Have you noticed that your car is becoming integrated with mobile devices? It may be as simple as a patch cable to take media off your mp3 player or as integrated as Ford’s Sync that recently announced integration with Android and Blackberry phones through its Applink. Already mobile apps such as Pandora, Stitcher and OpenBeak are coupled with Ford’s system for voice and in-dash controls. The implications are that the marketing opportunities offered by a traditional app can now extend to the captive vehicle environment. If you would like to learn more about this, please check out http://computimesinc.com/3-smartphone-apps-to-use-with-your-next-rental-car.
What does this mean in a practical sense? Are we going to be seeing indiscriminate ads popup while we’re in our car, much like what’s become accepted when watching network TV? Could be… but that’s missing the point for a smart and shrewd marketer. In car apps have the unique ability to leverage exponential mobility (the car) with location and interest based assistance (the marketer and their offer).
Imagine that you’re looking to buy a flat screen tv and have set out for the neighborhood big box location – previously you had used one of many smart shopping apps to determine the best value for the best price. But as with all information, such is time dependent and literally rendered of less value the second after consumption. So you’re along on your journey… but your app is integrated with your vehicle and just before you make the turn into the store’s parking lot… wait for it… the competition let’s you know of a price drop on a competing but acceptable flat screen TV to bring you into their store location – which by the way is only minutes from where you are and they’ve courteously included directions. Would that kind of information be worth it to you? Would you change your behavior as a result? That such behavior changing potential exists, shows the power of the mobile app integration initiatives being adopted by major manufacturers such as Ford, Audi, Mercedes, Kia and others.
“Look, it’s cool to connect. But it’s past cool,” said Alan Mulally, the chief executive of Ford Motor Co. For Ford, your car as an extension of mobile apps is a reason to buy, as can be seen from his additional comment in the April 2010 issue of Fast Company, “We’re going to be the coolest, most useful app you’ve ever had, seamlessly keeping you connected.”
Your car is going to be transformed into a powerful smartphone that extends your digital world. Marketers are realizing the power of integrating into this world that includes social media channels, mobile devices and engaging content deliveries. Marketers that embrace this technology will have a unique and targeted distribution channel, with a potentially captive audience at least for the duration of their trip. So seek to use apps to connect seamlessly into your prospects lives, when and where they can use your information, your offer, your brand, and you will be greatly rewarded.