(Cross Posted to the FM Blog, where Signal will have a permanent home soon)
Mobile. It’s on everyone’s lips, but no one knows what the hell to do about it. At least, that’s what I hear from every single marketer I talk to, and I’ve made it a point to talk to a lot of you in the past few months.
It’s a source of significant frustration: Everyone’s saying mobile is the next thing, but no one has a solution for how to market in the space in a way that delivers the four pillars of brand marketing: Scale, Safety, Quality, and Engagement.
Sure, you can now buy banners across ad networks in mobile, and lord knows that ability has paid off handsomely for AdMob and Quattro (acquired by Google and Apple, respectively, for very large multiples of very small revenues), but honestly, we all know that’s not an endgame. More like an opening gambit in a chess match where nearly everyone feels like they’re playing checkers. (Except Steve Jobs, natch. He’s got it ALL figured out).
OK, forgive me the snark, but if Apple has this figured out and the rest of us are consigned to tithe at the church of iPad/iPhone, we’re well and truly screwed.
Ditto for the strategy of “I’ll get me a cool app”, which feels about as innovative as “Get me a viral video” did back in 2007. I’m not saying having a good app isn’t part of a great mobile strategy (I love what Oakley has done for surfers, for example), but one good app don’t a solution make.
Earlier in the Signal, I wrote about MOLRS, my entirely non-viral and made-up acronym for Mobile Local Realtime Social. My point was this: Mobile is not a singular use case. Mobile is related to an ecosystem of local (where I am), realtime (what I’m doing right now), and social (who I’m with, who I want to tell about what I’m doing, etc.).
I sense the answer to a truly quality, scaled marketing solution in the “mobile” environment has to do with understanding this broader framework. It’s a complicated landscape with way too many middlemen at the moment. But my Spidey senses are tingling, and something’s about to happen, I can feel it. If only I knew what it was….
Meanwhile, here are some links to chew on, much of it MOLRS related. It’s better than eating your phone. (image credit )
Internet Services: Mobile Advertising: The Hype, The Hope, And The Financial Reality (Weisel – pdf download) This is a research report sent to me by Thomas Weisel’s Jordan Rohan. I’ll probably get in trouble for posting it. Maybe.
Foursquare Introduces New Tools for Businesses (NYT) Analytics so businesses can figure out what they want to do with Foursquare. Smart.
Just In Time For The Location Wars, Twitter Turns On Geolocation On Its Website (TechCrunch) As I said earlier, expect Twitter and Facebook to play for the Checkin signal in the Database of Intentions.
Facebook Will Allow Users to Share Location (NYT) Hey, wait, on the SAME DAY! Seems *everyone’s* MOLRS are coming in at once…
US online ad spend set to overtake print (Guardian) Well of course it is. About time.
Bingo! Microsoft’s Search Numbers Keep Going Up (Paid Content) Bing gains, Yahoo! loses.
2 thoughts on “Weds. Signal: Get Me a Mobile Strategy or You’re Fired!”
I could swear US online spend overtook print spend at least a year ago now.
In fact since then, I thought mobile spend had found time to overtake it too…
Its definitely a big conversation to have and one that is deserving of deeper thought for any brand that needs to access mobile at scale. Of the initial engagements we have here, much of it is being driven by a specific tactic (get me a mobile website, build us an app) that is confused for a strategy. Some of the promise of mobile comes from the areas you have ID’d in MOLRS, especially when thinking about media specifically. The reality today is that most of the current power of mobile for brands that are looking to leverage it immediately to capture early revenue and build foundations for the inevitable mobile future relies heavily on “where have I been”. Leveraging the sophistication of direct marketing, which still works well. Mobile is really good at solving specific problems created by traditional disconnects.