Three Reasons iOS7 Is Great For Marketers
By now you’ve all heard all about iOS7 -- the latest, greatest new operating system for the iPhone and iPad. While there is no doubt that the new operating system ads a fresh look to the
phone, as well as cool new animations and transitions, there has not yet been a big focus on what this means for marketers.
The good news is that there are three important changes and additions to the new OS that can help marketers create more compelling brand interactions with your audience, including:
1. Automatic App Updates
Probably the most immediately useful new feature of iOS7 is the ability for users to turn on automatic updates of their apps. While Android has had this feature for quite some time, iOS devices have been clamoring for this ability. This new capability will help marketers (and all app developers) in two key ways.
First and foremost, it allows the marketer the assurance that most (although not all, as this feature must be enabled) users will have the most up-to-date version of their app, with the greatest new features and functionality, on their devices at all times. This allows your users to be “surprised and delighted” with fresh new features and functionality on a regular basis without forcing them to update the app manually.
Secondly, the automatic update allows brands to quickly remove bugs from their apps, sometimes “silently” without impacting the user. A buggy user experience can be highly detrimental to your brand. Prior to auto-update, users who were too lazy to update their app, or didn't know an update was available would experience bugs long after updates were released. Now, brands can rest assured that bugs can be removed from most handsets nearly immediately.
Importantly, iOS7 also features a barcode scanner built directly into Passbook. Now consumers can scan a barcode from print to add tickets or passes to Passbook, whereas previously the only way to add content to Passbook was by downloading codes from email, the Web or from other iOS apps. By providing consumers with an intuitive new way to add to Passbook, marketers have reason to integrate Passbook functionality into digital campaigns.
In addition, iOS7 users can easily share offers through Passbook by using the new AirDrop feature, which allows for sharing of content such as photos or links over a direct WiFi connection. Marketers can conceivably benefit from this new capability by offering consumers discounts or coupons that are redeemable only when the code is shared with another person.
3. iBeacon Makes Geotargeting Easier
Quite possibly the most interesting feature of iOS7 is the addition of iBeacon, a new way to run hyper-targeted campaigns and transactions based on geolocation. Nicknamed the “NFC Killer” by some, iBeacon is essentially Apple's name for a standardized technology called BLE or “Bluetooth Low Energy”.
Using cost effective “beacons”, available for about $30 each in quantity, iBeacon enables marketers to tap into GPS-style location awareness for indoor locations, a capability that to-date has not been well executed. These beacons could then help with delivering offers to users as they enter (or walk by) the store, help users find their car in a parking lot or even verify a consumer's presence at a particular retailer and enable a transaction (without NFC). The technology is so efficient that large department stores would only need a handful of beacons per floor to enable a high degree of positioning accuracy. We are only starting to see the true potential here, but as the BLE technology achieves standardization, it is easy to envision cross-compatibility with Android (and potentially other phone operating systems) in the future.
Design Mobile Campaigns That Leverage iOS7's Strengths
The introduction of iOS7 presents a major opportunity for marketers to create new and exciting ways to interact with consumers. The possibilities for creating holistic campaigns that leverage this new iOS functionality are great, and moving forward, we are sure to see innovative brand campaigns that take advantage of all iOS7 has to offer.