A few months ago, I wrote a post about the 57 million users using their mobile phone to connect to the internet and asked what people were doing about making sure their website was usable in a mobile version to help increase their conversion rates. My question now is, will your mobile marketing plan also include consideration for integration within a vehicle?
Some marketers know that one component to add into a mobile marketing plan is the creation of a mobile app to run on devices like iPhones, Blackberrys, Palm phones, or Android equipped phones. Having an app is just one way to give a consumer increased access to a company’s services as well as increase a company’s brand recognition. According to studies, apps are also in high demand by consumers. Nielson reported that in the second quarter of 2009, there were 40 million app downloads and the industry as a whole has had approximately 3 billion downloads altogether. Looking at this surge of use, where is the app for your company?
After asking that, my next question is what happens to your app and mobile marketing plan when technology shakes things up again? Ford did this earlier this week at the 2010 CES. They announced that the next generation of SYNC and their new MyFord Touch or MyLincoln Touch technology would allow mobile apps running the new SYNC API to be used by the system. As a quick backgrounder, SYNC allows drivers to use voice control access different services and features such as navigation, traffic, and hands-free calling by the system tapping into driver’s smartphone. With the upgrade of SYNC and the addition of MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch, a driver’s favorite apps that are equipped with the SYNC API are now able to enjoy the same hands-free control. The first apps to take advantage of this are Pandora, Stitcher, and OpenBeak. That’s right, Internet radio and Twitter right in your car via voice-control while you’re driving.
So now I ask, how does this change your app strategy? Knowing that a mobile user would be able to use your app safely while driving around, would you create something for this? As a grocery store, would you create a SYNC enabled app that allows a customer to create a shopping list while they drove to your store? As an electronics store, would you create an app that allowed them to compare the different specs on TVs while they headed over to get one? For language training software, would you create an app that allows a customer to access all of their lessons during their morning commute? The possibilities are literally limitless for application of this technology. The question, though, is what are you going to do with it and your mobile marketing campaign?
In case you would like to view more information about the new SYNC API, the video below is a portion of the 2010 CES Keynote presentation where Ford introduces it.
Full disclosure: While Internet marketing and social media are his hobbies and potential future career field, Brad currently works for Ford as the Video Coordinator for Employee Communications, Broadcast Operations, and Public Affairs.