I heard Crossing the Chasm author Geoffrey Moore share that the most important moment in mobile adoption was December 25, 2010, when executives around the world opened up the new iPads their families had given them for Christmas. Suddenly, mobile made the corporate agenda, because the iPads made it personal, in ways that even smart phones hadn’t.
One year later, we all know the pervasive role of mobile in our own lives. No surprise that mobile is one of the top focus areas in 2012 marketing plans. Cannes even announced a new mobile category. Yet mobile is often treated as a standalone, fragmented campaign, as we’ve all experienced when we follow a QR Code only to land on a corporate home page that isn’t optimized for mobile devices.
Arc chief creative officer William Rosen wrote an interesting piece in AdAge, “All Marketing Roads Lead Through Mobile“.
“As mobile becomes a key conduit through which people connect with each other and the world — from managing calendars, finances and social networks to navigating online, on the road and on the path to purchase — many are still treating it as ancillary to their marketing efforts. While the technical requirements of mobile force it into the realm of a specialist expertise, the key to winning lies in realizing that mobile actually represents the confluence of four key marketing disciplines: social media, shopper marketing, promotion and CRM.”
The potential of mobile is not only integral to marketing, it is integral to operations, merchandising, and other business functions. That level of integration holds incredible promise, but also incredible complexity.
Mobile is far more than a shiny new toy. I’d love to hear your examples of mobile done well.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post. I’ll pick one comment by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)
9 CommentsJoin the Discussion
Mobile Mary says
I LOVE your cartoon and your article! I give it a resounding I AGREE! We have been working in the mobile space for the past 4 years, and we helped Kawasaki drive 93,000 new customers to their dealerships in 2009, all with a game on their cell phone! When I speak on Mobile Marketing, they call me Mobile Mary the QR Queen, as I am so passionate about the power and effectiveness of Mobile Marketing, as long as its done well. I am launching a weekly radio show on Mobile on Jan. 3rd, and I’d love to have you on my show sometime in 2012, would that interest you? May I reprint your cartoon on Facebook? It cracks me up! Thanks again! 🙂 Mobile Mary
Tom, you are completely correct in your drawing. During the last year, our mobile penetration within the company has easily quadrupled. What is interesting is that most employees already had a laptop which they were already bringing to meetings. The growth in devices seemed to just be a simpler, lighter way to carry the same information. However after awhile I started noticing the knock-on effect as more people purchased mobile devices without a clear need. These seemed to be the technology followers. So at any given meeting we easily have half of the group who have moved to a mobile device versus the traditional laptop. The result has been a breaking down of the walls of time and location when it comes to working. It is now routine for people to send e-mails while commuting. I often get notes in the early hours of the morning, late at night, while people are exercising and so on. I’m not sure that I like the drive towards continuous working time, but that appears to be the way it is moving. Keep up the articles!
I have seen first-hand how senior executives are quickly becoming the advocates for mobile technology (whereas it used to be the younger technorati among the product managers and marketers). It’s great to have advocates at the top, but it means that there is a huge gap in understanding the customer. The way a 50-year old exec uses his iPad is VERY different from how a 25-year old consumer does. Takeaway: Let the senior exec advocate for more mobile marketing and products, but make sure the product design and messaging are based in an understanding of the actual target customer.
Mobile eliminates the boundaries between above the line and below the line. It is the ultimate private connection to a consumer when he/she gets to the moment of purchase. that connection, like all power, must be used wisely for abuse of that power will not only be ignored but will erode trust in brands.
Daniel Waisberg says
I keep seeing data on mobile usage and it is impressive how mobile is growing, not only in terms of volume but also of quality (e.g. transactions!). But I have also published a cartoon on how companies deal with (hint: quite the opposite)… I hope you find it interesting too: http://onbe.co/tcJ3ac
Thanks for all of the great insights this week, everyone. I love that Daniel even included a cartoon in his comment. Brilliant! This week’s cartoon goes to Tim. He raises an important point that even as can all appreciate mobile as users of the technology, we need to remember that we are not always our target customer.
And, Mobile Mary, yes please feel to share my cartoons, and I’d love to help with your radio show too.
mike hapner says
This is great in every way. Love the cartoon. Wish I had seen this in time to get in line for a signed copy!
At any rate, I fully agree with the potential for mobile to make its way to the core of the organization as technology, acceptance, and adoption come together. This is why I don’t rail *against* shiny new object syndrome, because sometimes that’s the only way groundbreaking things can rise to a level that gets mindshare at the “top.” Twitter is a great example… at first it was just a toy, and it COULD have just been a fad that flamed out — but it didn’t — and now it cannot be ignored.
Also — and I plan to write a blog post myself about this soon — I see the same thing happening in mobile that happened with client / server applications several years ago. As high-speed Internet becomes ubiquitous, there will be a shift away from native apps and toward the same Software-as-a-Service model that is prevalent today. Luckily, at the same time the devices and Internet availability / bandwidth is being developed by the carriers, HTML5 and other software technologies are advancing to hasten this change.
Thanks again for a great article!
I agree to most of the comments above. I have been working for telecom companies since 2008 in Turkey. Earlier, we were using laptops during the meetings. Then, BB has changed our lives, we sent emails to each other at any time in any condition. I even couldnt stop myself to look at my phone almost every 10 minutes. I personally dislike replying emails when I am at the meeting. I do like to concenrate what I am doing then, I can shorten the meeting or make it more effective instead of spending my time texting or replying daily routines.
Oh, working with helping companies formulating their mobile strategies I find this cartoon to be spot on. Private usage is so ahead of business us. The boardroom behemoths are slowly paying attention. If not busy checking their phones… 😉
I will link to here from our FB, I hope that is okay.
Nindev is a B2B app developer based in Sweden, http://www.nindev.se.
Cheers for the good work!