Let’s talk about a device most adults own and use every day. It’s connected to the world around them, it (usually) has some sort of screen. Some people even talk to it. Phone? Watch? No - I’m talking about the car.
It might be a stretch to consider the car the next thing in ‘wearables’ (can you really be said to ‘wear’ a car?) but as a piece of technology that we are attached to, spend a lot of time in - and that tells third parties an awful lot about us - it feels to me that the label is almost applicable.
If you want confirmation that the car is coming to be seen as something a little more than a way to get from A to B, consider the Apple / Tesla mood music. Sure, it still feels unlikely that any form of acquisition will come to pass, but even the fact that people are talking about the subject suggests it’s not completely outrageous. Nobody’s talking about Apply buying Chrysler!
Tesla, of course, aren’t shy of promoting the car as a piece of connected technology. A few minutes with an owner (don’t worry, they’ll let you know!) and you’ll be wowed by the information that’s shared between phone and vehicle. And that in turn is the kind of information that should have marketers excited.
Our cars, after all, say an awful lot about us. Usually they tell others where we are. They certainly tell them where we have been - and in some cases who was with us, or at least how many people. That’s always interesting information. And we can also speak to individuals through their cars. As fully paid up members of the “Internet of things”, they’re ready to take full part in the modern marketing conversation.
Beyond “Mobile Marketing”
Where then, does this leave the mobile marketer? Well firstly - maybe it’s time to dump that particular term. It’s time to start thinking about individuals and our relationships with them, rather than the specific technology we choose to hold a conversation over at any given moment in time.
Certainly in Swrve, just as we’ve moved rapidly to support Apple Watch (and of course continue to support the desktop via integration with a range of partners), we’ll go on to enable marketers deliver the conversations they want to have, with whatever technology would be appropriate. If that means the car, so be it!
We’ll also have to consider how the phone and car integrate. A hot topic for law enforcement agencies the world over, to be sure, but absolutely on that all app businesses have to consider. Should the app have interfaces on phones, watches and cars? Probably yes - we’ll see the growth of the ‘fully connected’ app over the next few years.
But one thing won’t change. Good marketing will still be about the right message, in the right place, at the right time. Best of luck!