Mastering the art of being useful and solving problems – lessons from LG at MWC

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 10.59.21Often in marketing we make things because we can. We get distracted by the shiny trends. We chase them.  I’ve always found that it’s easier to leverage an existing behaviour than to change it. And that if you ask “so what?” you might well avoid making something that serves no purpose in the lives of today’s busy consumers.

Truly ground-breaking and insight-driven mobile marketing solutions were relatively few on the ground at MWC this year. And the highlights for me came from an unexpected source: LG.

Mobile devices are becoming homogenised black slabs of loveliness. More powerful and sensor filled by the month. LG has clearly been thinking about how to solve problems in light of the company’s MWC announcements and as a result they are changing the game for all of us with a raft of new innovations. LG is managing to differentiate itself through some fantastic insight-driven innovations.

Solving the problem of time poverty
LG KNOCKon recognises that we unlock our phone over 100 times a day, and offers a time saving USP that the manufacturer is rolling out across all of its 2014 devices. The function is simple, quick and easy, essentially making the phone screen one big on/off button.

A device for the security conscious
Moving its devices forward to cater to the increasingly security concerned smart phone user, LG has released KNOCKcode. This provides 86k KNOCKcode combinations to deliver greater security, building on the fun and convenience that consumers love for KNOCKon.

Creating solutions for the ‘selfie’ generation
LG’s G Pro2 device launch also sported some nifty user-centric innovations including Flash for Selfie that reduces the camera preview window. The device also boasts a bright user-interface background to function as a flash. Perhaps most interestingly, LG have added mini view, which is essentially a one hand mode on a mobile with a bigger screen. It reduces the screen real estate to the bottom right or left corner, enabling users to operate their phablets with one hand for the first time.

LG introduces collaborative shopping, interruption avoidance and screen sharing
The hidden gem across all mobile manufacturers on show at MWC was LG UWA. While this is only currently available in Korea at the moment, it could be a real game changer for the industry. LG showcased the new function in a 30 second ad demonstrating how incoming calls appear on the top left of the mobile screen, avoiding the interruption of the user’s TV and video content consumption. The user can make calls while simultaneously watching TV. This is set to increase multi-tasking on the mobile device, allowing consumers to switch easily between different functions.

Some of LG’s sharing options for other media are also big news for the marketing industry.

Imagine screen sharing from one phone to another to perform collaborative shopping while circling items you like. This function could also allow the user to throw music to a friend’s phone to play via Bluetooth. Or perhaps we could see users draw Snapchat-style onto content, be it browser or app based. In the near future, we could see maps and social media become platforms that are shared between screens, from any type of device, not just smart phones.

LG shows us that the second screen is becoming the connected-multi-screen. These developments will change the way we consume media, shop, game and socialise. I hope marketers in the mobile space take note and look to exploit these functionalities to the max over the next couple of years.

David Skerrett is Managing Partner at Nimbletank.