Apple Watch, Apple Pay and Communicators

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, you’ve heard all about Apple’s new product launch announcing Apple Watch, iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus) and Apple Pay to the world. You’ve read the specs, seen the new design and probably checked your mobile plan for upgrade availability. Here at SHIFT, we always like to explore how new technology ties into what we do everyday. We looked at what new technologies are incorporated into Apple’s products and what those updates mean for marketers and communicators.

Bigger screen. More screen time.

Adobe released its latest Mobile Benchmark Report on Monday, offering insights into the mobile marketing landscape and how consumers are doing so much more on mobile devices these days. It found consumers prefer to browse on phones with 5” or larger screens, while browsing on 4” devices fell by 11% YoY. With Apple iPhones driving 54% of smartphone traffic, it should come at no surprise that the tech giant developed a larger screened phone, the iPhone 6 Plus.

1

iBeacons and geo-targeting become mainstream

Adobe found that 18% of mobile marketers already use Apple iBeacons and 49% are already using geo-targeting to deliver content based on device position. At the time of the survey, 36% of marketers not already using iBeacons said they planned to use the technology in the next 12 months. With the release of the Apple Watch, we’re betting that number will grow by more than double as consumers are even more digitally attached wherever they go.

2

Personalized messaging on the rise

The Adobe report also found that mobile content sharing over the last year has shifted toward personalized messaging and away from public sharing. Email continues to dominate other modes of communication when sharing online content like digital magazine articles (think Flipboard), but sharing via iMessage has had the most dramatic increase, up 259% YoY.

3

Next Steps for Communicators

This week’s announcements paired with Adobe CMO’s research have demonstrated a shift in consumer behavior that marketers simply cannot ignore: mobile convergence into the real world is going to be the dominant trend over the next few years. iBeacons and other geo-targeting technologies have given marketers, and especially retail marketers, the chance to track conversions in the real world as they are happening in the store.

As Apple loyalists jump at the chance to own another piece of Apple hardware, marketers now have the opportunity to send content, be it ads or company information at an industry event, directly to users as they walk into a store or past a conference booth.

Apple Pay and other near-field communication (NFC) payment systems are also a sign of what’s to come, giving marketers the chance to capitalize on the opportunity to incorporate these technologies into marketing and business strategies. Early adoption will help your company stay ahead of the curve, making conversions and purchases easier on the consumer as well as making tracking and measuring more valuable to any marketing and communications team.

This one change helps marketers determine what they’ve been trying to figure out for years now: how to merge online conversation and offline purchases. Here’s an example: A consumer is served a mobile ad with a coupon while walking near your retail store. They click on the ad and browse your website, finding a product they’d like to buy with your mobile coupon. Maybe they use their mobile device to check out product reviews on Yelp or Amazon, or check-in with social contacts to see if anyone has had experience with that particular product (earned media and personalized messaging!). They then walk into the store and make the purchase with their Apple Pay-enabled device. As a marketer or communicator, you can track the purchase decision throughout the entire conversion process, on the spot.

While the idea of wearables was once a thing of the future – something only seen in the likes of science-fiction movies – it’s now a reality. Marketers and communicators are encouraged to embrace the trend and incorporate these technologies into your business strategies. Where do you see your place in this near future?

Tori Sabourin
Marketing Coordinator

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Posted on September 11, 2014 in Marketing, Marketing Technology, Mobile, Research, Strategy, Technology

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