The Future of Mobile: Part 2

Episode #045: The Future of Mobile, Part 2

We’re back with Part 2 of our special two-part “Future of Mobile” series! Think of it as your crystal ball into where mobile is headed from some of the brightest marketing and tech leaders. This week we’re hearing from brands like GE, Choice Hotels, Facebook, Pinterest, DroneDeploy and more on where they think mobile is headed. Then, we’ll be back with our regular episodes of Mobile Matters and we have some incredible interviews lined up with more marketing and tech leaders.

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Episode Transcription

Stephanie Cox: I’m Stephanie Cox and this is Mobile Matters. We’re back with the second episode and our two-part special edition of mobile matters. This week, we’re talking about the future mobile and hearing directly from some of our previous guests on the show. Think of it as your crystal ball into where mobile is headed from some of the brightest marketing and tech leaders.

This week, we’re hearing from leaders at Choice Hotels, GE, TGI Fridays, and more. Then we’ll be back with our regular episodes of Mobile Matters where we have some incredible interviews lined up with more marketing and tech leaders. Now, let’s take a look into a crystal ball and see where the engineering manager for React Native Core at Facebook and former Pinterest engineering manager, Zach Argyle, believes mobile is headed. 

Zach Argyle: I really believe it is this idea of shared rendering between mobile, web and the native apps. And so companies, I think they should start investing more in frameworks that will enable that Right, so it’s like reading React is a great one, View has View Native which I haven’t looked a whole lot into.  I think Flutter is looking at some of this stuff as well. So I think companies should really start paying attention to this idea of shared rendering and how can they make it possible. Because it’s going to save them a lot of money. Right? Like right now, you got to have your iOS, Android and your web engineers in at some point is just going to be…you’re going to have your client engineers and they’re going to be writing very similar code for like one set of code for their mobile phone and one set of code for the desktop, but it’s going to be the same frameWorks inside. And I think that’s what people need to pay attention to is how can we start looking forward to that in a way that we are going to be able to take full….we can take advantage of full kind of the beauty of what it’s going to be.

Stephanie Cox: The VP of Marketing Media and Customer Acquisition at Choice Hotels, Brent Bouldin also had some really insightful comments about how the lines between mobile and desktop will start to blur. Let’s take a listen.

Brent Bouldi: Yeah, I think again 5 years from now mobile and desktop will be one in the same. I think that you know, I think about some of these tablet-like devices is like Microsoft Surface and everything that we can sort of do on a desktop…you can sort of do that today, but like if I need to crank on a PowerPoint deck, I’m still going back to my desk because I need to the mouse, I need the big monitor. So I think that type of thing will go away and everything that you can do will be mobile-driven. You’re not going to have to be tethered to a hard drive in your office or the network in the office, everything will be on the mobile device and really portable. And then I think honestly your device will be your primary means of consuming media, all kinds of media television, it already is for music and that kind of thing. So, you know, I think it’ll be the control center for your home, as you turn lights on and off and all the things that sort of yeah, they’re out there today, but the adoption level is…

Stephanie Cox: Not where it should be. 

Brent Bouldi: But all of that will be mainstream in so in terms of marketing, it’s figuring out sort of how do you enter that space in a meaningful way, whether it is through some of the things we’re talking about where you’re providing content that acts as marketing or whether it could be the sort of thing where you’re switching back to some of the more traditional forms of sponsorship marketing you could be it’s in the events that people care about. It’ll be interesting to see how that happens. I wish I had a crystal ball that was less foggy.

Stephanie Cox: This sentiment was common with many of my guests. The fact that the VP of Engineering at DroneDeploy, Eric Hauser, even takes that one step further saying that “desktop will be irrelevant at some point,” and I honestly totally agree. Let’s take a listen to what he said on the topic.

Eric Hauser: Yeah, I mean at some point I think we’ll see that desktop really becoming almost irrelevant. That really the question of “When that will happen”  is probably the more interesting one. Do I think that’ll happen in 5 years? I don’t know. I think you still see the desktop as kind of the primary, you know tool for business users who are sitting at a desk all day and in our field, a lot of the customers, a lot of the users are actually people who are out in the field, so mobile matters for them a lot more. But, most consumers today, they are primarily using mobile as a way to interact and I believe that the stats are saying that this year more online shopping was done on Black Friday on mobile devices than it was on desktop. 

Stephanie Cox: Another hot topic is when I ask guests about the future of mobile-centered around the impact of voice. Take a listen to what the Chief Experience Officer at TGI Fridays, Sherif Mityas, had to say on the subject.

Sherif Mityas: We kind of joke in here that you know people are going to use mobile devices to actually talk on again, you know, because it went from you know, everyone was using their thumbs or their fingers to swipe and to look in and I think voice is going to become a much bigger play in the mobile area going forward. And for two reasons, and one…the next really generation is almost more used to talking to things then they are using their hands. And so I think part of this transformation that we are going to see the future is how do again brands interact again when people are talking which is a very different engagement than when they’re typing, or texting, or scrolling…and so is that really, I think that move to a more voice-driven, you know, basically engagement. I mean they’re, you know, they’re saying by 2020 half of all mobile searches are going to be voice initiated and so well, what does that mean? And it creates this opportunity. I think that actually makes a better experience. You can add more…almost more intonation, more flavor to the experience through a voice interaction, than you can just in the written word and I think that’s going to be exciting for brands to figure out how to do that.

Stephanie Cox: Taylor Webster, the former User Experience and Design Manager at Lowe’s and current Product Director at Globant, shared similar feelings about the impact voice while having a customer experience.

Taylor Webster: I think about this often and I go in and in many different trains of thought, in I really think that’s where I was talking speaking earlier about how voices it’s finally starting to come back around. You know we used to use our phones to talk in them to someone else and now we’re getting to the point where we’re talking to our phones as an entity of its own. And now we’re seeing that extracted further where we’re talking to other types of devices. Which really starts to see me like really get excited about the fact that we’re actually going back to our natural input method, away from these abstract methods like keyboards and things like that…that we need to carry information to someone else in a different way. If we keep moving down this path of the screen getting smaller or disappearing altogether or maybe screens are separate from the device you know. And how this pure hardware, but there is this thing if we decouple the screen away from the actual processor and now the battery life could go on for way longer than it is today. It’s sort of like what watches are kind of doing that, but that if I could just naturally speak to it and it works really well. I release this earpiece and a processor somewhere in my pocket or something like that visualizer could be, it could be anywhere. You just walk up and fill it with what you need. That could be a commodity that’s handed out. I really see mobile actually starting to become less of a package. Like here’s this big thing you need to buy and still carry around. There are many components that have been packed into it. I really see it getting to a point where they start to kind of put themselves back out and integrate back into our everyday lives in different ways.

Stephanie Cox: Finally, let’s hear Rochelle Hartigan, the leader of Brand and National Advertising for GE Lighting about her perspective on voice.

Rochelle Hartigan: Yeah, it’s…that tricky one. I think I want to say that we have to be aware of the power of these voice assistants in people’s lives. So we talk daily to Google and Alexa and into Siri and there’s going to be something there that they start talking back to us in some way or they make decisions for us because they become that intuitive to our lifestyles. So I’ll be interested to see what happens with voice assistants, I think that’s one. I think mobile devices are also evolving too… so from our phone which everyone is still you know, pretty much glued to our hands. In this moment I actually don’t have mine, but it’s usually right there. 

Stephanie Cox: I feel the same way. 

Rochelle Hartigan: I’m looking at your wrist, which has an Apple Watch so that’s a new kind of mobile experience and not new anymore really. So I went and curious to know what’s coming next in that way and how to leverage those technologies to reach the consumer. But I think in general…If I had to put my one stake in the ground for my crystal ball prediction it would be that it’s going to be much more intuitive than it is today. We’re still in a world where we’re delivering messages and consumers respond. And I suspect that there will come a time where we were able to just influence and make decisions and those technologies will do that because they know the consumer that they are supporting so well.

Stephanie Cox: Thanks for joining us for another special episode of Mobile Matters. We’re officially back next week with our regular episodes consisting of interviews with some amazing marketing and tech leaders. 

I’m Stephanie Cox and you’ve been listening to Mobile Matters. If you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe, rate, and review this podcast. Until then be sure to visit Lumavate.com and subscribe to get more access to thought leaders, best practices, and all things mobile.