Not many people will argue with you when you say that smartphones are the hottest things on the market today. The industry has progressed enough that it is now seeing serious penetration in the cell phone market. Many carriers are making it so easy to upgrade to these do-it-all phones that it would be insane not to buy in. I picked up a new Droid Incredible for $1 at Best Buy on Black Friday simply by renewing my service plan. Package the incredibly low buy in rate with the fact that these “phones” are faster than many full-sized computers produced in the last 10 years and you can see why everyone is using their smartphones to surf the web or check the front page news via apps instead of reading the paper on their commutes.
We’ve already seen how independent publishers can leverage these devices for profit, creating literally hundreds of applications that users can purchase at minimal rates. What’s the next step in capitalizing on their profit potential though? Google, as well as many other technology giants and marketing consulters, is betting on mobile marketing. Already, apps are being littered with advertisements, making everything from online radio to the insanely popular “Angry Birds” game a channel for reaching consumers. The real rewards lie in the information that is obtained when users download these apps to their smartphones. Every time you install a new application you are agreeing to share information about what’s on your smartphone and how you use it. As Kathy described in her blog last week, companies like Facebook are already finding ways to link your interests to how they market products to you. Looking at the growth in the smartphone market it’s pretty clear that consumers are willing to give up information to gain the benefits these products offer. As the internet becomes more mobile it’s only natural that the marketing revolution that it spawned follows with it.