There is no denying the appeal of the easy to use and increasingly popular range of applications available for mobile phones, which provide instant access to information anywhere.
As a result, the ability to promote your company and your message through such mobile devices is not only a necessity, it is the future.
So where is it all heading? Google finally got the Federal Trade Commission’s unanimous approval on 21 May this year to purchase AdMob, a leading mobile ad technology company, for $750m. This gives us a good hint at what we can expect in terms of increased advertising and sponsored coverage from within applications.
Then there was Steve Jobs’ outright disapproval of Adobe Flash, stating that it is never to be supported on the Apple iPhone or iPad, with the reasoning that Flash has “had its day”, and to support HTML5. As a result the option and benefit of having a common interactive environment across all phones seems to be only an ideal. It means careful attention and extra development is required to offer applications on different phone types, e.g. iPhone and Android phones. Interestingly the US Department of Justice has since started inquiries into Apple’s decision not to support Adobe Flash on the iPad and whether they were entirely legal to do so.
More applications are being developed and accepted by the market using localisation services such as Gowalla and FourSquare. This will continue to evolve, promising us truly exciting directions for development.
Look out for the continued release of improved phones and operating environments with Apple iPhone 4 and HTC Evo4G, with its Android 2.1 leading the race. The iPhone 4 gives us the new iOS4 which bring many new features including multitasking and improved speed – all in a handset weighing just 4.8 ounces.
There are certainly interesting times ahead!
Our advice? Now is the time to commit.
With a good strategic approach to the mobile environment, ensuring you consider the consumer before the technology, and that you include it in the mix of other marketing and media channels, success in the world of mobile applications and accessible sites, is possible.
Here at Precedent have invested in, and committed to, mobile development because we do see it as an important, impactful and hugely beneficial component to any marketing mix – as long as it is implemented with thought and maintained sufficiently.
We have recently developed iPhone applications for leading charities and universities; we are also continuing to develop our building capacity for iPad applications. The demand is out there for knowledge in mobile form, and those companies who do not grasp and implement it where appropriate are likely to be left behind their competitors, and out of the minds of their customers.
Where to start?
We have provided some hints and tips for you and your company to consider when starting down the rocky road to a mobile presence.
Our top 10 tips for successful mobile engagement:
1. Develop a mobile strategy as part of your wider digital strategy
2. Always consider your user before technology
3. Build and agree visual designs
4. Apply early focus on the middleware (XML schema and APIs)
5. Don’t be afraid to version your app – version 1 may not have everything you want in it
6. Think about ‘canned’ versus ‘connected’
7. Use the mobiles built in technology – for example, localisation
8. Think about what you want your app to achieve
9. Consider how you are going to promote your app
10. Keep it fresh, keep it engaging
Finally – a bonus tip, if you will: Be creative – appear creative. Offer your consumers something new, engaging, useful and practical.