android-wallpaper5_2560x1600Remember flip phones? Of course you do, because it wasn’t long ago that a flip phone individualized with your favorite song as a ring tone was considered a major technological advancement. But then, flip phones quickly morphed into smartphones, and now smartphones are becoming genius phones, more and more adept of providing products, services and content tailored to specific users.

Details about the new capabilities we can expect on the Android mobile platform emerged at Google’s annual developers’ conference. For example, by late summer or early fall:

  • The Google Now app will move beyond “merely” scanning the user’s search requests and emails to present helpful information. It will also scan whatever content is on the device’s screen and decide based on that content what will be most helpful. The goal is to provide users what they need before they even know they need it, without ever leaving the app.
  • Users will be able to verify their identities through fingerprint scanners. As a result, passcodes will be obsolete and only the user will be able to access the phone, making it more secure and more individualized.
  • A new mobile payment system called Android Pay will make both in-store and in-app purchases faster and easier.

In an increasingly competitive mobile market, Google and Apple are rapidly developing technology to anticipate users’ needs and to help them keep moving quickly through their busy days. Clearly, consumers are starting to expect more precise individualization across all of their screens and in every interaction. Your marketing campaigns need to meet those same expectations. You need to understand your customers as individuals – each with his/her own preferences and behaviors –and then provide meaningful experiences based on that knowledge.

Approaches that involve delivering emails “personalized” with nothing more than a first name in the greeting or chasing customers around the web with ads for items they’ve already purchased, simply don’t cut it anymore. Instead, you need the individualized insights that come from data driven marketing. The goal is to get to a point I like to call “no marketing,” where you’re not pushing and you’re not spamming with irrelevant messages. It’s about truly connecting with customers, engaging with them in meaningful ways, and even anticipating their needs –just as smartphones are beginning to do.

We live in an age of distraction, and as our research shows, more and more marketers understand they need to use data-driven marketing to drive decisions and uncover opportunities to cut through all the clutter. Just like mobile developers, they realize that being able to offer an individualized experience is essential for maintaining a competitive edge, improving business performance and increasing revenue.