For the last few years the mobile technology has been a more and more relevant subject in every modern company. There are more and more extraordinary and fancy mobile devices and mobile technologies. Unfortunately, users are not fully aware of what is really going on there and even if they try to keep up with all the new cool mobile features they are not able to do this. Let’s analyze this subject a bit deeper.
So many cool options, but what for?
In the beginning the only thing you could do by means of a mobile phone was making phone calls. Then, after a few years mobile operators started adding new functionalities to mobile phones, so to gain new customers. They added such possibilities as SMS, MMS, camera and WAP options. Some of these things has just recently started becoming popular, although they were invented a few years ago (MMS, WAP). Current mobile phones have so many options that many users have no idea what at least half of these options are connected with. Currently, the majority of users will probably buy a new mobile phone mostly to have the possibility to make photos and play Angry Birds. A simple example of such rather unused features is HD voice. There is currently a mobile operator boasting in TV about this. But are users really aware of what does this option mean? Will they use this? Will they find it fancy? Well in fact no, because this mobile operator has made one basic mistake, which can be described in one sentence:
instead of PROMOTING features, just SHOWING how can they be used!
A very good example of the above is NFC, which is quite a new technology. Unfortunately, not many users are using it, because generally they do not know what to use this for. You can hear in the advertisements the following sentence: “”Your mobile phone will have the NFC technology” . Well, cool! But what is this NFC? Isn’t it more catchy to tell customers the following sentence: “Turn your phone into your wallet”?
First educate the user, then introduce new features
All the BlackBerry devices available on the market have the voice control options. It has been introduced a few years ago, but almost no one uses it. Why not? Once more – because it has not been passed appropriately to customers. People are not aware of this.
Analyzing the mobile features that gained popularity and those which had not, we can draw the following conclusion:
Only features that are easy for people to use and for which they understand the profits and benefits of using them, can gain real popularity.
Let’s analyze the following set of features that has been already introduced but did not gathered much attention:
- Location based services (information or entertainment service accessible via mobile devices) are the services which are really fancy but almost nobody uses them, because people are not aware that they exist or simply do not know what are the profits of using them
- Foursquare (sharing your current location with all your friends) is a fancy thing, but most people do not understand how it works.
Don’t ask the user what he needs. Give him what he should need.
People are usually not fully aware of what they need. A simple example is the bar-code scanning and product recognition by image options. In fact, probably not a single user would say that they need this, but when such option is already there, they are eager to use this.
As mentioned in the previous chapter, also the ease and intuitiveness of using a certain option can make it popular. Bar-codes are not yet so popular, although they were introduced earlier than recognition by image . On the other hand, recognizing product by taking an image is gaining popularity rapidly, because it is a very easy to use option.
So, what is the recipe to make the mobile market really powerful? Add features that mobile users should need, make them as easy as possible and make people aware of the benefits of using those features.
Do you think that the above pieces of advice will help the mobile market grow more rapidly? Feel free to share your opinion below.