Exploring Smartphone Trends and the Future of Marketing



Aug 01, 20234 min read


Exploring Smartphone Trends and the Future of Marketing


In today's digital age, smartphones have become an integral part of our lives, shaping our behaviors and preferences. From the rise of "Ima Shikō" (living in the moment mindset) to the overwhelming choices leading to decision fatigue, this article delves into nine prominent smartphone trends and their impact on users. Additionally, we will explore insights from SparkToro's Year 2 Retrospective, highlighting the importance of product improvement, alternative funding, and an indie approach in scaling a business.

1. The Extension of "Ear-idleness" and the Rise of Audio Content:

With the increasing popularity of smartphones, people are finding new ways to fill their idle time. This has led to the emergence of "ear-idleness" where users consume audio content to make the most of their downtime. Whether it's podcasts, audiobooks, or music streaming, audio content offers a convenient and engaging way to stay entertained and informed.

2. Embracing "Ima Shikō" - Living in the Moment:

In a fast-paced world, many smartphone users are adopting an "Ima Shikō" mindset, prioritizing the present over long-term planning. This shift has significant implications for marketers, as it emphasizes the need to create real-time, personalized experiences that resonate with users' immediate needs and preferences.

3. The Power of "Location Communication":

The ability to share location information has transformed the way people connect and communicate. From meeting up with friends to discovering new places, location-based features have become an integral part of social interactions. Marketers can leverage this trend by targeting users based on their proximity to specific locations, offering personalized recommendations and experiences.

4. The Evolution of "Ima E" and "TikTok Worthy":

The rise of platforms like Instagram and TikTok has given birth to new trends in visual aesthetics. While Instagram focuses on curated and polished content, TikTok celebrates the raw and authentic. This divergence allows users to express themselves in different ways and offers marketers an opportunity to tailor their content to suit each platform's unique vibe.

5. Overcoming Decision Fatigue in the Age of Information Overload:

The abundance of information on smartphones has led to decision fatigue among users. In response, individuals are relying on trusted sources and personalized recommendations to navigate the overwhelming choices. Marketers can leverage this by building trust and providing tailored recommendations, ensuring their products or services stand out amidst the noise.

6. Time as a Currency in Content Consumption:

The concept of "time's return on investment" has influenced how users consume content. Rather than investing hours in uncertain experiences, individuals seek shorter, more satisfying content that aligns with their interests. Marketers should consider creating bite-sized, high-value content that captures users' attention and delivers tangible benefits.

7. The Power of Storytelling and Interactive Experiences:

In the smartphone era, people crave opportunities to engage and connect with others. The popularity of online discussion groups, webinars, and interactive events showcases the desire for shared experiences. Marketers can tap into this trend by incorporating storytelling and interactive elements into their campaigns, fostering a sense of community and engagement.

8. Fragmented Consumption and the Mercari Phenomenon:

The rise of online marketplaces like Mercari has transformed consumer behavior, facilitating a culture of fragmented consumption. People are no longer tied to traditional retail experiences, opting for second-hand items and personalized purchases. Marketers can adapt by understanding the appeal of individuality and offering tailored solutions that cater to specific preferences.

9. User Empowerment in the Branding Arena:

Smartphone users are becoming active participants in the branding process, customizing their experiences based on their daily situations and moods. This "planned spontaneity" demands that marketers create flexible, adaptable campaigns that resonate with users' ever-changing needs and desires.

Actionable Advice:

1. Embrace the "Ima Shikō" mindset by creating real-time, personalized experiences that cater to users' immediate needs and preferences.

2. Leverage the power of audio content by incorporating podcasts, audiobooks, or music streaming into your marketing strategy.

3. Overcome decision fatigue by building trust, providing personalized recommendations, and delivering tailored content that stands out amidst the information overload.


As smartphone usage continues to shape our lives, it is crucial for marketers to adapt to emerging trends and understand the evolving needs of smartphone users. By embracing the "Ima Shikō" mindset, leveraging audio content, and addressing decision fatigue, marketers can establish meaningful connections with users and drive successful campaigns in the smartphone era. The future of marketing lies in understanding and responding to the ever-changing landscape of smartphone trends.


  1. "スマホで増える「イマ思考」と「選択疲れ」、耳の暇と音声コンテンツ、インスタ映えとTikTok映え、メルカリのバラバラ消費など、スマホユーザー9つのトレンド(2019)|アプリマーケティング研究所", https://markelabo.com/n/n96a7468e3f96 (Glasp)
  2. "SparkToro's Year 2 Retrospective: Can Chill Work, Alternative Funding, and an Indie Approach Scale? - SparkToro", https://sparktoro.com/blog/sparktoros-year-2-retrospective-can-chill-work-alternative-funding-and-an-indie-approach-scale/ (Glasp)

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