Mobile Marketing Matters Now

Mobile Marketing Why It Matters NOW
Having that déjà vu feeling all over again. Two years ago I pitched social networks and the increased intimacy, customer connection and search engine value they create as the next big thing. Such pitches were invariable met with skepticism, doubts and the occasional hostile contempt. Feel like saying Nah, Nah, Ne, Nah, Nah now, but any relief at how much people want social media marketing even if they don’t really understand what social media marketing is all about is offset by a new group of mobile marketing skeptics. Mobile marketing is important to any Internet marketing strategy (B2B, B2C or C2C charity to consumer) NOW.

Here is why:

• Email
• Intimacy
• Darwin
• Emotion
• Influencers
• Social
• Network Effect
• iPad and Flipboard and Zite

Your un-subscribe rate will more than double if you do not use sniffer code to format your emails for mobile devices. I’ve been on the wrong side of this equation and it hurt two years ago. Today sending poorly formatted emails to mobile is a killer. The real killer is you won’t know when or who chooses to receive THIS email or THAT email on their iPad or BlackBerry. Life and not knowing who needs mobile formatting is a test. Fail it and watch 3% of your most influential valued customers walk away from your highest margin marketing (email).

Mobile phones are friends, the new time keepers, wallets (the new picture keepers) and an always on connection most never break (believe me I’ve tried). If such an intimate connection is grudgingly true for my generation it is axiomatic for the next and a forgone conclusion for the one after that. Watch your children’s behaviors or try to take their cells and please film reactions. Mobile marketing is more intimate than email or social network marketing. Increased intimacy means different stories, graphics and navigation (at least). Can your company, no matter what business you inhibit, afford to miss another marketing tsunami? How well did that work with Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or social network marketing? I prefer to THINK and create advantage as often as humanly possible. Playing from behind is more expensive, requires twice the creativity and generally stinks. Would rather HAVE than STEAL what about you?

This is a TOUGH marketing concept to grasp especially for “secure” growth companies (as if those still existed :). I’ve looked LARGE and IN CHARGE CMO (chief marketing officers) and CEO (chief executives) in the eyes telling them they are vulnerable and weak. This is NOT a fun conversation since shoot the messenger is the next game we play. I always ask a question. I ask how much money they spent at their last trade show and it is invariable more than $50,000. Next I ask if they could have gotten by with less. “Yes but that would hurt our brand,” is the reply I get and the one I’m looking for so I typically just say, “exactly” and shut up. Nothing like silence to get powerful people to lean forward and pay attention (and very hard to actually do during a sales meeting LOL), but they get it. They realize the coming mobile marketing tsunami is something they can’t afford to miss just like they can’t go cheap on trade show spending. They get in line to pay our client The Godfrey Group for their biggest, baddest display to say, “We are here, we matter”. Doing anything less is suicide.

Our cell phone is winged Mercury. Cell phones deliver babies, archive our lives and notify our loved ones of momentous and sometimes unexpected change. Clearly mobile marketing rules are different and as yet largely unknown, but how do you NOT want to answer the riddle of such a platform? We’ve figured out Google’s math, Social’s connections and we will understand Mobile’s emotion one day soon. We need to act Jobsian, to see the future before it is here and work backwards as fast as possible. This is another way of saying we are late, tardy to our most important and longest lasting marketing class. Figure out nothing in 2012 but your mobile marketing strategy and you will live off of it for the rest of your marketing career. Figure out how your company’s mobile strategy fits consistently into your audience segments and personas and assure your company’s future. That is the size of the bet you, we and ever Internet marketer is making on mobile marketing whether we know it or not. The opposite is also true. Seed high ground on mobile marketing here and now and regret it forever. Recovery may not be possible in this lifetime and you will be known as the one who passed on the NEXT BIG THING. I’m not that guy? Are you? Is your company?

Looking at your metrics you probably think mobile doesn’t matter. I can’t tell you how familiar such logic sounds to social network marketing a mere two years ago. Mobile matters and mobile matters now if only because every major salesperson, connector and maven (to quote Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point) is tied to their cells like Linus to his blanket. Excel at mobile marketing and the message goes around the globe fast to all the right people. Fail or decide not to play and the damage is incalculable. One hard concept I’ve had to adjust to once I became an “Internet Marketer” (around 1999) was doing stuff because my gut told me so without really understanding the WHY and ROI of it. I bat well above .300 on this “bet the future” poker having hit many unseen curve balls out of the park (fiction contest blows up and helps SEO, buzz team makes reviews 2x as valuable, video creates 4x conversion on product pages). Trust a better than .300 hitter when I say mobile marketing matters now. We are on the beach, the water has strangely withdrawn and a large wave is forming. Surf or die.

Social Media Marketing
Continuing to watch your daughter’s mobile behavior what is she doing? Texting? Facebooking? Tumblr? These and other stuff we parents don’t need to know at least not fully. Mobile and social are so close in the future they will be one thing. You’ve missed the social media marketing explosion. Want to miss it again?

Network Effect
You can’t catch a speeding train. Mobile is chugging its way out of the station picking up seed from applications like Paper.liFourSquare, FlipBoard and Zite. If you don’t know these applications hire someone who does. They are changing your Internet marketing world. In the future we move from large centralized sites built to create HUB status in Google to tagged snippets spinning in infinite networked space. The closest thing I’ve ever seen to demonstrating our snippet, tagged and free form data future is Siftables from MIT’s Media Lab.  Noticed how stuff on one side of your fire walls impacts things on the other? Predicting the path of weather is easier than knowing technology’s true path. Better to surf than drown no matter what.

Here is how our current HUB conten network marketing world gives way to a free form snippet infinite universe where summing the parts, brining dissparate and seemingly random parts together to mashup a new whole, will exceed the value of a simple part summary: Mobile Marketing Matters Now Atlantic BT

Mobile marketing is here now. The tipping point fades in our rear view. The train is picking up momentum (love mixing metaphors). Set aside 5% of your 2012 marketing budget to lose money in mobile, to play and see if you, your agency or your marketing team can win the mobile marketing lottery. We have serious bets riding on the mobile marketing table and so should you. If we compete with you, please feel free to ignore this post, continue to harp lack of mobile marketing ROI and believe an empty beach is just a strange day. The water will come back and our boards are waxed and ready to surf the NEXT BIG THING.

David Merrill of MIT demonstrating Siftables, the closet representation of our snippet,tagged free form database future: