November 01, 2010

Your Future Is on the Phone

Comcast (CMCSA). Redbox. Fandango. Amazon.com (AMZN). Bloomberg. WebMD. The Weather Channel. Runner’s World. Chipotle (CMG). Starbucks (SBUX). ESPN. Southwest Airlines (LUV). Hertz (HTZ). A list of my favorite brands? Sure. But only a handful of several dozen apps I’ve downloaded to my iPhone in the two years I’ve owned it.

That makes me an above-average app user, although some people I know have downloaded literally hundreds more. According to Nielsen’s App Playbook, the average smartphone user has downloaded 37 apps. Multiply that number by the 53 million (and counting) smartphones in the U.S. and you get into some significant opportunities for customer interaction.

Just think about all the things we can now do on our phones: take a picture, send a text, surf the Web, play a game, read the news, scan our e-mail, record a video, check the weather, play our music, watch a movie, and thousands and thousands of other activities. This has huge implications for marketers of every size, but most small companies have failed to consider the possibilities. Whether due to oversight or intimidation, that’s a mistake.

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