What is mobile?
When we think about mobile we think about someone that’s on the go consuming content on their iPhone. But, so much of what we do with our smartphones takes place on the couch, in bed and at the office, when we’re not out and about. When we talk about the mobile marketing landscape, it’s almost 100% focused on the ad offerings presented on a 4.5″ diagonal screen. Gosh, that seems limiting.
There’s simply too much fixation on 1 screen on 1 type of device. This isn’t about about screens or screen sizes. The real opportunity, the real upside will come from not think about the idea of mobility, not mobile. What makes our smartphones such valued devices is that it’s keeps us connected to all the things that interest us. It’s the portability of information and content that makes our phones powerful; not the other way around. Think about something as basic as the music you enjoy. It’s the ability of platforms like Spotify and Pandora to let us listen to our playlists on our desktops, iPads, Smartphones, game systems, TVs and more that enthralls us. It’s the service, not the device, regardless of how “magical” those devices are.
As I wrote in 2011:
Your car will be able to sync with platforms like Groupon Now, fourSquare and Google Offers. When you pull into a Best Buy, Starbucks or McDonald’s the car will automatically check you in, publish your check-in to your networks and serve you up an offer if one exists. Additionally, you’ll be able to use your GPS to find local and real-time offers.
We’re seeing this get closer and closer to reality with cars becoming wirelessly connected, app powered, personalized “devices. I think Ford is really on to something with their AppLink program. It’s where the future is headed.
If you’re planning mobile by screen, you’re missing the big picture…yes, even those of you who own a Phablet.
When we evolve from “mobile,” a screen, to a mindset of mobility, we’ll see the full potential of this space. Efforts like Google Glass, Pebble and Nike+ are giving us glimpses of what’s possible. But, we’re just scratching the surface. Content, be it recipes, your playlist, the photos from that great BBQ or dinner reservations, wants to be liquid and free flowing. It wants to be where you need it to be. And, isn’t that what you want too?
The mobile way isn’t going to take place on your smart phone; it’s just one battleground. Granted, it’s an important battleground, there are many more battles to be fought.
You don’t need a mobile strategy. You need a mobility strategy.
when you elevate the conversation to mobility, things become more complex. You need to think, not just about the devices, but also the content that flow to them. But, perhaps more importantly, you’ll need to consider the mindset of your consumer. That’s the most interesting aspect of all of this…what’s old is new again. It’s not about screens, technology or services. It’s about how they deliver the right experience at the right time to the right consumer. The “Bored In Line” moments are different than the “just woke up and I’m reading my emails in bed” moments. Both of them are different than the “I just got engaged” moment.
Content, not “content marketing” is going to be ever more important as we think about mobility. Great content fills in the gaps of time, but leaves you wanting to pick up the experience at another moment in time. That’s what makes platforms like Facebook and Spotify so interesting. I can start the experience with one mindset on one device at 6:30 AM when my alarm goes off and I’m still in bed…then complete the experience at 7:00 PM when I’m in the gym. That’s mobility. That’s the present. That’s the future. That’s what I’m focused on.