State Of The Union - 2010, The Year Of Mobile

I have been waiting for a long time for the \”Year of Mobile\” to be upon us. Every new year for the past five years people have said, \”Next year is the year of mobile for sure.\” However, the year would come and go and decide not to take mobile with it. I always thought the year of mobile meant an explosion in mobile services, applications, and products. Of course, this explosion would only really take hold here in America with the prevalence of fast Internet speeds. We are just too damn comfortable with broadband. All carriers have now released their version of 3G. Sprint is even claiming (and selling) use of their 4G network.

Because of the fast speeds, a little company named Apple developed the iPhone and just three weeks ago it was officially declared the most popular device. As a result of how amazing this device is, you are seeing loads of innovation. These innovations have sparked consumers to buy the device, and other companies, seeing how much money is being made, are jumping into the smart phone game as well (i.e., Google).

So now that mobile is getting more popular, what is most important for businesses as they jump in the game? Emarketer reports on a survey (as seen in the picture) that found that 32% of marketers don\’t know how to develop the business case for mobile, and 28% cannot get enough data to measure ROI. It was also reported that 28% said that mobile is not on their road map, and only 12% said that their audience is not mobile yet. If this survey mirrors what is really going on out there, then I have the following thoughts:

  1. To the 12% whose audience is not yet mobile: Over 90% of the U.S. has a cell phone, so you might not be talking your customers enough. The numbers don\’t match up.
  2. To the 28% who said that mobile is not on their road map: Does that person in your company who said, \”The Internet is just not on our road map right now,\” still have a job?
  3. To the 28% who said they do not have enough data to measure ROI: Don\’t get mad–get even. This is fairly common right now. Reporting in the mobile world is not as advanced as online or email, making it even more important that you work with a company who can give you the most reporting possible. Also, set up systems so it is possible to track the complete lifecycle of an offer, from the moment you send it to the point at which someone comes in and takes you up on it.
  4. To the 32% who don\’t know how to develop a business case: Don\’t feel bad; you are in the same boat as some fortune 500s. And if you are reading this and are a fortune 500, give me a call. Mobile is a new concept and consumer behaviors are different and need to be understood. Working with a killer agency to roll out a strategy is key to a successful launch. Nothing is wrong with running things in-house, but I strongly recommend you work with a mobile marketing expert the first time around so it does not fail. You don\’t want a campaign to fail because it leads you to not jump into this space that will dominate consumer interaction over the next century. Really good mobile marketing experts can give you all kinds of great ideas as to how to use mobile and engage your audience.

I am very excited about where this industry is headed, and I am looking to take anyone with me who wants to explore it.