There is no escaping the fact that we live in a technological world and over the past decade the way we use the Internet to interact has changed the way we live; from dating and socializing to earning a living. For many people, particularly the younger generation of ‘digital natives’, life without constant and instant access to the Internet would be intolerable.
Now there is another important advance in technology, the smartphone. In just a few short years, we have moved from owning a mobile phone to carrying what amounts to a virtual office and personal assistant in our back pockets or handbags. The functionality of modern smartphones far surpasses that of desktop PCs of just a few years ago and unlike desktops they can be taken pretty much anywhere. Indeed, some commentators are predicting that in a relatively short time, the smartphone will replace the desktop PC altogether.
In commercial terms, companies are increasingly seeking to optimize their mobile online presence, because they recognize that more and more consumers are accessing the Internet and websites using mobile devices.
Mobile technology really comes into its own when the smartphone owner is out and about or traveling. For anyone planning a trip, it is a good idea to check out any apps that might be useful ahead of departure. Popular smartphone apps include travel guides, online translators and information on local attractions and entertainment.
For example, whether living in the city or planning a visit to Philadelphia it is possible to quickly and easily buy Philadelphia tickets using only a smartphone. It can take just a few minutes between deciding to attend an event and booking it. There is no longer any need to hang around on a phone line to a booking office, to stand in line for tickets or even to log on to a computer.
The way of the future
As we have already seen, many companies are doing their utmost to make their online presence as mobile-friendly as possible, because they know that most of their target audience will visit them using a smartphone. This is particularly true of companies operating in the entertainment industry, because for such media-based providers, the new functionality of smartphones offers a whole host of innovative ways to attract customers and provide new products.
Take, for example, the movie industry. Booking tickets online and on the move is highly convenient, but that is just the start of the mobile movie experience. With the increased ability of modern mobile phones to stream video and media, providers are offering a rich and varied range of interactive and novel products to draw consumers in, build a relationship with their brand and make them feel part of a wider experience. Examples include interactive games and contests, extra video footage, music and social media. Using these techniques, companies can add value to their products and enhance the experience for customers, before, during and after viewing a film.
Similar examples exist in the world of sport. Fans who develop an online relationship with the team they support are made to feel part of the club through privileged access to team interviews and information. There may also be opportunities to book tickets ahead of them being released to the public at large or in particularly sought after areas of a stadium. In many cases, these online relationships are conducted using smartphones, simply because that is the form of access fans prefer. After all, who hasn’t used their phone to check on their team’s latest score at some point?
Music is also optimized in this way, with bands and artists making some content, including concert tickets, available only to their online subscribers or through third-party online providers. They do this knowing that most of their fans will be carrying a smartphone much of the time and that those smartphones are designed to handle the very latest in sound and video systems. This is therefore a great way to connect with them.
In summary, it is clear that the smartphone has a crucial role to play in accessing many forms of entertainment and that more and more smartphone-friendly content is being provided by companies keen to connect with their fan-base. This is great news for consumers, because not only do they get to see a wider and more entertaining body of material, they also get to develop closer and more fruitful relationships with the movies, TV shows, sports teams and music they like. In addition, the technology that goes into a smartphone is developing day by day, which means that the mobile online experience can only get better. For those who like to live life on the move, the future is looking very bright indeed.