ClickZ Live Takeaways

At this point, all of us in the online marketing world are well aware of the concept we call “mobile.” You’ve heard it from countless blog articles, co-workers, agency partners, and yes, conferences. To no surprise, mobile was a hot topic at the ClickZ Live marketing conference. But, more interestingly, so was “mobility.” Now they had my attention. Working in Digital Analytics, our team’s acknowledgement of the growth in mobile began with the data. We’ve seen a steady and rapid increase in the share of visits moving to smart phones over the last two years. We've seen this in tablets as well, but smart phones take the cake on this one. Naturally, I’ll start with the relevant data. Google claims that they’ve recently seen mobile search queries overtake desktop in volume. The younger generation is now thought to send over 3,300 texts per year. 85% of time spent on mobile devices is spent within one of the millions of apps available. 50% of consumers who perform a local search will visit the location in the next two days. 

So what does this all mean? Should you shift your current advertisements to target mobile? No, well…maybe. In reality, this is really telling us that there’s a global shift taking place in the way that we can reach our consumers. This is where mobile starts to make the shift to the broader concept of “mobility.” Greg Stuart, the CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association, described mobility as the next advertising frontier succeeding television and the Internet. Mobility is what the consumers are demanding. With every new device and every new application we grow the way in which we can connect with one another and our environment.  Whether it be a new fitness band, smart watch, social media application, or dating service, we are constantly changing the way in which our devices and media can integrate with our environment. As marketers, we need to look beyond the opportunity to simply serve mobile targeted paid search advertisements. I won’t deny that this would be a step in the right direction, or what many marketers would call “simply showing up,” but it would be foolish to consider this a marketing plan that addresses mobility. As Greg Stuart stated, “Mobility, in its nature, presents new opportunities in personalization, pervasiveness, and proximity. With these three innate qualities of mobile comes an entire new frontier for marketers.”

Photo courtesy of ClickZLive

As the conference continued, this concept of mobility started to become more tangible. Nissan clearly demonstrated a grasp of mobility with the integration of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) chips, headphones, and mobile devices. Their field marketing team was tasked with building a better and more engaging experience at the Detroit auto show. Rather than looking to bigger features, cooler lights, and trendy music, the team shifted their focus to mobile devices. The previous year, the Nissan team noticed car show attendees were constantly glued to their mobile devices throughout the entire event. They were taking pictures, tweeting, and researching features rather than engaging directly with the displays. The focus clearly needed to be shifted towards engaging with consumers via their devices. Thus, a new plan was developed. This year, the team handed out headphones with an RFID chip installed, which is basically a tracking device. They then instructed users to pair the headphones with the Nissan online mobile application using a pin code. By pairing these two devices (headphones & mobile device) the Nissan team was able to deliver each user a personalized experience as they walked through the Nissan car displays. Consumers then proceeded to enter the Nissan car show display as usual, but this time, with a large twist. Not only could they see the newest cars, but they could also receive personalized information based on their preferences and movements. The application content, music, and voice-overs would all change based on the car they viewed and how they were positioned. Consumers would even receive car interior information when they opened a door and sat down. The consumers were clearly still glued to their devices, but now Nissan was able to control the content and experience. Almost more importantly, Nissan had now positioned themselves as a leader in technology and personalization, something that their growing market of millennials strongly relate too. 

Though many of us don’t have the marketing budgets to execute a plan as grandiose as Nissan, the message is still the same. Consumers can and will be connected to their devices whenever given the opportunity. As marketers it is not only our job to target mobile devices when advertising, but to actually develop a plan and a strategy to truly connect with consumers via the medium of mobility. As Nissan was well aware, their car show mobile experiment would never catch on if the content was not engaging, relevant, and entertaining for the users. Mobility starts with simply showing up, but the end goal must be focused on developing a long lasting, personal, and positive connection with consumers through the devices that are closest to them. With that, I encourage marketers to realistically assess their approach to mobility. Develop a long term plan and outline the ways your brand can use mobility to connect with consumers. And of course, being an analyst, I must point out the tremendous amount of consumer data that will become available in this new landscape of mobility!

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