Smartphones are addictive. Just look around you during your commute. Virtually everyone on trains and buses have their necks bent, looking at their phones.
The picture above is a very typical scene aboard the trains of Singapore. A 2017 article by the Straits Times reported that Singaporeans spend an average 3 hours and 12 minutes on their phones daily. This is great news to marketers and many companies are altering their marketing strategies to tap on this trend.
There are many techniques of mobile marketing. Some of the most common ones are:
In-app mobile marketing
This is common in mobile games where the user has to watch an advertisement before being allowed to proceed.
Push notifications are messages displayed on mobile devices by third-party apps that are not running on the phone.
QR codes aim to bridge the virtual world with reality. Customers scan a QR code with their phones and the code redirects the user to the intended message or advertisement.
The rise in smartphone use looks promising for mobile marketers but one can argue about the ethical concerns of these strategies.
Mobile apps are typically designed to be addictive, wrestling the control people have over their phone usage. A 2019 article reported that the risk of a fatal car crash was 66 % higher when the driver was using a phone. The article also mentioned that more than 800 crash deaths on United States roads in 2017 could be attributed to drivers texting or using their phones for things other than having phone calls.
These reports have opened my eyes to the dangers of incredibly successful mobile marketing strategies. In a perfect world, marketers would understand the ethical costs of their actions and adjust their strategies accordingly. We, however, do not live in such a world. In the meantime, I am going to download an app to curb my iPhone addiction, oh the irony.