurring a new generation of coupon clipper that is replacing the more ambitious person who used to spend every Sunday clipping coupons from the newspaper. Today’s savvy consumers are following brands in social networks such as Facebook and Twitter in order to get the deal. The article talks about how brands engaged in social media are potentially too liberal with providing offers to their followers in order to build loyalty. I’m not sure I agree that providing offers is a poor way to reward loyal shoppers. However, let’s not confuse loyalty with dependency on offers. Brands want to build dependency but only to a point. Brands should be realistic that consumers are deal-hungry and may not be following the brand for anything else but a good deal. However, I’m not sure that the brand has much of a choice in today’s economy and a loyal following, regardless of how it happened, is still better than giving up customers and market share to the competition.