A Free Lunch? Not Quite

I’ve just spent a very pleasant afternoon in the company of Mobile Interactive Group in the Oxo Tower restaurant in London, eating fine food, drinking a little bit of fine wine, and chewing the fat about all things mobile.
Why do I waste editorial space sharing my social life with you like this? Because we weren’t alone. Also in the room at MIG's inaugural Digital Media & Interactive Lunch were marketing people from a list of blue-chip brands as long as your arm, including ITV, the BBC, Sky, Marks & Spencer, Top Shop, Evans, the Guardian, the FT, PepsiCo, Cadbury’s, Ford, Amazon, MySpace, Barclaycard – is that enough to paint a picture.
Some of these brands were MIG customers, already converted to the mobile marketing cause. Others remain to be convinced. So in between each course, there was a short, 10-minute speech, explaining some of the things that are being done by brands with mobile, and some of the things that could be done in the future.
The first two speakers, Mike Short from O2, and Jess Greenwood, Deputy Editor of Contagious magazine, did a great job of putting the mobile marketing message across in an entertaining, understated way. I had to leave before the third, Rory Sutherland from Ogilvy Group, came on to say his piece, but having heard him speak before, I’m sure he would have been equally good, and I’d place a small amount of money on him still being on the podium as you read this.
So to my mind, this was much more than a free lunch (or a fairly expensive one from MIG’s perspective). It was thought leadership of the highest order. Get a load of client-side marketing people who control digital and mobile budgets in the same room, get the ones who don’t currently use mobile talking to the ones who do, and get a few evangelists, for want of a better word, to whizz them through some of the benefits, and I’d be amazed if some of them were not converted. And given the evident difficulty in getting this type of audience to attend traditional mobile marketing conferences, MIG has done itself, and the industry as a whole, a massive favour. Good effort.

David Murphy