The mobile economy, projected to reach $1 trillion in the U.S. by 2020, is being almost ignored by retailers and advertisers are only directing about 12% of ad revenues to mobile devices. Also sorely neglected is the the vast stream of data created by every tap on every phone. Companies don’t know how to reach people on their mobile devices, and they don’t know what they would say if they could. Fortunately, Anindya Ghose, the foremost expert on mobile economics, has designed the tools that can help your company thrive as business-to-consumer interactions increasingly shift to mobile platforms.

His new book, “Tap: Unlocking the Mobile Economy” (MIT Press, 2017), identifies nine forces that influence customer behavior. His study of “crowdedness,” one of the nine forces, yielded counterintuitive results. According to Ghose, “What we found is that as the level of crowdedness in people’s immediate context keeps increasing, people are more likely to accept and redeem offers coming on their mobile devices… What happens is that when we are surrounded by strangers, we don’t like to reach out and start saying hello. What we try to do is take our phones out, and basically immerse ourselves in our phones, and that phone becomes our private space.” In that crowded yet private time, users’ concentration will ensure their focus on your offer.

When a sophisticated understanding of crowdedness is combined with knowledge of the other eight factors, including time, weather and location, that information can be harnessed to precisely define the consumer’s “context.” Context makes the difference between advertising that comes across as helpful and convenient, and advertising that seems creepy or predatory. In Ghose’s words, “Brands will be able to use mobile as a concierge and as a butler, not as a stalker.”

If you’d like to learn more about Ghose’s keys to tapping into mobile, his new book, interview podcast and presentation video are excellent resources. To learn more about how he can provide direct help to your organization, contact us.

Anindya Ghose is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.