2
Understanding the Wireless Audience
This chapter has its roots in consumer psychology for a very good reason. Successful
product development begins first and foremost with building a comprehensive under-
standing of the market for which your products are intended or, put more simply,
give them what they want and they will come back for more.” You may recall from
our first chapter (Chapter 1, Making Sense of Wireless Technology) that consumers are
our judges and executioners regarding the success or failure of a product. Our primary
objective in this chapter is to shine some light on the consumer psyche and, perhaps
more importantly, to move this light around so as to illuminate and expose the deep
crevasses within (see Figure 2.1); in turn, we will begin to build an appreciation of
how, why and what key influences are used in the consumer decision-making process.
We will then be more successful in attempting to categorize consumers by age, moti-
vation, income and usage scenarios. From this foundation we can begin to truly
understand todays wireless audience.
We try to find purpose and direction for all areas of our lives. From setting up a
home to running a business, we all internalize the procedures that govern our choices
and behavior and place these into clearly defined mental boxes, formed through a
combination of past experience and the practical opportunities that face us. The prob-
lem with these boxes is that they are, all too often, walls without doors. Confining us
into a set of expectations and behavior patterns that stretch our limitations as partners,
parents and employees and becoming more like prisons than the ordered sanctuaries
we had formed them to be.
For today’s consumers, wireless technology offers us an extraordinary liberation.
Utilizing wireless technology allows us to finally place doors into our walls and
merge internalized boundaries into one another as we are introduced to new levels of
portability and freedom, both at home and in the workplace. In our previous chap-
ter we illustrated that many of us could now choose to work in a café or restaurant,
whilst maintaining a disciplined ethos, alongside a flexible working environment.
10
Understanding the Wireless Audience 11
Chapter 2
For many consumers, the concept of this kind of wireless liberty is a heady revelation,
yet, amazingly, it is one that marketers have only recently begun to fully exploit. In the
early days, the wireless manufacturers’ marketing focus was very much on the technol-
ogy itself and its physical attributes. We were blasted with numerous messages, telling
us how new wireless technology worked and hyping its potential far beyond its initial
capabilities, in a way that most consumers found intimidating and non-supportive of
their life-style and expectations. One typical example is that of Bluetooth technology;
Bluetooth was heavily marketed during 1999/2000 and promised to deliver extraordi-
nary features, but at the time, the technology was nowhere near a satisfactory and stable
completion.
Support is the key word here. To put a wireless product into a clear usage scenario
for the consumer, it needs to be seen to provide a support structure for a particular aspect
of their lives. A good example here would be the illustration of a mother sending and
receiving emails from her Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) outside the school where she
has just dropped off her children. This image combines the twin aspects of family and
work responsibilities and allows the consumer to psychologically bridge the gap between
Figure 2.1
The human
psyche: the
collection of
neurons with each
synaptic exchange
and the mass of
energy released
create an aurora of
consciousness; in
turn, our innate
psyche.

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