Julian Smith: head of strategy and innovation at Fetch
Julian Smith: head of strategy and innovation at Fetch
A view from Julian Smith

Tech viewpoint on the iPhone 6

If you were not ready to join the tech crowd camping out outside the Apple Store for the iPhone 6 launch this week, here is a look at what it could offer advertisers across the paid, owned and earned spectrum.

Perhaps the biggest news is that the iPhone 6 will come with near-field communication technology. This functionality should put the iPhone at the centre of phone-based payments for real-life retail transactions, in addition to its existing iBeacon technology. But NFC offers so much more than money exchanges.

Other uses include extending Passbook functionality to support contactless ticketing and access control beyond visual barcodes, and close-proximity opt-in marketing.

A number of existing retail and brands apps will be able to take advantage of interaction capabilities, such as in-store customer-loyalty programmes.

NFC has been exploited by outdoor media agencies and has shown it offers retailers and marketers strong opportunities to interact with consumers. Now we need more devices to adopt it and greater consumer understanding of the benefits.

On the flip side, some may say that this possibly works against Apple’s investment in Bluetooth-based iBeacon technology.

One important change is Spotlight search. This is the swipe-down search function (first introduced in iOS7) and a feature of the iPhone 6, which means advertisers should be optimising app keywords (eg. searching for "hotels" will reveal related apps in the hotels sector).

Advertisers will need to be accustomed to optimisation techniques, how their customers are searching and how their competitors are optimising in the App Store in order to capitalise on this.

Removing the barriers to mobile engagement will improve mobile's integration with traditional ads

Apple fans who have been looking enviously at the big, beautiful screens of Android phones can rejoice as the iPhone 6 brings larger displays to Apple’s flagship product.

This change is coming as mobile ad leaders such as Facebook and Twitter are selling more rich media, video and in-feed promotions. It will allow for better visuals that communicate marketing messages in a more succinct way.

As iOS users tend to be the biggest mobile spenders, advertisers will have the perfect opportunity to leverage this new space.

With the full integration of Shazam into iOS8, users can hold their home button to "Shazam" something. This eliminates having to unlock the phone to use the app and could be big for TV advertisers that have already tried featuring Shazam in ads but have struggled with the time it takes to "Shazam" something.

Removing the barriers to mobile engagement will improve mobile’s integration with traditional advertising.

The possibilities for creative advertising are mind-stretching and, if they do not lead to even more exciting, award-winning mobile advertising, nothing will.

Julian Smith is the head of strategy and innovation at Fetch

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