“Just text me when you get there.”
“I’ll send you all a Facebook message with the directions to the restaurant.”
“IM me when the layout is finished.”
If you listen closely, these online meeting places are becoming a stronger element of our every day conversations. As I plunge deeper into my research of the future interactive world, it is impossible to ignore the weight of mobile marketing and evolving interfaces for the spreading of information. Before you craft messages and designs for an audience, you have to find out where the conversation is in the first place.
There is no electronic device more personal and omnipresent than the cell phone. The number of cell phones worldwide is larger than the number of households with Internet connections or even TVs. If you need to contact someone or find a piece of information at the drop of a hat, the ever-present lifeline in your pocket or purse is more convenient than any other outlet out there. It’s not just a way to call home anymore. These days, it’s a GPS system, a music library, an Internet browser, a digital camera, a movie screen and a file cabinet for every app under the sun.
To keep up, mobile marketing will have to become an understood part of the mobile landscape. According to early estimates by Nielsen Mobile and eMarketer, the U.S. mobile advertising market is expected to grow from $806 million in 2007 to $3.6 billion in 2010. This includes features like mobile messaging, display and search advertising.
Obviously, the localized, personal and constant opportunity of the mobile market cannot be ignored – but there is a lot of work to be done. It needs to be intuitive, user-friendly and consistent. Practically every age in the social technographic spectrum is using a cell phone, but they’re not all comfortable with the Internet, and they’re especially not comfortable with tiny buttons and bite-sized font (is anyone?)
You can only sell an innovative shiny product for so long before people have to come to grips with usability in every day life. People will always favor what is simple and predictable. The Internet, especially the mobile market, is about convenience and speed. It’s about making life EASIER. The key here is to address need, not force life to be any more complicated.
Get connected. Here are some good resources on the topic: