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Mobile and Smartphone Trends

Did you know that there are four times the number of cell phones in the world compared to PCs?1 And that 20% of U.S. households have gone mobile-only for their phone lines? There’s no doubt about it, mobile and smartphone users are growing monthly.

Here are some trends for marketers to be aware of:

Top Trend: Text Messaging

Over 130 Billion texts are sent each month.1 Text messaging, the most widely-used form of mobile marketing, gets, on average, 7x the response rate compared to emails. And since texting requires no incorporation of fancy graphics, the process is relatively simple to use even for non-techie business owners.

Marketing Ideas for Text messaging1

  • Promotions
  • Coupons
  • Alerts
  • Staff messages
  • Sweepstakes
  • Trivia
  • Voting

Retail Use Trends

Retailers are on the hunt to find ways for consumers to use their phones to enhance the overall shopping experience.

  • Bar Coded Coupons. Scannable bar codes on consumers’ phones to get, for example, a free drink.
  • Pay by phone. Starbucks is testing Starbucks Card Mobile, which allows customers to pay for coffee in the shop with their phone.
  • Integration with real-time data. Ace Hardware is combining weather forecasts with text alerts to hawk more shovels.
  • Building out their profiles in localized smartphone apps. Gap Outlet, Sports Authority, and REI are experimenting with the new crop of local smartphone apps, such as Yowza and FourSquare.

Other Trends

  • Smart Phone Applications. The number of smartphone applications is on the rise and each month brings new ways for customers to engage with businesses, receive news and promotions.
  • Augmented Reality.2 This is a buzzword that describes the users’ experience of viewing your surroundings through your smartphone so you get an overlay of information. See for an example.
  • Mobile websites. Websites optimized for mobile users or smartphone applications used to cost prohibitive for many companies but now mobile website tools such as Mobilizer and MoFuse make it more of a do-it-yourself situation.

If you’ve gone mobile with your business, what ideas are you trying? We’d love to hear!


  1. Five Can’t-Miss Mobile Marketing Trends For 2010
  2. Top 10 Smartphone App Trends for 2010

3 thoughts on “Mobile and Smartphone Trends

  1. This article is 100% true! Consumers are mobile and if you want to be where you customers are… then you must be mobile too!

    We have been helping companies take advantage of the marketing opportunities of SMS Text message marketing with our Texting Platform specifically designed for small to large companies who want cutting edge technology to better communicate with their customers, fans and employees! We specialize in creating mobile marketing strategies coordinating Text Message Marketing, iPhone App & Smartphone app development and social media management! You need to be where your target audience is and what is better than to reach people wherever they are via their cell phones!

  2. Yes, I agree with you David. There are Millions of number mobile users today. Therefore, mobile marketing is one of the easiest ways of marketing and monetize sales.

  3. I read your article, Giles. Very informative and great advice for designers and developers.

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