The Always-On Consumer

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After attending the eMarketer Breakfast and listening to the valuable insight from industry leaders Noah Elkin, Shannon Garett, and Jed Singer, of eMarketer, Comcast and Stuzo, it got me thinking. Maybe because I, along with most people, are exactly who they were describing—to the T. We really are always-on.

The mobile trend in the U.S has grown 488 percent, mobile ad spending has increased by 56 percent, and about 30 percent of U.S. digital ad dollars are spent on mobile. The ad world caught us.

I see it, you see it, we all see it – every single day, all day. Everyone is attached to their phones. Whether it’s personal, or for business, it seems almost impossible to navigate a full day without your smartphone.

It’s something we are all adjusting to in our own way. For marketing purposes – adjusting is more like benefiting from this new and still growing trend. By having our phones with us at all times, we have become reachable any time of the day. Marketing researchers refer to us as the “always-on consumer.” And that’s exactly what this generation has become. We are always on and reachable by phone, by email, by text, by video- what have you.

Long gone are the days when you had to wait until you got home to make a call (with the phone that was attached to your wall), or have to hang up the phone so someone could get online. Now we can be on the phone, send a text, and search something on the internet simultaneously.  And trust me; there are plenty of opportunities between all of those interactions for geo-locators to target you and for an advertisement to reach you. So no, scary as this may sound, it wasn’t a coincidence that you just happened to be looking at this certain product online and it appeared in an ad on your phone moments later. Certain moves you make on your smartphone turn into data that is tracked and analyzed.

“For Brand Marketers, these trends underscore the importance of placing the mobile experience first when developing campaigns,” said Matt Pfluger, VP of Digital Strategy here at Garfield Group. “More and more traditional canvases of advertising and communications (desktop websites, print materials, traditional broadcast, etc.) are becoming secondary interaction points for the mobile first user.”

Personalized targeting and geo-location are pillars for advertisers and marketers in this mobile world we live in. Advertising and marketing research firms have the ability to see exactly where you are and find the best way to target you though your consumer behavior. Audiences can also be segmented by app usage. The key to reaching consumers is data, and now, more than ever, it’s becoming increasingly detailed. The end goal is to get to the consumer, a very specific consumer, by either starting with a target audience, or using data to find them.

Real-time marketing has gotten incredibly laser-targeted and consumers definitely are getting wind of it. But don’t worry, marketers know industry regulations and consumers know what’s borderline overbearing.