Tap: Unlocking the Mobile Economy

Cover of Tap: Unlocking the Mobile Economy
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When mobile advertising is done well ... the smartphone plays the role of a personal concierge -- a butler, not a stalker.
By Anindya Ghose
Consumers create a data trail by tapping their phones; businesses can tap into this trail to harness the power of the more than three trillion dollar mobile economy. According to Professor Anindya Ghose, this two-way exchange can benefit both customers and businesses. In Tap: Unlocking the Mobile Economy, Professor Ghose welcomes us to the mobile economy of smartphones, smarter companies and value-seeking consumers.

Drawing on his extensive research in the United States, Europe and Asia, and on a variety of real-world examples from companies including Alibaba, China Mobile, Coke, Facebook, SK Telecom, Telefónica and Travelocity, he describes some intriguingly contradictory consumer behavior: people seek spontaneity, but they are predictable; they find advertising annoying, but they fear missing out; they value their privacy, but they increasingly use personal data as currency. When mobile advertising is done well, he argues, the smartphone plays the role of a personal concierge — a butler, not a stalker.

Professor Ghose identifies nine forces that shape consumer behavior, including time, crowdedness, trajectory and weather, and he examines these how these forces operate, separately and in combination. With Tap, he highlights the true influence mobile wields over shoppers, the behavioral and economic motivations behind that influence and the lucrative opportunities it represents. In a world of artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, wearable technologies, smart homes and the Internet of Things, the future of the mobile economy seems limitless.

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Anindya Ghose is a Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences, Professor of Marketing, NEC Faculty Fellow, Stern Faculty Scholar and Director of the Masters of Science in Business Analytics.