Frederic over at the Customer Centric blog wrote an excellent post on how brands will seamlessly integrate their online and offline marketing efforts, thereby increasing brand engagement and strengthening their brand equity. Several things in Frederic’s post struck me, but one jumped out: TREND #3: Helping Consumer’s Mobility With Mobile Services.
I strongly believe mobile is the next major shift in marketing, and will dramatically change the nature of the relationship we have with brands.
Throughout the past few years, mobile marketing has not been able to live up to the hype and has largely been confined to push-based text messaging by mobile providers.
Three trends have now changed that – meaning we are about jump head first into an entirely new marketing universe.
The dramatic increase in smart phone adoption, the combination of location-based services (e.g. GPS) and augmented reality and the rise of “always-on” ubiquitous connectivity will take mobile marketing from annoying text messages into experience-based mobile marketing where consumers will engage with brands in a way that was previously unimaginable.
In short, the mobile internet will do for offline marketing what the Web has done for online – take things to a whole new level. Consider the following applications:
- Smartphone users using location-based services like Foursquare not only to “check in” at specific locations, but getting brownie points for inviting their friends or hosting last-minute social events at a location of their choice – and getting an exclusive deal;
- Retailers using mobile channels to deliver extremely short-term promotions to nearby shoppers, sending push messages to only those that opted-in with a time-based bonus for acting quickly;
- Event agencies hosting last-minute “mini events” for a select few – not those that are “in the know”, but those that are “on the go”;
- Multiplayer mobile treasure hunts where luxury brands create a unique customer experience by working together with art galleries, museums and exclusive clubs – as consumers unlock one key, they are given a clue for the next, resulting in a citywide merry-go-round;
The point is, mobile marketing has the potential to take marketing from what is still primarily a one-way “selling” of ideas to creating shared experiences where consumers interact with the brand in a way that really delivers an experience – as opposed to just pretending it does.
The true advantage of mobile marketing is not (merely) that it reaches consumers on the go, but that it gives them someplace to go in the first place.
So which brands are out there, using mobile in a new way ? Who is not just recycling old ideas in order to push them through new channels ? What do you see happen next ?