No, Seriously! This Really is the Year of Mobile!
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During Internet Week, OMMA held its OMMA Mobile one day conference. In a panel entitled How Not to Waste Money on Mobile, moderator Shaun Quigly, VP Digital Practice Leader at Grunner was joined by Alexandre Mars, CEO of Phone Vally, Allison Owen, Digital Media Specialist at The Integer Group and Craig Weinberg, Mindshare Mobile Practice Lead.
For all the hoopla we've heard about mobile over the last ten years, we are still talking about how "this is the year of mobile!" Well after listening to this panel, it is clear, mobile has a long way to go before it becomes an "established" medium.
Even though practically everyone has a phone now, less than one percent of marketing budgets are spent on mobile marketing. With such proliferation, one might wonder why all marketing dollars aren't spent on mobile. Well, Weinberg was quick to point out there are many aspects of mobile phone usage that are not suited to mobile advertising. While the percentage of budget should certainly increase it was argued, the personal nature of the medium will keep the usage to expenditure ratio low.
When faced with the difficulty of convincing marketers of the benefits of mobile, Weinberg said, "Kids are the best thing for this business." As he explained, once parents of children realize what the phone is capable of (because their children are doing it and telling their parents about it) the big "oh yea" bell goes off inside the CEO of that big brand from which we all want boatloads of mobile marketing dollars.
Owen argued one of the best ways to get marketers to increase their mobile budget is to start with small tests and build best practices case studies. Weinberg added mobile strategists need a seat at the table; just like creative, media and account planning. It has to shift from something leftover budget gets spent on and more as an integral component of the marketing mix. Owen added even the IT department should be part and parcel of the mobile team because of the complexities on implementing mobile campaigns.
In terms of mobile's capability to geo target people with razor sharp precision, Weinberg cautioned that over fixating on location can lead to lost opportunity (in terms of a broader audience) and a reduced focus on context. Context, it was argued, it far more important than simple geo-location because it matters more what a person is doing then where they are doing it.
The fact that a day long conference is now dedicated to mobile marketing is a good sign. But it still feels like everyone is still shouting, "This is the year of mobile!" Well, perhaps one day it will drown out, "Social media is the answer to every brand's marketing problems."
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