A lot of chatter over the last few days has focused on the new iPhone and all the new great things that can be achieved by it as well as some major negative feelings towards the pricing both in the UK and the US.
However, has smartphone and the potential offered by applications on the platform taken marketers attention away from the vast majority of mobile phone users who aren’t using these high end products and still own a standard colour screen camera phone? Maybe, but it could be the case that the standard handsets you’re likely to find at £100 on pay-as-you-go tariffs just don’t offer the quality of medium that the smartphone can provide. The platform also has a tarnished history, having been saturated with subscription services which charged a standard monthly fee for content such as ring tones and backgrounds that really offered very poor value for money. Consequently this demographic is sceptical to services offered on their handsets, expecting to be charged for anything they attempt to access, services such as Vodafone Live! included.
The first problem is therefore getting the consumers trust back in mobile content, not overcharging, and making sure the consumer is aware of any charges they will incur and even more so if the content is free…this will not be expected!
Secondly, the problem is quality of content, these phones generally have small, limited quality screens and the internet speed is like being back with a 33K modem…things are slow! Therefore the content needs to be simple, but entertaining. Games seem to have been forgotten about for old mobiles, most remember Snake fondly and there aren’t many that haven’t played a few games of Tetris (which coincidentally is now 25 years old) on the old Game Boy. Brand sponsored games are an easy solution to get a consumer engaging with a brand on these limited handsets, they only need be basic but that never stopped those games mentioned previously from being entertaining and acquiring a mass audience.
The final issue is accessibility of content, how do you help the handset owner get to the point of finding this content via their extremely limited WAP internet access (remember when that was about to change the world!). This is where you hit a problem…do you go the route of photo recognition, where the user takes a photo of, for example, a brand logo, and then gets sent the advertising, almost as a surprise gift? do you make it so that the content can be accessed by texting a number with “BRANDNAME HERE” in the message? Do you advertise through print ad’s in magazines (going…going…), acknowledge your mobile platform advertising though this and hope that they will reach enough of your demographic to trigger a word of mouth spreading of your content? Welcome to the $64 million dollar question; good luck with this!