This post was originally written by Brandon Hollembeak, Product Manager – Advertising Products & Services
Part 1 of 3
On April 28, the Heartland Mobile Council hosted the first Mobile University 101 at the Spertus Institute in Chicago. This was an opportunity for those involved or interested in being involved in the mobile industry to meet and brainstorm together. The goals were to discuss trends, best practices, strategies and insights about the power of the mobile universe, and what we should be doing to take advantage of it now.
There were many conversations that day, many tweeted and re-tweeted throughout the day and after, but there were three conversations/insights that really stood out to me as fundamental things to consider when creating a mobile strategy for your business.
Mobile vs. Portable & What is the iPad?
Like most marketing strategies, the most important things to consider is your target demographic and audience, how and where you’re going to attract them, and how you’re going to “close the deal.”
When considering your mobile strategy, there are two very important characteristics in “how and where you’re going to attract them,” which will then drive the heart of your mobile strategy. It takes recognizing that there are devices that are mobile, and there are devices that are portable. Each has their own use and characteristics, and should be chosen carefully to be included in your strategy.
So which is which?
“Mobile” is truly when you’re walking down the street and can interact with people, businesses and programs while on-the-go.
Examples could be coupons in your favorite location-based app like Fourquare for a business nearby to where you just checked in, or a sign that says text a keyword (like DEALS) to their mobile shortcode (like 43200) to opt-in to their SMS program to receive 20 percent off your immediate purchase.
In order to capture the on-the-go, quick response customers, these should be easy to use and complete processes, such as SMS (text messages), QR (quick response) codes, or partnerships with location-based services (since they usually make very streamlined, easy and quick to use apps/mobile websites).
“Portable” is more where you’re not tied to one location, but you’re not necessarily constantly moving, so you have more availability to interact in more detail and for a longer period of time.
Examples might be downloading your favorite business’ app to find and research the product you’re looking for, do pricing comparisons, watch product videos, etc.
In order to generate rich, interactive engagement with customers for extended periods of time, solutions like mobile websites and apps that can offer rich media like video, shopping carts, etc. are more effective here.
So what is the iPad?
That being said, Apple has brought a paradigm shift to the consumer electronics industry, and introduced what seems to be the hybrid between mobile and portable, which causes us to question: “Which is it?”, but as we look closer to the above, the iPad is primarily a portable device. After all, you’d look rather funny holding it to your ear as you walk down the street. (Did you notice every iPad print ad being held in a lap and the user’s legs are out of focus in the background?)
Which demographic do you want to target? Those “on-the-go” users (mobile), or the ones that are doing research and spending more time interacting with your product (portable)?
- Tweets from the day can be searched with the Twitter Hashtag of #mobiu101.
- The agenda from the day is available on the Heartland Mobile Council website at http://heartlandmobilecouncil.org/featured/hmc-mobile-university/
By the way, this isn’t “the year of mobile.” Mobile is already here. Now is the time to plan and execute, or get left behind.