Mobile Marketing – An Outsider’s Viewpoint
I was invited by Russell Buckley to attend Mobile Marketing Live, principally because I know very little about smartphones and tablets, and how they will impact business specifically and society in general. My natural environment is real estate, a space in which things change slowly, and sometimes the industry moves backwards in technological terms - there are Venetian piling and Roman concrete forms that we are unable to equal today.
Mobile has a totally different feeling, and it’s great to see so many young people having a ball. In many ways, the two days felt quite like Singularity University, a new kind of learning establishment based at NASA Ames, which aims to teach people all about exponential technologies, and what they mean to society.
In Russell’s mobile world, most things are already exponentiating, and future emerging technologies have at least a toe in the present; Augmented Reality, for example, opens a new commercial door, and could lead to profound social change.
To my mind, the most impressive presentation was from Blippar - an Augmented Reality company successfully promulgating its name as a verb, to blip; well worth noting as a highly effective strategy; talk about gaining attention and retention in consumers’ minds. The consulting company, Flurry, also had much to offer.
All web-based businesses should address mobile and tablet from now, with a clear strategy to address users’ needs. The PC may indeed, as Russell believes, expire sooner than one might think; it survives only because the competition has a few weaknesses which when resolved could be fatal. Google’s Glass project will have an enormous commercial impact on all devices, and other configurations of screen, input and output are inevitable – whatever they may be.
One speaker mentioned chip manufacturer Arm, who are happy to share their technology roadmap, which we’re told blasts Moore’s Law in the near term at least. This growing computational resource is being factored in by Arm’s partners, enabling them to think better about their future products and services, given the technology promises have always been met. It’s a take away for all developers to ensure they spend time building in capacity by engaging with companies such as Arm.
Google and others provided charts showing how users now access the web, with mobile, tablet and PCs sharing the spoils in changing ratios throughout the day. I’m staggered so many businesses fail to capitalize on this.
In my opinion, the importance of mobile and tablet for internet businesses is as follows:
- Mobile enables users to participate away from their work PCs, and thus away from any prying eyes, which could have a significantly positive effect and help drive adoption of offerings that don't have the same impact when accessed via PC
- Mobile also enables users to participate on the fly. We've all had that sudden purge of energy about some subject or other. According to Betfair, 10 per cent of users have placed bets while sitting on the toilet.
- Tablets are used mostly at home, though they’re entering the workplace at an alarming rate. The multiple screen effect, at home watching TV and a tablet, or at work on a PC and tablet and mobile, is creating a range of commercial opportunities, and internet strategists really must to consider this too. Tablet also enables a more private participation, and would enable better access to documents and text than mobile.
- Weather changes the use ratio. Good weather promotes mobile, rain helps the PC and tablet. Big weather changes, big change in use.
- Good design is essential, otherwise users are turned off. This applies equally to all internet offerings, whatever they may be. The Reuters speaker, Bob Schukai, made an interesting statement: “Good web/ app design generates an emotional connection, they come back for more.” Succeed with design, and users will engage more. Google’s site www.howtogomo.com is a free and useful resource. His recommendation of the app Zite was a positive life-changer, I now get precisely the news I want.
In a nutshell, mobile and tablet are essential components of a successful business strategy. Take action today.
Mike Halsall is an entrepreneur working on nanotechnology projects in China, with an emphasis on green energy. He also represents the Singularity University (SU) in the UK. The Singularity University was founded by Peter Diamandis (X Prize founder) and Ray Kurzweil (outstanding technology visionary and successful entrepreneur) to leverage the power of exponential technologies to solve humanity’s Grand Challenges. SU is based in Silicon Valley and embraced by many of its greatest minds, as well as organisations such as Google, NASA, Cisco, Nokia, Autodesk and Genentech.
- Augmented Reality,
- Guest Column,
- Location-based Services,
- Mobile Advertising,
- Mobile Applications,
- Mobile Banking,
- Mobile Commerce,
- Mobile Coupons & Barcodes,
- Mobile Entertainment,
- Mobile Messaging,
- Mobile Payments,
- Mobile Search,
- Mobile Social Networking,
- Mobile Ticketing,
- Near Field Communication