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By Bob Tallent
The Synergy Group


In Ireland, mobile phone usage is the largest in Europe per capita. We have over 120% market penetration with five million subscribers in a population of 4.2 million. Vodafone and 02 account for about 85% of the market. "3", Tesco and Meteor make up the balance. Most mobiles, as we knew them five years ago, have changed completely. I’m going to show you how to use these changes to the advantage of your business

In 1973, the first hand-held mobile phone was demonstrated by Dr.Martin Cooper of Motorola.  It was a handset weighing around 1kg.  In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first to be commercially available. In the twenty one years from 1990 to 2011, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew from 12.4 million to over 5.6 billion, a factor of 4500 or a factor of 21 times per annum. In simpler terms, the market grew by 744,000 phones every day for 21 years.  Now that’s growth!

The now outdated models of mobile phones have now evolved into the Smartphone.  A Smartphone has more computing power than the computers that sent the first rocket to the moon in 1962!  Smartphones do lots of stuff. They make calls, text message, MMS, PDA, portable media players, video cameras, Dictaphones, GPS navigation, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications, WiFi, business applications, gaming, calculators and take photographs.  They have touch screens, web browsers, tethering facilities, Skype and can use third part apps, access the cloud, sync with your desktop or laptop.  In 1989, I got a Motorola mobile phone for one of my guys (I couldn’t afford one for myself, but I somehow managed to get one for him). It was the weight of a bag of sugar, the size of a brick and was built like a hammer.  In fact, he used it as a hammer occasionally!

A few years ago, there were basically only three Smartphones: iPhone, Palm and Blackberry.  Palm is as good as gone (taken over by HP). Blackberry is trailing badly and iPhone is streaking ahead.  Many other manufacturers and OS’s have moved in to fill the void. Technology is leaping ahead at an unbelievably fast pace.  Disaster can strike when you take your eye off the ball, such as Kodak’s demise in last week’s article.

Let’s talk about tablets. Why would you want a tablet when you have a laptop? Today we have a scenario where mobile devices have evolved faster than the web itself.  Mobility is no longer a luxury but instead a crucial necessity.

Consider these American stats. I assume the Irish are similar:

Forty-three per cent of Americans between ages 24-35 earning less than $15k pa manage to pay for a smartphone. This means that Americans under 35 consider mobile usage a bare necessity.  This is a serious consideration for all business persons. Content that delivers a more visual experience and is loaded with video and images is now beating text-heavy content. For example, look at what we are doing here at each week in our music articles.  This thread is gaining popularity in leaps and bounds. Take a look and enjoy it.

Here’s what most Irish marketers should consider: The shift has already taken place!  We haven’t quite caught up to it yet. You don’t have to look far for proof either — just consider the following:

  • Visual social platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram are growing exponentially by appealing to the visual aspect of marketing and branding as opposed to just the content side. While content focused sharing platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn are very effective for online marketing, the visual appeal that these sites embody is assisting companies in expanding their influence and attracting other niche groups as well.
  • 84.4% of US internet users viewed a video content in January 2012.  When was the last time you looked at a video online? I did it today.
  • The average duration of a video content went from 5.8 to 6.1 minutes from December to January

Some Irish marketers to the print and sign industry have started to create their own online Youtube videos (e.g. Sign + Digital). They are going ahead of the masses, creating their own path and using the power of tomorrow’s technology. Younger people are savvy to these facts, are you?

I have a 21 year old nephew, Danny Grimes, who developed a website called It’s a portal site that uses the power of videos and he developed it as a 16 year old. Today, he’s earning buckets of money every month from it.  I wish him continued and increased success.  Danny grew up with technology all around him. It became second nature to him. A wizard on computers and software, he saw it as a natural thing.

Those of us who are senior to Danny and his generation of “tech wizards” must find a way to embrace the power of today’s fast changing technology. A thought for many of us to accomplish to say the least!


Tech - Technology - High Tech

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