Smartphones Are Getting Smarter: Opportunity for Publishers

How often have you picked up your mobile phone because you were bored? We grab our smartphones for so much more than just making phone calls or texting. We keep busy playing games, surfing the web, and look for apps that enhance our everyday lives such as flashlights and pedometers. What if your smartphone started reaching out to you, just in that moment when your mind was free and open to suggestion? Being bored just got more interesting and publishers may have a new opportunity to grow their audience.

Smartphones are getting smarter according to a recent study by the University of Stuttgart, Germany (When Attention is not Scarce – Detecting Boredom from Mobile Phone Usage).

The two-week study analyzed “over 40,000,000 usage logs and 4398 boredom self-reports of 54 mobile phone users” and the results indicate that boredom is a potential opportunity for publishers to recommend content at the point in which a mobile user is indicating activates that reflect boredom. The study utilized an app to monitor the behavior of the mobile users.

This type of data provides publishers with information that can be utilized to market and promote content in so many different ways. As a publisher the possibilities just expanded their mobile marketing divisions. Marketers don’t have to worry that they are interrupting a smartphone user, they know exactly when they are primed for a connection.

  1. New Subscribers. Online publishers can entice a new subscriber to join their list.
  2. Up-selling. For current subscribers publishers can up-sell publishing content, having the knowledge that the subscriber is bored and has the time to be educated about another product.
  3. Is there an eBook sitting on your virtual bookshelf?  A bored mobile user can be given a nudge to pick up where they left off, moving them closer to finishing their current title and move on to purchase another.
  4. Buy now! Publishers can play on ones boredom with special offers that appear to be reading the users mind. “Just sitting around playing solitaire? Read John Doe’s latest novel, The Devil Rings Twice”.
  5. Targeted Content Provides Comfort. Publishers can create the sense of familiarity when they know the habits and moods of the user. The end user gets a feeling that a particular brand really understands their personal needs.

Mobile technology is growing rapidly and it is a trend that I follow closely. I wrote an article on Skoop! Mobile Technology, which provides a marketer with the ability to target their subscribers based on their buying habits. The boredom research findings are going to take mobile marketing to another level, when blended with a mobile marketing platform, such as Skoop!. From the perspective of a publisher, the marketing and promotional possibilities this data provides, are endless.

Further commentary on the subject can be found on NeimanLab.

Written by Sherrie Wilkolaski.

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Published by

Sherrie Wilkolaski

Sherrie Wilkolaski is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Luxe Beat Magazine. She specializes in developing in-house publishing programs for small to mid-sized businesses. Sherrie frequents the international publishing circuit, educating publishing professionals at industry events such as DScoop (Beijing, China), Self-Publishing Book Expo, and DIY (Book Expo America). She is a bestselling author, radio talk show host, and book and magazine publisher.

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