The psychology of eMarketing to smartphones | DMA

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The psychology of eMarketing to smartphones



In 1970 Alvin Toffler coined this term to sum up the potential damage to people of too much change in too short a period of time; the consequence of an exponential rate of development in a ‘super-industrialised’ society1. Looking around, it’s hard to see where Toffler’s overwhelmed people are. On the contrary, the damage is being felt by businesses who are struggling to keep pace with consumers’ rapidly shifting patterns of consumption.

One of these new patterns, and the focus of this paper, is how the Internet is increasingly being accessed on the move. Once you could be confident that your eMarketing (a term I’ll use to encapsulate marketing through both email and social media) was landing on the desk of someone sitting in front of a computer, who would process it in a somewhat linear and focused fashion. Now those messages are arriving in the hands of people in a multitude of different locations, and who are usually engaged in other activities at the same time.

This practice has become so commonplace that we take it for granted, but the fact is that mobile marketing has become a whole new discipline. Marketers need to understand what this means for them and their content, and adapt their strategies accordingly. The biggest single factor that determines how people respond to a given stimulus is context, and this means that we routinely misattribute feelings created by the environment to the actual focus of our attention.

This is why, for example, the wine you adored on holiday and bought by the case didn’t taste the same when you opened it back in the mundane surroundings of your home2. So what does this new trend to ‘marketing on the move’ mean for you and your marketing campaigns? Some recent findings in consumer psychology can help cast a light on this phenomenon and ensure your organisation doesn’t become one of those overwhelmed by the pace of change.


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