When people buy a new TV, they typically are replacing one they’ve had for some time, in many cases a very long time. They likely buy a high definition set, can’t wait to get it out of the box, turned on and instantly receive a dramatically improved television-viewing experience.
As a result, many of these consumers are so satisfied with the improvement they don’t take the next step and subscribe to a high definition service from their cable or satellite provider. The new set is such a dramatic improvement they may never realize that adding high definition service would make it exponentially better.
Mobile follows this model to some degree, with some of the new smartphones not yet being fully utilized. Moving from a typical old school phone to a state-of-the art Android or Apple phone can seem like such a dramatic move forward that some new owners don’t yet capitalize on the new hand-held power they possess.
However, there’s a flip side to this. There are a number of consumers who at their gut level understand the newfound mobile empowerment and move forward to use it in innovative and productive ways.
These are the mobile power users. They are the ones from whom others will learn as they see them doing more with their mobile device than ‘normal’ users. Power users are willing to enthusiastically share their mobile knowledge with most anyone interested.
It’s not all that difficult to identify mobile power users, since they’re often heavily engaged with their mobile phone, and not just for texting. For example, at the MediaPost OMMA conferences in New York this week, many mobile power users gathered to hear a range of subjects, including mobile, video and social media.
“I don’t use anything else and I have no land line,” says power user Mark Hodson, vice president of Votigo, a marketing platform company. “Because I travel and work remotely, it’s this thing or nothing,” he says about his iPhone4. His loaded apps include Kayak, SPG, Yelp, ESPN, PGA, AA, Instagram, Groupon, ShopSavvy and QR Reader, among many others.
Another mobile power user, Joe Caruso, sales director of Shoutlet, uses a large number of apps from his iPhone4S, including Facebook, LinkedIn, ESPN and Yahoo Sports, in addition to a number of sales and expense reporting applications. He also uses his phone as a remote for his TV via Verizon and as the navigation device in his car.
“The level of interaction I have with my phone is complete, with digital media, photos and music,” says Caruso, who is continually looking for things to replace by using his phone, such as banking and video viewing.
Power users are leading the way in mobile and pushing the limits. They are more than early adopters of technology, since they are not so much gadget nerd as value conscious. They look for mobile to make their lives easier, more efficient and more portable.
Mobile power users can be found in any demographic and reading this you likely either are one or know one or more.
So how do you know? Well, you might be a mobile power user if:
- You routinely use your phone to find places and things around you
- Attending a conference you live Tweet from your smartphone even though your laptop is in your bag
- You have both the SoundHound and the Shazam apps to be sure you can identify any song you hear anytime
- You figured how to do the workaround to get Google Wallet loaded and functioning on your Android with Ice Cream Sandwich (and, of course, know what Ice Cream Sandwich is)
- Your utilities include a speedometer app such as Ulyssee Speedometer or Speed-o-Meter and a flashlight such as TeslaLED (Android) of Flashlight (iPhone)
- Your 2D barcode readers include Scanlife and SnapTag Reader — and you use them
- You routinely price-check in stores using ShopSavvy, Red Laser or Amazon’s Price Check without giving it a second thought
- You use your phone for navigation
- Your primary weather checking device is your phone
- You have at least three airline apps and three hotel apps and are registered at all
- If you travel, you regularly use travel apps such as OnTheFly, Kayak, AutoPilot or Flight sites while in transit
- You regularly use check-in apps, such as Foursquare for location and Shopkick for rewards
- You are self-equipped to use mobile payments such as via Square, MoneySend, Google Wallet or Serve and are just waiting for the market to catch up
- You have your phone synced to your computer and/or your other mobile phone and are comfortable with syncing apps such as SugarSync or Dropbox
- Your reward card numbers all are in your phone in Key Ring or CardStar
- You program your DVR remotely from your phone
While not an entire list, you get the idea.
Mobile power users are the mobile elite. They are at the forefront of the mobile revolution and will shine the light forward for the mobile industry.
Chuck Martin is author of The Third Screen; Marketing to Your Customers in a World Gone Mobile, CEO of Mobile Future Institute and Director of the Center for Media Research at MediaPost Communications and a highly sought after mobile marketing speaker.