Just over a week after my first trip to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, I embark on Austin for my third year at SXSW Interactive (SXSWi) – worlds away, but I can’t help but think the conversation at SXSWi this year will be more focused on mobile than ever before.
Mobile is a given for consumers and an imperative for marketers.
The future of innovation and interactive is in the palm of our hands – it gives us access to information, global connections, and personalized experiences, often and immediately.
Our mobile “phone” is not just a device; it has become an extension of ourselves. And not just the techies or the digital natives – my mom is on SnapChat, my friends’ 2-year-old son is playing games on her iPhone.
The laptop has replaced the desktop, the tablet has replaced the laptop, the internet of things is bringing function and information into our wristwatch and into our home, and a computer exists that is the size of a button. But mobile may be more important than all of this – in this moment.
Mobile is not the future it’s the current, and for marketers if you’re not building for mobile you’re missing the boat. 57% of users don’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site*, 84% of mobile users browse while shopping in-store*, mobile users reach to their phone 150x per day**. The consumer is in demand, and the consumer is on mobile. Smart brands are creating experiences that people want, where they want them, and in many instances that’s on mobile – in the store aisle, during the commute, concurrently while watching TV.
This immersion of mobile in our lives is the reason the SouthXMRM team is asking the question, “If your phone were a person, who would it be?” My own answer to that question is The Wizard of Oz, more specifically the man behind the curtain. Find out why.
As I go from suits to sneakers, from the largest event space I’ve ever seen at the Fira Gran Via to the streets, hotels, and convention center of downtown Austin – I can’t help but see the commonality - that whether here as a consumer or a marketer, as a start up or a VC – everyone is attached to their mobile, everyone is connected on their mobile, and everyone really needs to think mobile to stay relevant.
As a final thought, I cannot help but wonder – with all of the innovation, change, and solutions to our problems (and solutions that solve problems we didn’t know we had) – how have we not solved the charging of the mobile phone? While I imagine some changes ahead at this year’s SXSW, I still expect for my eyes to dart to every corner and crevice when I walk into a hall, or bar, for the glimpse of an outlet to recharge my phone, my computer, and my portable charging devices!
Stay weird Austin, and stay charged.
*Google Study, Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, 2014
**“IT in the Toilet,” conducted by marketing company 11Mark in 2013