To date, this series has focused on understanding how consumers and brands are adopting and evolving their communications with one another through various digital channels. So far, we’ve covered ones that would be considered primarily “social media” channels. In parallel, mobile platforms and their capabilities have come a long way and are now the central communications point for most consumers. I think we’re at an inflection point for both the social real-time web to explode via mobile, so on yesterday’s podcast, I asked Steen Anderson, from the mobile agency 5th Finger, to share some of his perspectives on how these two worlds are converging and steps brand marketers should be taking to plan their moves in this next digital frontier.
In our conversation, Steen and I discussed a number of growth stats about mobile usage, noting that utility still slightly edges out entertainment. In the top usage categories were: accessing mobile “directories” ranks at the top with consumers, followed by movies, entertainment, social networking and news. Interestingly, North America is leading much of the mobile web usage due to the introduction and quick adoption of the iPhone and other smartphones. While their penetration remains only a small portion of the overall population, Steen predicts that more and more consumers will make the transition to these more powerful mobile devices, especially as carriers like Sprint improve communication speed with the dawn of 4G networks.
So, what do these coming changes offer brands who are seeking opportunities to tap into the real-time mobile web? According to Pew Internet Life, Twitter users are considered highly mobile, with 82% owning a mobile phone an using to send text messages. While Twitter is quickly becoming a fantastic way to engage with consumers, Steen cautions that the targeting capabilities have yet to fully mature. Facebook is much more of a near-term opportunity for brand marketers to target and reach specific demographics via mobile ad solutions now being offered.
Towards the end of our discussion, Steen brought up the concept of “mobile loyalty programs”, which I think will be heavily influenced by the culture of social networking (especially if you’re a frequent traveler). Brands, should prepare their engines for warp speed – the journey begins now.
You can listen to the full podcast episode here. https://www.blogtalkradio.com/MichelleBatten_iMediaWorks
The first part of this series will wrap up next week with my guest, Reuben Steiger, CEO of Millions of Us, to discuss, “Virtual Worlds: Build It, But Will They Come?” – please join us live for the conversation at 2pm (EDT).