Time To Get Out and Get Mobile

By | March 24, 2011

Evidence is mounting that mobile may be the marketing medium in the next two years. Everywhere we turn, new, fun, and ever-more-creative adaptations of mobile marketing are being reported.

  1. Groupon is launching a mobile app – Groupon Now — that opens up a list of time-specific daily deals, coordinated to the user’s location. Mashable notes that this app lets businesses choose when they want to make a deal available, which helps to manage perishable food and labor.
  2. A mobile app from BMW-owned automaker, MiniUSA, lets iPhone users place an augmented reality version of the Mini automobile in their own driveway, garage, parking space at work, etc. (more about how it works here).
  3. Speaking of “augmented reality,” smart phones facilitate on-the-go gaming, as demonstrated in this mobile app used to publicize A&E’s new TV series, “Breakout Kings.” Mobile apps also can partner with Geolocation software to bring “virtual people” into your space.
  4.  Pew Internet says locals loves mobile, with a grower percentage of mobile users checking in for nearby weather, news, restaurants, traffic reports, etc. Not a bad way to target geographically, huh?
  5.  And then there’s mobile for people who are going places. “For an online site like us, mobile isn’t just a little sideshow anymore … It needs to be part of our core, internally developed functionality,” says Mike Brown, vice president of optimization for the vegas.com travel booking site.

If these are the bells and whistles, what are the lessons?

  • More marketers are carving out mobile as a separate budget item, according to Marketing Vox. What’s the magic? Targeting, say those who are going mobile.
  • Sixty-two percent of smart phone users told Adobe they’ve bought physical goods via mobile. What seems less important – but may be more significant — is the report that folks who have purchased via mobile spent more than an hour a week mobile shopping. Men and the 30-to-49 age group purchase most , which should be good news to marketers struggling to circumvent the notion that Women Rule the Internet.
  • Early adopters will reap the biggest rewards Joe Boland tells fundraisers. If you need the stats, check out Boland’s article here, but the bottom line is simple: The reach of mobile is unparalleled — and that’s why it matters. Political fundraisers should take special note of The Agitator’s post via Pew Internet that shows considerable mobile activity in the 2010 election.

Just getting started? Check out this brief overview article by David Sikora in MultiChannel Merchant.

See ya “out there.”

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4 thoughts on “Time To Get Out and Get Mobile

  1. Tom Poirier

    Nancy and others:

    As someone who is fully immersed in the Mobile world, but chooses not to fully participate, there are many, including myself, that say that we should not be so impressed with these technological and marketing marvels. The title, “Get Out and Get Mobile” is catchy, but with our collective preponderance and fascination with electronic gadgetry (toys really), this could easily prevent us from actually “getting mobile” (as in actually moving the body) as we should be doing.

    We see it all the time. Even at the gym where working out and “getting mobile” should be happening, we can’t let our little electronic toys out of our sight. After all, we might get “tweeted” or “texted” or otherwise told about the latest Smart Phone (do they REALLY make us smarter?). PLEASE!!

    Before you brand me as a fuddy dud, conduct your own informal survey. Go into a public place like a train station or on the train and observe the habits of the youth around you. Told you so. Is this progress? Our youth and others are lemmings. Overly impressed with technology, Groupon, tweets, Smart (dumb) phones, they sit (NOT mobile at all) transfixed by the latest gadget.

    Sure, I am clearly on the other side here but I prefer being here-actually mobile.

  2. Nancy Scott

    Hi, Tom:

    You make an *excellent* — and substantially larger — point. In this piece, I was thinking of “mobile” from the marketers point of view ONLY. The discussion of the place of technology in society is a serious conversation that has ramifications not only for our bodies, but for our brains, our sociology, our health, our family lives, our ability to communicate in other than superficial ways, etc.etc. It may not have sounded like it in this post, but you’re preaching to the choir, Tom .. and I’m very pleased that you spoke up! Thank you.

  3. Michael Jahn

    @ Tom – your comment ;

    “Go into a public place like a train station or on the train and observe the habits of the youth around you. Told you so. Is this progress?”

    Well, lets see – if i were on a train, lets say 30 years ago, what would they be doing? Looking at a paper map (now they have a google maps, far better) – reading the comic section of the newspaper perhaps ?

    Nancy was simply pointing out what I see my twins doing. They are 20, they are in college – they do not buy a newspaper, they do not subscribe to magazines, they are never sitting in their room thumbing through catalogs, so guess where make their purchase decisions – their smartphones. That is where they are, that is their dashboard to their world. They share images of hair styles, clothes – they text. they facebook their thoughts and add links to where they are and what they bought.

    I think all Nancy is trying to suggest is that if you are not understanding that simply fact you may not reach your target market.

    This is not some “I am more mobile then them” debate – everyday, there is a UPS package on the floor in the entrance way because they don’t like the mall, they don’t like the prices at the mall and they are too busy with school and work to go to the mall.

  4. Nancy Scott

    Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that humanity is on a march to “Singularity,” wherein man and machine merge. Kurzweil says it’s both inevitable and near. Others disagree adamantly, if not violently. In the meantime, most of us reading TDN are employed in either the technology or marketing sectors. Outside that, we’re making increasingly complex life choices. No wonder the pressure is great and the answers aren’t clear. I’m grateful to anybody who notices. Thanks to both Tom and Michael for the thoughtful comments.

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