Friday, September 21, 2012

Is the Future of Media Mobile?

This is the question that many marketers are asking these days. 

Mobile was certainly on the minds of both presenters and attendees at the recent Content Marketing World conference where mobile was considered a third (or fourth) screen for content consumption. 

The “rise of mobile internet use” was cited as the most significant emerging trend by both companies and agencies in SEMPO’s State of Search Survey released last week.

And capturing/segmenting mobile analytics data was mentioned in a webinar with Forrester and WebTrends just the other day as critical to generating the next generation of actionable “digital intelligence.”

Yet for all the questions surrounding mobile, few seem to have definitive answers.

I talked with Candice Beckmann from 3Seventy (our mobile partner) about what makes the mobile question so hard to answer.  Part of the issue is in the morphing definition of mobile.   Both smartphones and tablets qualify as mobile yet the user experience on each varies greatly (largely due to screen size).   Then there is the question of whether the user is accessing an app vs. accessing the web.   Again, the experience is different as are the user expectations between the two mobile entry points.   My conversation with Candice touched on two other aspects of mobile that further muddy the waters  for marketers –SMS text messaging and the growing use of mobile for social use (or “mocial” as we like to call it).
So is the future of media mobile?  My answer is that the future of media lies in across-the-board marketing integration - including integration and alignment of the right messages with the right mobile touchpoints.  As Mitch Joel said during his keynote at Content Marketing World "the only screen that matters is the screen in front of me."  So, as a marketer, you now need to be sure your brand message is consistently presented on all screens.  Easier said than done.

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