Since the first iPhone was released just over a decade ago, portable devices have all but taken over our lives.
But device addiction hasn’t just made it impossible to stop staring at screens all day. It’s also had some far-reaching impacts on marketing – specifically mobile marketing or device marketing.
So drag yourself away from your phone* for five minutes, and join us as we look at how excessive mobile phone usage has changed marketing forever.
*Unless you’re reading this article on a phone, which you probably are. Please carry on.
Like most addictions, device dependency is a slippery slope.
Phones and other devices have become such essential tools for our work and social lives that realising you may have a problem isn’t easy. According to a 2016 Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey, 84% of Aussies now own a smartphone. This makes us the fourth largest market per capita in the world. But just because you own a smartphone doesn’t mean you’re addicted to it… right?
A study by research firm dscout found the average smartphone user interacts with their phone 2,617 times a day. If that’s how often the average person touches their phone, just imagine how much time someone with a smartphone addiction must spend looking at their screen.
There’s no denying we’re all dependent on our phones – but how has this changed marketing?
From our social media feeds to the games we play to pass time, the content on our devices is designed to keep us engaged and wanting more. It’s like walking around with a mini poker machine in your pocket – only it operates on wasted productivity, not coins.
Marketing professionals have learnt to make the most of phone addiction through design manipulation. This process involves engineering user interfaces to increase engagement. It persuades users to take actions outside of their normal behaviour, such as trawling Instagram at 2am or checking Tinder during work meetings.
Design manipulation is what makes it so difficult to tear yourself away from your device. No matter how much willpower you have, putting your phone down is almost impossible when there are memes to react to, emails to answer, and potential soulmates to swipe right for.
Device addiction has made data collection an integral part of smartphone marketing.
Marketers can now keep an eye on us via our various apps and online activities. And while this can inevitably lead to some privacy problems, it also creates unique opportunities.
You can gain valuable insights by looking at the data devices generate. Social media and gaming sites often sell or share user data with third parties, providing information to target users more accurately and effectively.
By monitoring behaviour and activities, smartphone data can be used to create a digital profile of insightful information relating to:
The more you use your phone, the more data you generate. This makes device addiction a gift for marketers, so at least someone is benefiting from our lack of self-control.
Gone are the days when marketers would all spend their advertising dollars on traditional mediums like TV and print. Devices have made it easier to reach audiences via digital channels, with our addiction to technology fuelling the prevalence of app-based marketing.
From location marketing to banner ads, mobile marketers can easily adjust the type of app-based marketing they use based on the audience they’re trying to reach.
Device addiction is showing no signs of slowing down, so it’s time we all got used to the new normal of mobile-based marketing.
Since device addiction inspires so much collective hand-wringing, it’s easy to forget technology isn’t all bad. Devices may have the potential to do damage if your addiction is starting to impact on your life, but they also allow for targeted marketing that considers us as individuals and matches our needs/interests.
Whether you consider this a blessing or a curse, it sure makes marketers’ jobs a lot easier. To find out more about the benefits of mobile marketing, get in touch with Search Factory today.