Embark On A Journey With Your Smartphone
We’ve read again and again how mobile usage is changing the way we market to consumers. We all know how much we have come to truly rely on our phones to be our pocket computers — and not really our phones so much. When you think about it, calling these devices smartphones is not really accurate since you don’t see people talking on them that often anymore. We just know we’re completely lost without them. They are changing our lives because they are changing our daily habits and our routines. In thinking about this, I decided to embark on a little journey with my smartphone to see exactly how I interact with it throughout the day. I thought it may be eye-opening, and it certainly proved to be true.
My alarm rings on my phone. I groggily get out of bed, shuffle into the kitchen and let our dog out while I make coffee and breakfast.
I check the weather on my phone so I know how to dress when I take our dog for his walk. Then I sync my Fitbit (bad sleep AGAIN) and play the day’s 7 Little Words puzzle and Red Herring, deep water level. I check Facebook, make a few comments, pin a few things to my Pinterest boards, check Twitter, check my email and delete junk mail, and check my work calendar to see what meetings are booked.
I walk my dog through the neighborhood while listening to a podcast on my phone, usually This American Life, 99% Invisible, Stuff You Should Know, or Stuff You Missed in History Class (don’t judge me, knowledge is power).
I get back from my walk and get a text message from the high school announcing a 2-hour delay due to fog. I head upstairs to inform my daughter but she’s already clued in (the Superintendent announced it on Twitter and all the kids follow him). At this point, I actually turn on the TV and passively listen to and watch the news while I shower and get ready for work.
7:30 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.
Get a Snapchat from my other daughter in college. Answer a text from my sister and another from a friend, and leave for work.
Before heading for the parking lot at Fruchtman, I hit the drive-thru lane of Starbucks, paying for my nonfat latte with the Starbucks app. Ready to caffeinate my day, I arrive at work and power up. At this point, my phone is resting on a little holder on my desk, and pushes me reminders for meetings, as it’s synced with the meetings calendar at work.
My dad calls me daily to check in with me and assures me all is well with the day. So far, it has been my only call and usage of my phone as a phone.
Leave work and head to the gym. I’m teaching a class tonight and have my playlist ready to connect to the sound system via my phone. I found a few new exercises to try on YouTube™ channels I subscribe to and am excited to try them out.
Sufficiently exhausted, I head home to shower and eat dinner with my husband and daughter. I found the recipe on Pinterest. So far I’ve been lucky – only a few loser recipes out of the many I’ve tried. We talk about our day and do not have phones at the dinner table – family rule!
8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
My phone sits next to me on the sofa. I’m reading (an actual book this time, in its binding and not on an e-reader although I have one) while my daughter is doing homework and texting friends, and my husband is channel surfing the networks and then looking at shows on Netflix and Apple TV.
Lights out in our house. We all value our sleep to recharge our batteries before the next day.
So my day is complete and a few things I learned from this study:
• I rarely use my smartphone as a phone
• I rely a lot on apps I use on my phone on a daily basis
• I store a lot of information on my phone
I am just one person whose daily habits are now formed to a fairly large extent around my phone. Other people will have different routines, some much different than mine. Some people have much more phone interaction than me, and others much less. I encourage you to make a list of everything you do on a typical day with your phone to see what your journey looks like. But overall, my journey made me discover that my eyes are on my phone consistently in the morning and evening, and there are opportunities to reach people on their phones through marketing. Text messaging, banner ads that display while an app or browser is in use, and short video ads are currently being provided to consumers, to name just a few. And while some of these advertising vehicles may not be as effective as we’d like them to be yet, and they are certainly annoying and creepy at times, the truth is I am spending a lot of my downtime on it. And I’m just one of millions of people out there. Although efforts are constantly evolving, we’re going to see advertisers get smarter about marketing to our new habits in the digital, smartphone. I’m sure it will be eye-opening.