Is a Smartphone Backlash Coming?
Last year, JWT Intelligence presented research suggesting 2014 may be the year when the marketplace begins to experience a backlash to today’s technology and our ferocious appetites to be totally engaged on the small screens of our smartphones.
The video below – Look Up – and the viral nature of it – over 13 million hits in a week – suggests we may be beginning this backlash.
What the Smartphone Steals from Us
As the video shows, the number one thing smartphone take from us is our TIME.
Time is the one thing we can’t make more of. It can’t be saved, stored, or multiplied. It just is.
Our lives are a series of tiny little moments that, when strung together, create who we are and what we will become.
Yet, we are becoming – as the Look Up video below states…
The smartphone also steals our attention and the human interactions that can and often do change the course of our lives.
We become lonely human robots lacking in social graces and the feelings that come with those interactions.
I’m not as pessimistic about today’s technology as this video suggests. Although, I also recognize my smartphone engagement is very different than many who are younger. I don’t live with my cell phone by my bed. I’m not constantly scrolling the screen to be certain I haven’t missed any posts or tweets. I refuse to text.
I don’t care about my smartphone the way some care. I tend to be selective as to when I give my smartphone my attention.
Many, too many, are not selective.
With their heads down and fingers scrolling, they pretend to be paying attention to their companions, to their environment or to be parenting their children.
Marketing Implications of a Smartphone and Technology Backlash
This backlash was/is inevitable. It happens to all new shinny things. Once the shine wears off and the market matures, the hype dies down and people begin to turn ‘normal’ once again. So it will be with all things smart and social.
But what does this mean for online marketers? How will a technology backlash impact their abilities to communicate and touch their audiences?
Will smartphones disappear? No. We’re hooked. These fancy phones play too much of a role in our lives. Rather, it will be as the JWT report suggests:
We’ll define how and when we want the smartphone and technology in our lives.
Here’s my take on the upcoming technology backlash.
1. Customers and prospects will become more selective as to which platforms they use and their overall social frequency will drop over time. In turn, this will make it more difficult for online marketers to capture eyeballs and engagement.
2. Some of the current social media platforms will disappear, be gobbled up and some will become bigger.
3. Rather than lip-service regarding quality over quantity, it really will be less about quantity and more about the quality of those fans, followers and connections.
4. The need to be more strategic in marketing messaging will increase. Thoughtful communications and marketing plans will be required to reach a desired audience online.
5. Local area retailers and vendors will increase mobile location based marketing efforts as it will be the best way to reach potential customers. Here is an article about existing mobile location and geofencing technologies that are already available.
6. There will be an increased focus on identifying key influencers in narrow niche markets, be it in local communities or in industry segments.
These are just of few of the outcomes from a technology backlash. I think this process – while initially painful – will ultimately be good for us.
Business owners will get down to the serious art of marketing and turn a deaf ear to online hucksters.
We will all become more mindful and aware.
People will once again look up and into each other eyes and have live conversations learning more than we ever could through a small screen.
Enjoy the video below and share your thoughts in the comments section about it.
- Do you believe in a technology backlash?
- Is your smartphone stealing time and human interaction from you?
Don’t forget to share this post with your network.
Resource: JWT research.