Magazine article Marketing

Centre Stage

Magazine article Marketing

Centre Stage

Article excerpt

Marketers need to look further ahead than Apple's latest launch to embrace fluid forms of frictionless communication, writes Nicola Kemp.

Talking on the phone is so 90s. The generation that has grown up with the smartphone has universally dismissed what was once a mobile's primary function: speech. Fundamentally it is consumer behaviour, rather than incremental improvements in technology, that drives real change.

SMS, which was so slow to take off, quickly became consumers' communication medium of choice; now there are signs younger users are abandoning texts in favour of messaging services such as WhatsApp or turning to social networks to send a quick snap or emoji.

While Apple's NPD has, predictably, been met with a flurry of excitement, smart marketers are keeping their eyes firmly on the consumer.

Although technology brands such as Apple show signs of bundling an ever-growing suite of products for their users, from payment tools to free music, many consumers are opting for simple, unbundled services.

Similarly, as communication has become more complex and demanding, people are retreating into simplistic platforms. Yo! the app, which people use simply to say Yo! to each other, was recently valued at pounds 10m.

Patrick Albano, head of solutions, EMEA, at Yahoo!, says that while marketers need to keep abreast of the increments in tech developments and trends, such as the iPhone 6's increased screen size, they must always focus on broader shifts in the market. 'It is the consumer behaviour that is changing; the device itself is becoming less important,' he explains.

Certainly while some tech journalists have waxed lyrical about the advances in the iPhone's camera, the danger of getting lost in the minutiae of any given feature is all too clear.

Andrew Morley, chief executive of Clear Channel UK and the former head of Motorola at Google in the UK and Ireland, says that, ultimately, consumers care about content and will choose the device that offers them the best way to access it.

'For marketers, that means creating great content that works on as many devices as possible and is easy to share,' he adds.

The big consumer shift that marketers need to be aware of is already taking place: the picture has become a unit of speech in its own right - and a phenomenal marketing tool in the process. …

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