The astronomical rise of smart phones in the United States has created a new tool for marketers to use to reach their target demographics. Right now, around 18% of Americans have smart phones, with that number increasing everyday. Costs of advanced devices are dropping, and the popularity of Android on a variety of types of phones (and now more and more Windows too) has pushed upgraders to go smart.
The mechanisms of these devices are perfect for digital out-of-home advertising, especially in ad-supported apps. Developers can create tools that people use everyday (tools that people were absolutely not using in this way ever before in history) and advertisers can make them free for use in exchange for getting their content into the app.
Many companies now are specializing in rich media for smart devices run by Apple iOS, Android, and RIM’s OS. One such company, Medialets, makes tailored solutions for advertisers and works through the app publishers to engage (or interrupt, whichever the viewpoint) the user. Since mobile apps already rely on user-interface, it is easy to create the programs needed to track how people interact with and use the advertising.
Forrester predicts a very positive year for mobile, and mobile integration with location has already popped off quite successful. There are mayors of everywhere now due to Foursquare’s success. But the next step is to deputize the vice-mayors and chambers of commerce for your local Starbucks. Digital Signage offers a way to integrate with mobile that can either use the person’s phone or act on behalf of the phone.
One trend that doohsocial is predicting will see huge advancements in 2011 is the use of mobile payments here in the US. As more app-developers and credit card companies catch on to the ease of use for these types of programs, such as the Starbucks app (where people put money on their app and the clerk scans a barcode on their phone similar to a gift card for payment) we will see modes of monetization that up to this point have not yet been realized.
Tony Hymes is the Editor of the Digital Out Of Home industry website DOOH.com. He produces introductory videos of the companies working across the space from digital signage hardware providers to content companies, DOOH networks, consultants, and software groups. Tony Hymes writes extensively about the strategies behind DOOH advertising, digital signage networks and deployments, and customer engagement trends.