Tag Archive: Facebook

Friday Five – April, 11, 2014

Facebook announces News Feed cleanup to get rid of spammy messages, “like-baiting”
http://bit.ly/1kxka1q
If you were a fan of content from Upworthy, Thought Catalog or Buzzfeed, you might be in for a change in your news feed. FB, in an effort to make sure high quality content enters your news feed, is cracking down on link and like-baiting. Link-baiting, are articles with a headline that don’t match the content on the page. Like-baiting is when a brand says to fans, “like this post if, you…” – Make no mistake, the best quality always wins. Great quality isn’t spammy or gimmicky. Facebook is trying to make sure all brands adhere to this belief.

A look inside publishers’ content studios
http://bit.ly/1kxm6Hh
When it comes to creating great content, there is not one-size fits all approach. Every company and industry has a unique culture, set of business challenges and staffing models. This article from DigiDay does a great job of highlighting how publishers (e.g. NY Times) are rewiring their organizations to produce better content, faster and cheaper.

NFC Nails Could Change The Beauty Industry
http://bit.ly/1kxmxkE
NFC in your phone? Sure, that’s awesome. But, now, we have NFC in your finger tips. Takara Tomy Arts in Japan has created a line of press on nails that light up when near NFC powered phones. Fad? Or the future of “wearables”?

The Internet Of Caring Things
http://bit.ly/1kxn4Dk
This is a long read. But, I have a feeling it’s going to be a link you come back to, again and again. This great post from Trend Watching, highlights the future of connected devices, with a point of view, that the best connected devices will be the ones that create and improve our daily lives.

The Steve Jobs email that outlined Apple’s strategy a year before his death
http://bit.ly/1kxnDwP
An email, used as evidence in Apple’s ongoing patent case against Samsung, reveals how Steve Jobs planned the next few years for Apple. I share this, not because it’s a Steve Jobs email, but because it shows the importance of betting on behaviors (e.g. People wanting access to all their things all the time) and the need to keep innovating quickly. This passage about the iPad 2 sticks out the most to me:

2011 Strategy: ship iPad 2 with amazing hardware and software before our competitors even catch up with our current model

It’s an interesting concept and something that’s very applicable to us, given our omni-channel focus. It’s not good enough to ship one great product or launch when great campaign. The bar is now, launching several great products and campaigns, with a pace that leaves the competition gasping for air, as they try to catchup.

Friday Five – March 14, 2014

The mobile single-purpose app strategy
http://bit.ly/1hiPYAN
Probably one of the best reads I’ve come across in a while. 1 app to rule them all is a concept that can’t sustain and it doesn’t drive growth fast enough. You can see this play out in Facebook’s app strategy. By having multiple apps, they’re able to learn faster, introduce features and then improve the main Facebook app quicker. Google has a similar approach. Amazon, ditto. If you’re thinking about your mobile app strategy and you’re not considering having multiple apps, you might want to rethink your approach.

Soft Skills Are Hard to Assess. And Even Harder to Succeed Without.
http://bit.ly/1hiNAKj
Great post. Assessing the soft skills and seeing their value is one of the critical elements that separates good managers from great managers. When you go beyond the things that are highly quantifiable, things get tougher. But, having the “soft skills” is what makes for high potential employees.

Office Depot Puts Customer Experience at the Center of Its Marketing
http://bit.ly/1hiOerg
Refreshing insights directly from a company about how their changing based on consumers needs. The whole post is solid, but this last line is tremendous: “But most of all, Office Depot considers its experience from the individual customer’s point of view. “We treat different customers differently,” he said. “All marketers need to think about customers not as an ID number, but as individuals.””

Twitter Data Shows When We’re Happy, Sad, Hungover
http://on.mash.to/1hiOAhv
On the one end of the spectrum, this is just cool and yet another example of how much fun data can be. On the other end of the of spectrum, if a brand was pulling the same data and analyzing it similarly, they might change the communication strategy based on the data. For example, if there’s a clear time period when people are hungry and you’re a snack brand, you have a match made in heaven. A tweet is not an insight. Many tweets can be.

Mondelez Inks 52-Country Ad Deal With Facebook
http://bit.ly/1hiPaMp
Bonin Bough continues his PR onslaught. I actually think, Mondelez has cloned Bonin so that he could attend all the events he speaks at. Following on the heels of their global partnership with twitter, Mondelez inked another deal with Facebook. One thing you have to admire about Mondelez and Bonin is that when they say they’re going to do something, they actually do it. They’re committed to digital and it shows in everything they do.

Friday Five – February 7, 2014

Johnson & Johnson Takes Newspaper Readers Back With Ads That Smell Like Baby Powder
http://bit.ly/1gL4BkL
Print advertising doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun, interesting and multi-sensory. I love how Johnson & Johnson took a relatively predictable ad channel, like print, and turned it into something you’re intrigued to interact with.

This just in: Paper is the best Facebook app ever
http://bit.ly/1gL4Ex9
I think the Facebook team has been really smart in how they’ve approached mobile. By building stand alone apps that run outside of the core Facebook app experience, they can test different designs, features and approaches, without messing with the core experience. Then, after they’ve learned enough, they fold the best features into the base/core app. This allows them to innovate and improve quickly. It’s smart. It’s also why I like Paper. The other reason I like Paper is how simple, intuitive and fun the interface is. Definitely worth the time to download.

Foursquare Gets $15M And Licensing Deal From Microsoft To Power Location Context For Windows And Mobile
http://tcrn.ch/1gL4Ig4
I guess all that Foursquare data must be worth something? Good move by Microsoft and another validation that Foursquare’s stubbornness to sell or change strategy, is going win, long term.

Arby’s Social Media Manager Gives Inside Scoop On Tweet To Pharrell That Rocked The Grammys
http://mklnd.com/1gL4JAL
Sometimes being lucky is better than being good. But, when preparation meets lucky/opportunity, you get something truly outstanding. I love this article from Arby’s social lead on how they quickly took advantage of Pharrell’s strange hat choice during the Grammy’s. Three things really stuck out. First, there was no warm room or command center. Sometimes simple, wins. Second, they were prepared and clearly didn’t have 100s of layers of approval to work through. Third, I loved this quote “Our CMO has created an environment for our team to have freedom and flexibility.” It’s nearly exactly what I said in predicting why most Super Bowl Real Time Marketing Efforts would fail: “Fast doesn’t come from committee. It doesn’t come from running every single tweet by the brand team, legal team, corporate communications team, media team and so on. Fast comes from trust.” Kudos to their organization and to Josh Martin for being prepared, on brand and fast.

Hashtags win in Super Bowl ads, and Facebook gets even with Twitter
http://bit.ly/1gL4PZc
The game was a snoozer. The ads were hit and miss. But, one thing that was clear, social integration is here to stay for a while. 58% of Super Bowl ads integrated hashtags into their commercials. Some did it really well. Some just tacked it on at the end. The 58% number shows us that more and more brands are trying to solve for the multi-screen use of their consumers.

Friday Five – January 3, 2014

Google And Audi Likely To Announce Infotainment Partnership At CES
http://onforb.es/1bCvNcD
I’ve been saying it for nearly 2 years, but the future is mobility, not mobile. Our cars are one of the most mobile “devices” we own and yet it’s been fairly technology limited. Ford really changed that with their Microsoft Sync relationship. It was only a matter of time til someone turned your car into something that resembled your phone. If the rumors are true, it’s Audi and Google who are committing to bring you the future of mobility.

Wendy Clark: All Marketing Strategies Should Start With ‘Why’
http://bit.ly/1bCvZsj
I love this article, penned by Wendy Clark, Coke’s VP of Marketing. Brands are built over time and with relentless focus. There’s a reason Coke, as a brand, is recognized, understood and appreciated across the world. To hear Wendy explain it, it’s their focus on their mission. “In these moments, when we lead with the product (what) and not our mission (why), our decisions get smaller, our perspective less brave, our work less memorable, our world impact more limited.” Purposeful positioning matters. It gives a brand a foundation to build upon and to thrive on.

Zappos is going holacratic: no job titles, no managers, no hierarchy
http://bit.ly/1bCwjr6
It’s the kind of thing only Zappos could do AND be successful in doing. Instead of a top down hierarchy, “…there will be around 400 circles at Zappos once the rollout is complete in December 2014—and employees can have any number of roles within those circles. This way, there’s no hiding under titles; radical transparency is the goal.” I love this approach. Then again, I’ve always loved the idea of accountability. Roles are much more valuable than titles. It’s your role that enables you to feel purpose and drive impact beyond your box on an org chart.

More Than 300 Sharks In Australia Are Now On Twitter
http://n.pr/1bCwWRx
“Government researchers have tagged 338 sharks with acoustic transmitters that monitor where the animals are. When a tagged shark is about half a mile away from a beach, it triggers a computer alert, which tweets out a message on the Surf Life Saving Western Australia Twitter feed. The tweet notes the shark’s size, breed and approximate location.” That sums it up. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Pew Internet Life Project: The 2013 Social Media Report
http://bit.ly/1bCxuHd
Always a fan of the work done by Pew. Their reports on internet/digital/social use and adoption always have me leaning forward. In their 2013 report on social media trends we see a few interesting things.

  1. If you thought Facebook was on the decline…think again.
  2. Just about everyone uses social. Ok, not everyone, but 73% of adults online. That’s significant.
  3. While Facebook isn’t on the decline, people are diversifying their time across many social networks…especially Instagram.

The full report can be found here.

Friday Five – December 27, 2013

Big Data and the Role of Intuition
http://bit.ly/1kIxGN3
Harvard Business Review is always a mixed bag for me. Often the content is basic/fundamental, masquerading as brilliant. But, every once in a while you get something like this gem on the need to remember that algorithms, platforms and machines can only get you so far. You can’t set them to auto-pilot and think the work is done. As a marketer you have a big role to play, when it comes to making sense of what all that big data actually means. Sometimes, your gut, is pretty smart.

Buzzfeed’s coverage of Justine Sacco story: An ethical issue?
http://bit.ly/1kIyWzv
Because we’re dealing with the righteous web, let me get out a quick disclaimer. What Justine Sacco tweeted was dumb. It was wrong. It should never have been said or thought. It also pales in comparison to what’s said on Southpark, Family Guy and Tosh.O. I’ve seen a lot of coverage about the Justine Sacco situation. Some of it good. Some of it bad. I came across this article from Arik Hanson and it was decidedly different. It doesn’t analyze Justine, her tweet or even the mob mentality that followed. No, it takes a look at what’s passing as “journalism.” As we saw with the Boston Marathon tragedy, too many people are focused on being first, not focused on being right. First, wins the ratings battle. Being right, but second, earns you a set of steak knives. One other quick note, you know how Forbes or someone will write an article about how more C-suite executives need to be on twitter? When we see situations like this, it’s more reason for not do me on twitter. On twitter, even the average person is a “celebrity” with all of twitter, the largest paparazzi in the world. Think before you tweet. Your job depends on it.

Redefining Advertising: How 2013 Transformed Digital Marketing
http://bit.ly/1kIzQwa
The Google Insights team put together a fantastic infographic covering how much change there was in digital marketing in 2013. While I think there was a great deal of appreciation and understanding, by companies, for the changing consumer landscape; there’s still a significant gap between what’s happening (eg mobile, multi-screen) and spend shifts.

The Trends That Ruled Pinterest In 2013
http://bit.ly/1kIAiKI
When asked about Pinterest, I often smile. As a marketer, it’s a goldmine. Pinterest is 100% about expression. When you look at what people pin, you get a view into their hopes, wishes, memories and aspirations. The Read Write Web team built upon Pinterest’s top pins in 2013 blog post and went a bit deeper. Who knew so many people wanted to visit Iceland?

Why Is Facebook Blue? The Science Behind Colors In Marketing
http://bit.ly/1kIAQQW
I had so much fun reading this post from Fast Company. I won’t steal their thunder. Frankly, their writing is much better than mine. Colors do matter and brands clearly pick them with specific purpose and intent.

The Color Emotion Guide

Looking Forward, My 2014 Predictions

It’s that time of year. It’s time for predictions about what the next year will bring in the marketing, advertising, social and technology space. As I’ve done for the past few years, before we start talking about 2014, let’s see how I did in 2013.

  1. “We’re going to see less emphasis on hiring heads of social and digital and more emphasis on hiring heads of analytics and insights.” I completely missed on this. I thought we were going to see the industry evolve. Instead we saw heads leave their organizations for other organizations. For example Shiv Singh left Pepsi to join Visa. Maybe 2014 will be the year of the mass hiring spree on analytics and insights folks.
  2. “We will see a run of acquisitions by older/established organizations on startups or young organizations.” I sorta nailed this one. It happened, but there wasn’t a run on these types of companies. Yahoo! of course, was the big player in this space, buying just about every startup company in the world. And Newscorp’s acquisition of Storyful for $25M certainly helped me feel better about my performance with this prediction.
  3. “There will be too many companies trying to solve the “social TV” question. They will all offer different metrics. The lack of standardization will cause a big problem and set us back. At the end of 2013 or the start of 2014 we’ll see one clear winner.” I missed on this too. Thankfully, twitter made some major purchases, like BlueFin Labs, which has helped bring greater clarity to the social TV question. This is one case, where I’m thrilled to be wrong.
  4. “Twitter will file for IPO. Simple as that.” Nailed it, simple as that.
  5. “Facebook will become less friend and more frenemy. To soften their transition toward frenemy, they will offer a tiered structure/classification that will essentially become a pay for access/feature model.” I’m giving myself a win on this one. While there wasn’t a tiered pricing structure, Facebook’s recent announcement that companies will need to pay if they want their content to be seen by fans, is starting to undo some of the great strides they made this past year thru partnerships with DataLogix.

Well, 3 out of 5…not exactly setting the world on fire. Keep in mind, in 2013, when I looked back on 2012, I nailed 90% of my predictions. That brings my two year average to 80%. Let’s see if I can do better in 2014. Here’s what I think is going to happen.

Future

  1. Agencies will feel the squeeze from two ends of the spectrum. On one front companies like Accenture, IDEO and smaller boutiques take a chunk out of the strategy portion of budgets. On the other front clients will start transitioning functions like social media and insights in-house. This will cause a ripple effect that will lead to more large consolidations. These consolidations will be big, but not quite at the scale of the Omnicom/Publicis merger.
  2. SnapChat will implode. It will grow it’s user base, but won’t figure out how to monetize the platform. All the while, Facebook/Instagram, twitter and Google will come up with extensions to their platforms that will provide the basic utility of SnapChat, but for a mass audience.
  3. Google Glass will come to the mass market, but will flop, UNLESS the consumer version has a built in cellular connection.
  4. Amazon will purchase a grocery retailer to expedite the growth of their Amazon Fresh service. If I were betting, it would be Supervalu.
  5. Über will IPO.
  6. We will see a major movie studio release a semi-major movie available for stream/download before it comes to theaters. My money is on Netflix pulling this off from a distribution standpoint.
  7. Mobile payments will finally gain traction, making up for the poor launches from ISIS and Google Wallet over the past few years.
  8. Companies of all walks of life will start creating “products.” For example, we might see Nestle create a product similar to FitBit, that will integrate with their Lean Cuisine line. P&G might create a wearable technology type of device for babies. It’s coming.
  9. iBeacon and other proximity driven messaging/communication platforms, designed to sync and communicate with your phone, will struggle to take off. The problem won’t be interest or cost. The problem will be the continued relative poor battery life of phones and the privacy concerns of consumers.
  10. The next big mobile platform, won’t be a phone, it will be a car. Ford, BMW or another car manufacturer will bring a custom version of Android to their vehicles.

I feel really good about 5 of the 10. Now, all we need to do is wait and see, if I’m right.

Behaviors Matter More Than Platforms

Much has been written about Facebook’s inability to keep the valuable teen/tween audience engaged and interested. Frankly, too much has been written on the subject. Last week, my feed was filled with people debating the brilliance or stupidity of SnapChat’s founder’s decision to spurn Facebook’s supposed $3 Billion acquisition offer. For what it’s worth, I think Facebook got lucky in the way Google was lucky when Groupon rejected their $4 Billion offer. I also, think, much like Groupon’s lack of hubris lead to their demise, I think we’ll see the exact same thing happen with SnapChat. When Facebook or anyone offers you $3 Billion, you take it…especially when you have zero revenue, zero revenue model and Facebook has a track record (eg Instagram) of acquiring large platforms and letting them thrive.

Facebook dodged a bullet, it’s simple as that.

You know what’s easy? Print advertising. You know what else is easy? Creating commercials for TV. Let me explain…in traditional marketing channels, that are mature and established, there’s very little fragmentation and distribution of your content is fairly simple. Yes, there are 1000s of magazines. Yes, there are 100s of channels (most with nothing you’d want to watch), but for the most part we consume a fixed/finite number of “channels” and “shows.” If you want to connect with tweens/teens it’s fairly easy to pick the 1 or 2 magazines they read or the 5 channels they watch and place your media. Also, since print, TV, radio and other traditional marketing channels are so mature, there’s a limited number of ad formats to contend with. For example in TV, we have the 15, the 30 and the 60. Yes, there are other “formats”, but that’s pretty much 98% of the market. Because, as an industry, we’ve been contending with the same distribution model, the same ad formats and roughly the same number of major players (ESPN, CBS, Meredith, etc.) it’s a relatively safe environment to bet on. You can pretty much predict which channels and which shows will do well.

The problem with digital and social in particular is that it’s the exact opposite. It’s a fragmented market, with 100s of 1000s of “channels” and an infinite supply of “shows.” In social you…as a person…are a show. How I interact with you in Facebook is completely different than how someone else interacts with you in Facebook. The permutations are seemingly infinite. What makes it so difficult is that we, as consumers, jump from one network/channel to the other to the next to the next, throughout a day. Some call this the “bored in line” era. When we’re bored we open an app, then another, then another, then another.

When you add teens and tweens into the mix, this problem is exacerbated. My daughter, Cora, is 6. She’ll be 7 in April. She has an iPhone and an iPad. She’s pretty damn digitally fit. In the last 2 years, she’s gone from loving all things Dora to saying that Dora is for kids. She’s gone from not being interested in My Little Pony to a collector. The Disney movie “Brave” went from a must see to “boring.” Kids are fickle. Actually, fickle, doesn’t even begin to describe it. If we think marketers chase bright shiny objects, then what do kids do? Now, at 6, I can at least control and limit some of her options. But, what happens when she’s 13? Not only will she have opinions, she’ll also be in more control of her “programming.” She’ll be making more of the decisions. I’ll look to her for what social network is hot or interesting. She’ll know well before I will.

Behaviors have a much longer shelf life than platforms. Remember how big MySpace was? What about Color? Take something like Pandora; it was once the future of radio, now we’re burying it, because Spotify is the future. Just yesterday I read an article about how Google Playw as going to bury Spotify. Think about that progression…we went from traditional radio to satellite radio to streaming services like Pandora with limited customization to iTunes to Spotify to Google Play and iTunes radio. I’m sure I missed a bunch of big jumps in that list. The platform du jour changed and did you notice how much quicker it’s changing? Think about how long it took us to go from FM/AM to satellite and then satellite to Pandora? Decades. We went from Pandora to Spotify in years and Spotify to iTunes radio in month. The pace of change in digital and social is relentless.

Managing through that relentless change is like running a marathon at a sprinter’s pace. You must look long and far, but move quick…even when you don’t know what’s around the corner. To do that, in this business climate, you need to focus on and value behaviors much more than any one platform. The reason SnapChat has gotten so big is that it delivers on 3 key behaviors:

  1. Taking Back Control of Our Privacy: the content is disposable. Mom and dad can’t check up on it.
  2. The Me Culture: SnapChat is the ultimate selfie. It’s predominantly focused ME and what I am doing. It’s the narcism of Instagram, on steroids. Frankly, I’m susprised the default camera setting isn’t the front facing one.
  3. Visual Snacking: Sure, you can type things on SnapChat, but it’s more about the visual. If you have 50 friends on SnapChat, all sending you 5 snaps a day, that 250 pieces of visual candy to snack on.

The behavior matters. And much like Facebook did to MySpace and twitter did to FriendFeed and Instagram did to Flickr…there will be a platform that builds on SnapChat’s success and becomes the SnapChat killer. We live in a fickle world where platforms are virtually disposable to users. Focus on the behavior. It’s long term. It will guide you. Don’t become distracted by the short term play…the platform.

Is Facebook Failing Marketers?

Earlier this week, Forrester published a report that basically told marketers they were wasting their time, if they were investing in Facebook. Specifically, Nate Elliot, the principal analyst for the report, stated:

Facebook creates less business value than any other digital marketing opportunity

That’s a pretty bold statement. To truly dissect this, I think we need to start at the beginning. As with any research, garbage in equals garbage out. I don’t know who Forrester connected with for their survey, but I do know they didn’t speak me me, nor did they connect with 8 of my colleagues leading digital for fortune 150 companies. That, alone, is reason to pause and not simply take the survey results at face value.

Forrester Survey Results

Beyond that though, if this “research” had come out 2 years ago, I’d probably be nodding my head. Facebook hadn’t yet solved for mobile, they were constantly making wide sweeping changes to the “feed” algorithm, the Facebook Insights platform wasn’t sophisticated and it was tough, unless you were an Ecommerce company, to connect Facebook efforts to actual sales. Heck, Timeline had just been announced and was slowly starting to roll out.

But, that was 2 years ago. Today’s Facebook is not the Facebook of yesterday. The majority of those challenges no longer exist. For example the partnership with DataLogix enables CPG companies, like us, to understand the impact of our efforts, at the cash register. While Facebook’s team, approach, model, partners and products have matured rapidly, unfortunately the thinking by marketers hasn’t evolved at the same pace. In my opinion, too many organizations are treating Facebook like a direct mail platform. There was a time we were guilty of trying to manage Facebook and social media, as a whole, like we’d managed other more familiar marketing channels. We learned. We evolved. We’ve gotten better. It’s clear, today, Facebook isn’t designed for a spray and pray or blast away approach. Today it’s more scalpel than axe. But, that takes work. It takes effort. And it certainly takes a willingness to rapidly test and learn.

While we can’t share exact results, I can say our results and experience with Facebook, don’t mirror the results from the survey. Our organization’s commitment to getting closer to the consumer and iterative learning through experimentation grounded in insights are helping us make Facebook and other social platforms a business driving part of our integrated consumer plans.

Facebook isn’t “failing” marketers. But, it’s possible those paneled, have an unrealistic viewpoint of what Facebook can do for their organizations. The greatest tension in the ROI discussion always comes from what you expect your efforts to generate and what they actually generate. Before we point the finger at Facebook, or any other partner, we must first look inward and ask ourselves, did we give the organization a fighting chance to succeed? If you expect a $50,000 Facebook fan acquisition test campaign to out perform a $10,000,000 TV campaign, I’d think Facebook was failing me too.

Perhaps, Facebook isn’t failing us, but we, as a marketing community, are failing Facebook.

Social Media Brings Us Closer

Social media is such a fascinating behavior, isn’t it? No doubt, it takes it’s fair share of arrows for being something that’s destroying the concept of private moments and face to face conversations. For all that it does that’s disruptive, it certainly has a way of bringing us all a little bit closer.

On Monday this week, a great friend and colleague of mine, posted on her Facebook page that she was thankful for all the people who reached out to her and her family, during such a trying time. In her status update she included a key piece of information that had me paralyzed. She linked the tragedy to her 2.5 year old son. There were no details. I wasn’t sure what had happened. Despite that, I posted to let her know I was thinking about her and despite not knowing all the details, was hoping her and her family could persevere through this trying time.

The next day, as other people poured in with support, I learned that my good friend and her husband, lost their 2.5 year old son, unexpectedly, in the middle of the night. I had chills. As a father of two little ones, I couldn’t imagine what they were going through. My father often remarked to me that, the one golden rule of parenting, is that fathers should need not bury their sons. I was sad. I was sad for her, her family and those who had been blessed to know her son.

Throughout the week as others learned of the tragedy, they shared their thoughts and expressed their sadness. On Wednesday, there were two things that happened that really made me lean forward.

First, people started sharing photos of her son, telling stories and in essence eulogizing this boy who never had the opportunity to become a man. It was poetic. You could see how this was keeping the memory of their son alive, while introducing those who’d never met my friend or her son, to a boy who clearly created so much happiness in people’s lives.

Second, someone created a fund to help the family financially get through this situation. The target goal was $10,000. The fund exceeded that number within 24 hours. I shared the link to the fund on twitter. Random people I’d never met, but whom follow me on twitter, told me they were saddened and contributed. Strangers helping strangers…it’s a beautiful I thing.

Could this have happened without social media? Yes. These tragedies have been happening for centuries. But, as I look at just me. I’m not sure I’d have ever known about my friend’s tragedy til months dish the road. I certainly wouldn’t have known about the fund that was created, or the details of the funeral.

For all that social media gets wrong, it gets so much right. It makes us aware of the key seminal moments in our lives.

My heart goes out to my friend and her family. I don’t want to imagine how I’d survive a similar tragedy.

Are You Thinking About Mobility? You Should be.

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.

About
Digital dad to Cora and John. Love ironing, bourbon and BBQ; no necessarily in that order. Living life, like I stole it. I'm always up for a

spirited conversation. These are my thoughts and ramblings, not those of my employer.
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