One thing seems clearer and clearer. Mobile and portable media continues to become a staple of online promotion and marketing. Worldwide acceleration of mobile smartphones – to the tune of 130% increase in sales over the next few years – is driving the shift (image by in veritas lux).
Just yesterday, I read an outstanding blog post about U2’s use of a Blackberry application to interact with fans during their current tour. This is really smart, not only because of the app, but because how many more people have Blackberries than iPhones. The economy of scale makes sense!
But marketing for mobile (see Johnson & Johnson case study) means more than just porting web content over to your m.safari browser. It’s great that there’s m.bing.com, but we have to do more. Why? Context. Context means understanding the medium, and how it impacts the way we consume information and interact with people and organizations.
Here are five contextual things to consider about the mobile web:
1) Screen sizes vary greatly, from Blackberry and iPhone to netBook and even Kindle, you have mobile to portable. How does your mobile web content translate?
2) Applications are critical now. People want to download these and take whatever business or personal actions they need to for day-to-day life or social networking purposes. How can you let people interact with your brand using an app.? That does not necessarily mean having a conversation, though social can be beneficial in some cases.
3) Closed operating systems mean that an app. developed for one platform (Kindle, Blackberry, Nokia, iPhone), won’t necessarily translate very well to another. Really, you may be looking at multiple application budgets for each platform. There are best practices for cross-carrier, cross platform content efforts.
4) Worse, with an iPhone application you may be paying for the privilege as Apple lords over its user base. Monitor iPhone diffusion #s to make sure the cost meets the sexy factor. There’s a reason why a lot of software manufacturers still to this day don’t market Apple versions of their software.
5) Don’t forget texting. SMS is the workhorse of the mobile market. 49 percent of U.S. mobile phone users actively text, while more than 80% of European users engage in this type of communications.
6) The ultimate context is location. Knowing that mobile means on the move, leveraging GPS networks for successful marketing will become the ultimate win strategy. How can you partner with smart GPS based networks to make your brand relevant anywhere?