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Giving consumers control – the keys to application consumption

Last week’s Mobile World Congress saw a flurry of industry predictions and discussions around the latest market trends. The GSMA predicted that 2010 would be the “year of the developer,” and the buzz at the show centered firmly around mobile content and consumer consumption.

One such statistic that caught my eye was new research from Nielsen reporting that 63 percent of subscribers indicated that within the next six months they would use mobile applications tailored to their personal preferences, location, time of day and social setting. Indeed this dovetails with our own research which revealed a similar number would spend more time or money if relevant content were easy to discover.

This should come as no surprise to the industry. At Qualcomm, we believe that consumers want control over their content - an expectation that developed during the era of wireline and desktop interfaces. We also believe that mobile operators need to add value by giving consumers the keys to their content – providing that desired control. Operators who put consumers in control of their mobile content and integrate it within their overall digital experience will inspire their loyalty.

The operator can play an invaluable role in the fostering of relationships between consumers and the content and brands they care about. Operators can better understand their subscribers by paying attention to what they want, and with their consent, offer them contextual and relevant content. The combination of subscriber knowledge from content providers and operators will help develop content strategies that take into consideration what content the subscriber wants, as well as when and where they want it. This is the key to engendering ongoing brand loyalty across the entire mobile ecosystem.

I recently contributed an article to Mobile Marketing Magazine which explores in-depth the steps that can be taken to help consumers engage with content and specifically, applications. In this article, I’m discussing topics from our recent research and white paper, "Going Beyond an Application Store".

Summed up, the key steps are around discovery (making it easy to get to desired content), portability (letting consumers take applications across devices or platforms) and driving user engagement (allowing consumers to interact at a more profound level with the brands and content they care about).

For me, if 2010 really is the year of the developer where content is king, then it’s vital that operators work to ensure optimum adoption and engagement.

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