Are you mobile?

I don’t often rave about webinars (for one thing there are too many these days) but the one organised by The Marketer today on mobile marketing was excellent as it brought together a selection of highly professional experts, with a good overview of strategies and tactics.

A few facts about mobile

So what are the key facts, at least the few I can recall?  Well unsurprisingly there is a greater degree of interest than ever among marketers on mobile technology, but this isn’t accompanied by action,  mainly due to lack of budgets and time.  While the first may be understandable the latter though is a much more worrying trend.  You simply must find time for mobile marketing strategies if you’re a professional marketer.  And as for money, please, use some of the data freely available in the CIM site for example to show your boss or your board that there are now more mobile devices in use than people and that’s really where your company should be, unless they wanted to spend the next five years playing catch up with savvier competitors.

Plan from mobile to web

From CIM presentation

From CIM presentation

There were interesting tactical aspects covered too, such as the position of navigation elements on mobile devices, but to my eyes the most apposite remark was the one made by John Campbell of Precedent that you should really plan from mobile to web, rather than the reverse as most companies still do now.  

Sally of Codecomputerlove (what a great name for a company – I’d really like to know how the thought of it!) then presented some truly imaginative examples of well designed web sites that integrated with mobile marketing tactics.  I was particularly taken by the behindthebrands one for Oxfam.  But fundamental to her presentation (and indeed to those of all the other speakers too) is the concept that you should never lose sight of the real reasons for doing something.  Don’t just build a mobile version of your web site because you feel like it, or an App just because it’s the ‘in’ thing to do – understand your audience and set some measurable objectives, then act accordingly.

In conclusion…

Just as it often happens in new trends there were many more questions left unanswered as the time was limited and, well the webinar could have easily extended overnight… It was also relatively easy to detect that there is still confusion on some fundamental issues behind mobile marketing, with key areas still not totally understood even by marketers. The whole field of Apps is one of them and many clients, especially B2B ones, are even less au fait with these solutions than marketers, so there is a very steep learning curve ahead for many.

The truth is that communication technology is racing ahead at breakneck speed.  In the process some applications will come and go (take QR codes for example), others will remain or morph into new ones.  A combination of passion for innovation, market knowledge and common sense (see the comments on objectives for example) will always help you select the best approach for your company. 

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