My colleague, SEO Analyst Maricela Mejia, recently attended the Search Marketing Expo West held in San Jose, CA. She came back saying emphatically that the overarching theme of the meeting was “Mobile Is Here.”
This is easily illustrated through a 2011 Pew Research Center study on how most Americans use their cell phones in a 30 day period. Here are some highlights:
- 51% used their phone to get information they needed right away
- 27% said they had a situation where they had trouble doing something because they didn’t have their phone with them
- 42% said that they used their phone for entertainment when they were bored
- 13% pretended to use it when they wanted to avoid interacting with others around them
- 72% named texting and taking pictures the top two ways they used their mobile phones
- 54% use their phones to send video or photos to others
- 44% use it to access the internet
But forget the 30 days! This is just as easily illustrated with my recent weekend trip to Atlanta to meet my sister. Check out these examples.
Before leaving the house for the airport, I pulled up my Delta mobile app to check the status of my flight. Leaving on time from Gate A-13 (see #7, above). On the way to the airport I checked the weather in Atlanta to satisfy myself that I had packed the right clothes (#7). (My son was driving, don’t worry!) Cloudy with possible rain on Friday, nice on Saturday and not cold. Good. I was prepared with the right wardrobe.
When I touched down in Atlanta, I turned on my phone and pulled up the Delta app (#7) to check the status of my sister’s flight. She was due to meet me there about a half hour later at Gate B9. Perfect. I had plenty of time to deplane and get to her gate in the next terminal to greet her.
When we met up, we headed toward ground transportation and took the train into Midtown. Our hotel was (supposedly) a short walk from the Midtown train stop. I trusted that she knew where she was going, since she made the reservations, so I just followed along (my mistake). We walked for about 15 minutes and still no hotel. I pulled out my phone, entered the hotel address into the GPS (#1) and, sure enough, we’d turned the wrong way. We followed the directions on my phone GPS and made it to the hotel, which would have been a 5 minute walk from the train had we initially exited through the correct door!
The next morning we headed downtown to our 11 a.m. CNN Tour. When we got off the train, I plugged the address for CNN into my phone (#1). I was not going to mess around anymore (#5)! After our tour we stopped for some lunch. I checked email and Facebook (#7) and texted the photo of me in front of CNN to my kids (#6). Then we headed to the World of Coke Museum where I took more pictures and sent them to my husband (#5, #6).
The next morning I woke up to the sound of my iPhone alarm (Siri set it for me) and worked out to an episode of Grey’s Anatomy I had downloaded from iTunes before I left (#3). There’s nothing like a soapy TV show to make the workout go much faster!
Later that morning, we enjoyed a delicious southern-style brunch at one of Atlanta’s hippest restaurants. When the waiter brought the check, he set it down along with a printed card. I immediately noticed a QR code. I pulled out my phone and scanned it. It linked me to the website to vote for Atlanta’s most up-and-coming chef (#3, #7). I voted and we were on our way.
After a beautiful day walking off the sinful brunch at the amazing Atlanta Botanical Gardens, we headed back to the hotel for some R&R before venturing out again for dinner. As we were leaving for the airport fairly early in the morning, we decided to stop by the business center to check-in to our flights. My sister was able to print out her boarding pass, but mine wouldn’t print. No problem. I just checked the option to have an e-boarding pass emailed to me. Awesome!
As I landed back in Cincinnati, and was allowed to turn on my phone, I texted my husband to let him know we were on the ground (#5). I realized how much mobile technology really has become integrated into my life. Even as a digital immigrant, I have surrendered to my smartphone to get information quickly, keep on schedule, get around, be entertained and stay connected.
Imagine that trip without my cell phone. We might still be walking the streets of Atlanta looking for our hotel!
SOUND OFF: How has your mobile phone made a difference in your life?