Ironically, in this year when no one knows what the hell is going to happen in the media and ad markets next year, a bumper crop of executives decided to play the predictions game. Most executive forecasts for 2009 I have read are wishful predicting, hopeful visions that their own business models, industry segments, niche market will thrive because the market suddenly recognizes the unique value proposition they offer. Somewhere in the pile of prognostications I received in the last month, however, a handful seemed prescient or intriguing enough to contemplate at greater length.
"Why are you at the Mobile Wal-Mart site, Dad?" Back in the day, you knew the holidays were approaching when your kids started behaving pristinely. But now we are in an age of entitlement, and of course my household is going through teen hell years, so the tone has changed radically. Now, my daughter monitors every digital move, trying to channel me towards her holiday goal.
Every marketing and media brand starts sniffing around the mobile field first by asking about scale. How many of their customers can they really reach with one of these newfangled mobile campaigns? Click-through rates of 3% and above and encouraging post-campaign brand lift studies are all well and good, they say, but can I execute a mobile campaign at a scale that makes it more than a lab proje
How fitting that in the same week Playboy Enterprises's longtime CEO Christie Hefner announces her departure, her brand launches an ambitious series of mobisodes. Say what you will about the ups and downs of Playboy, I always admired Hefner's devotion to digital. At least in theory, she understood that digital was media's destiny, and she was willing to put some money behind it. The content strategy at Playboy.com often seemed troubled as it went through multiple iterations, but it was not for lack of daring.
Every new medium needs persistent, informed critical perspectives on its product, and this has been lacking in digital media generally but mobile media specifically. New sites and offerings get thrust onto the market with a press release and a blurb about the company's prospects, but too few journalists actually take a look at the product themselves and render even a cursory evaluation.
My mobile agency contacts have been promising for months now that scores of brands were lining up to release their own applications into the wild, but until this past week only a handful surfaced. AKQA issued iPhone apps for two retail clients last week, to which they apply the dubious mobile moniker "utilitainment." My tongue hurts just thinking about saying that word.
Mobilizing the blogosphere seems like a no-brainer, except perhaps when you actually apply your brain to it. In addition to the frequent updates that make blogs perfect for all-day mobile access, they also use a one-to-one conversational form that dovetails with the phone's core voice functionality much better than less dynamic forms of content. And since RSS is the lifeblood of blogging, the distribution system is easy enough to draw into mobile formats. In fact, I already use Google's mobilized reader to pull some of my favorite blogs together.
Correct me if I am wrong, which I am sure you will, but mobile marketing does not seem especially, um, mobilized for this Friday's annual consumer orgy. In fact, apart from one or two columns here and there by start-up execs pitching their wares, I have seen little chatter in the industry about the role of mobile in the shopping experience on Black Friday.
Now that HTC estimates it will sell through over 1 million Android-powered G1 phones this year, Apple and RIM may have a contender on their hands. Everyone I have let test-drive the phone likes the operating system, even if they don't come back with the dazzled google eyes of new iPhone converts. And cool appreciation may be all that the Android OS needs in the end to give it an opening in the market. But how nicely does this thing play with Web, mobile Web and marketing? I spent a few hours surfing and clicking with the browser to see ...
If you want a glimpse of a wildly promising mobile future, grab some geek buddy's T-Mobile G1 phone and fire up the ShopSaavvy app. Integrated with the phone's camera, you can aim the device at any product UPC code and pull down product details, online pricing and shopping opportunities, Web site references, and reviews, when available. Of course suppliers like Mobot and ScanBuy have been working with this sort of visual search model for a while, But I have never seen the mobile scanning process implemented so smoothly and with such tight integration with the hardware. Best of all, the ...