Business Tool of the Month: Smart Phones (iPhones, BlackBerrys, Androids)


Smart Phone: Consumer Segment of the Year.

Yeah, I know…I make up the titles as I go.

Helpful tools, that's the name of the game. I've been talking a lot about segmentation, and here's another great tool to combat that – the smart phone (the most popular being iPhone, Blackberrys, and the Google Android). But, a bit differently than the previous web tools I've listed in this Internet Marketing blog. For one, it's not a web tool…it's a device. Smart phones (defined as handheld devices that have PC/Mac like functionality (email, IM, web browser, Internet access, desktop file applications, etc) are very versatile tools when it comes to doing business and being a consumer. In fact, they're game changers. Talk about segmentation…smart phones are one of the major causes of the issue.

But, they can also help you pull it all together. Smart phones allow you to access all your communication channels (email, IM, SMS, MMS and phone) as well as media files (text, music, video, powerpoint, and spreadsheets) as well as your favorite social networks. You can take pictures and videos of your own, book travel and flights, check on package delivery statuses, check the weather, and shop. And, probably the most popular element of smart phones, they also allow you to access hunderds of apps (making it the Swiss Army knife of web tools).

Because of the popularity of smart phones (dropping prices, increased bandwith speeds, more inclusive functionality), many national companies have created their own branded apps specifically for their smart phones customers. They've even put their apps in their commercials, like Nationwide, USPS, Dominos, and Expedia (or was it Travelocity?). This is clear evidence that one) smart phone users are growing in relevancy when it comes to marketing and two) cool apps sell products. Hell, iPhone almost exclusive advertises its phone by only advertising its app store (see any recent iPhone commercial). As a result, many other smart phone makers have followed the same tack in their commercials. Other than coverage area and speed, apps are the biggest selling points for smart phones.

How many times has an iPhone owner waved their Carpenter Level app or Tip Calculator app in your face? Oh, don't get me started. 

Hundreds of third party web development companies also churn out apps every day (because selling a successful app can make you millions) – one of the coolest being ShopSavvy's newest barcode reader app just to name ONE.

But I digress as usual.

Smart phones keep you plugged in (a blessing and a curse), which allows for you to keep doing business no matter (virtually) where you are. And yes, I'm a Smart Phone owner myself (Blackberry Curve 8900) – but I'm new to it. Before that, I had a Nokia from 2001. No kidding.

So I'm writing all this as a newly addicted smart phone owner (both from a new marketer's perspective and a consumer). You can definitely stay on top of things, but when you start sleeping beside your smart phone – you need to seek professional help.

Need more info? Here's a recent iPhone versus gPhone article by WebProNews.

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