With the advent of the smart phone in 2008, consumers have started a love affair with these devices. Syndicated media studies suggested that, three years into the smartphone revolution, that consumers engage up to 17 hours a day with their cell phone. By comparison, television was 2 hours a day.
Fast forward to 2015, and there is very little smart marketing interacting with smart phones. Despite having billions of phone apps available within the Google and Apple stores, there is very little indication that any of this is sticking. Some recent studies suggest that nearly 90 percent of phone apps are downloaded and used just once, then removed. Look up any retailer, or brand for that matter, and the number of downloads are paltry to the potential reach of the brand, some a few thousands of consumers.
There is a new wave of companies that is trying to change this declining adoption pattern. Blue Dot Innovations, Shopkick, and Foneclay are rapidly entering the space. These companies are trying to link user interactions on a mobile device with the proximity of in-store experience, linking GPS to POS. This brings contextual marketing back into the forefront. What I am seeing is the move to GPS; what is lacking is personalization of the experience and model-driven tactics like intelligent couponing. These are interesting times. I am really excited at the possibilities when mobile engagement becomes the final yard of the analytical backbone.