How does your 2011 marketing plan account for 60+ million new iPhone users?
Apple is projected to sell 60 million new iPhones in 2011. If you stacked all these phones one on top of another you would create a column 350 miles high. But of course these phones aren’t going into a gargantuan stack; they’re going into people’s pockets, into their hands, and up to their ears.
The iPhone experience will change each new owner; each feature of their phone will become their new “normal.” And normal for them will become an expectation about how they want to interact with your brand. So what exactly will the new normal be?
First, being connected all the time will be the new normal. Of course iPhone owners will make phone calls, get email and text. But increasingly they will also maintain constant communication with their social networks through Facebook and other sites like Twitter and Foursquare. This means they will expect the brands they use to be a part of their social network for “always on” interactions.
60 million video cameras
Taking video will become as common as taking photos. Any and all of the special moments in interpersonal relationships will be fair game- baby’s antics, daughter’s soccer game, a night out with friends. And so the expectation will become that video is a way that relationships are documented, developed and extended- brand relationships, too. Your iPhone-owning customers will expect video to help them find the right product, install it, fix it or celebrate its use.
Apps, not just websites
After using great apps, iPhone users won’t tolerate the dreadful experience of browsing traditional websites through their phones. For example, try the WebMD mobile application on your iPhone. It is perfectly formatted for the screen size. It intuitively guides users to the information they seek. Touch the “Symptom Checker” button, and you’ll see a human body. Touch the area of the body where your symptom resides and get a list of possible illnesses. Talk about intuitive!
What this means for your brand
While you may want potential customers to research your product through your website, they may read blog posts by a current owners instead. While you may want your customers to reach your service department through a website form, they may post a complaint on your Facebook page instead. And so on. What this means is that your marketing and customer service activities need to be planned around a realistic understanding of how your customers really interact with your brand in their increasingly mobile world.
For 60 million new iPhone owners (and millions of current ones), this sleek device from Apple will be a leading way they interact with your brand. They will find you using the Google search application; they will watch videos about you using YouTube; they will ask friends for advice on you through Facebook; and they will express what they like about you through Twitter- all while going about their busy lives. These 60 million customers are now just a fingertip away. Oh, and by the way, 60 million new iPhone users is less than a third of the Smartphone market.