Blow Up The Silos, Trash The Media Plan, Mobilize Moments

Everything is different -- get used to it and start putting processes in place to accommodate. That is the general theme this week at the Mobile Insider Summit. The theme I pushed on everyone at this year’s Tahoe meeting was “mobility” rather than “mobile.” As we get beyond targeting specific devices, the focus is on targeting people in a dizzying number of physical contexts, mental states, use cases, need states, etc. This was the new terminology we heard flowing from the stage on the first day of content.

As Christine DiLandro, head of media & integrated marketing, noticed about her Citi banking users, it turns out that for many women the time after they get kids to school and breakfast done in mid-morning is the time they often seem ready to engage their banking brand. Lisa West of IHG finds that many people are accessing their hotel apps when in a state of distress or need, so providing things like geo-guides and tools are a welcome value-add from a brand. Jose Puente of Autotrader says that no matter how much a publisher like him would like to have people flipping open their phones on car lots, it turns out they are more interested in engaging the experience of car shopping.



In other words, mobile activity is revealing to brands consumer states of mind and needs that were pretty much inaccessible and unknowable in the past.

The Gap's Tricia Nichols opened the show with a great example of a brand putting these pieces together into a genuinely different approach to “bonding” with consumers. Consumers really aren't thinking about your brand’s presence on specific channels like mobile, she quipped. They don't wake up wondering what the Gap mobile strategy is. “It is not how they work, so it is not about how we will work,” she said.

Rather than a flow chart, she has something like a pyramid. The bottom level is “personal relevance,” and shows how she can get consumers to align themselves with the Gap as a style-oriented brand. The next layer is cultural relevance, which leverages the unique history of The Gap to distinguish it from other clothing brands. And finally, one-to-one marketing that gets people to individually interact with the brand in ways that make them feel that the experience is personalized and specifically for them.

Some of the most interesting pieces Tricia shows involved what I would call flipping around the notion of mobile moments. The Gap uses mobile extensively at music festivals to recruit attendees to broadcast out their experiences. In a new global art project, artists were invited to create blue-themed art which then could be posted and commented on by others. This strikes me as something quite different from what we called last year “mobile moments.” Instead, the brand is creating moments in the real world that others mobilize. If consumers all have the ability to broadcast what a brand does for them, then marketers can think beyond how mobile can reach the consumer anywhere. Mobile allows the consumers to redistribute anything helpful, interesting, creative, or relevant that a brand does for them.

For full videos from yesterday's summit and live coverage of today's content, go to the site. 

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