Mobile is moving…and fast

A Kickball

January 2010 - "Foursquare" = playground game, not check-ins

We’re just one week into the IMC summer break, so I’m going to come across as a big buzzkill here, but fall classes are now less than four weeks away. I’m actually chomping at the bit because this fall will be my last term in the IMC program — that much-awaited sense of accomplishment is looming large. I was thinking about my early fall class, IMC 629 – Mobile Marketing, today and realized how ideal it is to be taking this as my final elective before the Capstone class in late fall.

After all, if I had taken this class when I started the IMC program last January, just 18 months ago, I would have been learning about mobile marketing in a world where: the iPad didn’t exist yet; less than 1 in 5 Americans owned a smartphone (one-third do today); and Foursquare was 3400% smaller than it is now.

The rate of change shows no sign of slowing, either, especially considering some of the news items that have appeared in the past two weeks alone:

The "Amazon Kindle with Special Offers" trades a lower retail price for sponsored screensavers

We all know that technology moves fast, but mobile is moving fastest of all (The Washington Post reports that the rate of smartphone adoption outpaces almost any other high-tech product category, ever).

The lines are blurring, too, now that the e-Reader brands are entering the mobile spaces as tablets, apps, and advertising platforms.

My head is spinning so quickly at this point that I’m not even sure how to wrap-up this post. So, how about this: please share your thoughts about strategies for applying IMC principles to mobile platforms and we’ll talk about it in the comments. Then, I’ll come back in October with an updated post based on what I’ve picked up in IMC 629.

Sound OK? Great, then I’m going to go to bed. As soon as I check Facebook, scroll through my news apps, and take my turns on Words With Friends. What can I say? We’re living in a mobile world.

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6 Responses to “Mobile is moving…and fast”

  1. Reba Downor Says:

    Its funny, I am a recent Smartphone converter, and I cannot live without mine (at least Apple makes me think that I cannot live without mine!) It’s amazing that at a touch of a button (App) I can pay my bills online, listen to music, watch a movie, or book a reservation. A year ago, what was I doing without my phone- booking on a computer?!

    Technology continues to blow my mind, but as mobile technology progresses, I am finding myself more and more immersed in it. Like I said, I cannot live without my phone.

    I am also finding that it is becoming integrated into my daily routine. I wake up, check texts/emails, check Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and then I can go on about my day. I think it has a lot to do with the simplicity of the Apps, combined with the convenience of having everything at the touch of a button. In fact, when I fear that I’ve forgotten or lost my phone, a sense of panic is planted in the pit of my stomach!

    Just like an average person comes across thousands of marketing messages each day, how does a marketer separate one message from the other on a mobile device? Forgive me in advance, I have not taken IMC 629 yet, (and cannot wait to take it!) but one would think that convenience and simplicity would be 2 key concepts to consider when creating messages on mobile platforms.

    Looking forward to your input here in just a few short months!

    and congrats on working through the IMC program!

    • Barry Says:

      Hi Reba,

      I think those are great points about convenience and simplicity. The smartphone defines convenience, especially since it is always in your pocket or purse (or on the nightstand), putting the power of internet connectivity just an arm’s reach away. And, as you pointed out, apps have boiled complex tasks down into bite-sized programs that emphasize simplicity. Thanks for the response!


  2. Jennifer Graber Says:

    I am definitely using my cell phone and my husband’s iPad more and more. In fact, I hardly get on my laptop (or any computer really) unless I am at work or doing school work. Since I am taking the summer off from courses, I’m really not using a laptop much at all. The only thing I miss when I use a cell phone and iPad is a real keyboard. But you are so correct. Mobile marketing is quickly changing. And a year from now when other IMC-ers are taking Mobile Marketing, it will be different than when you take it in the Fall. And because of this, companies have to adapt and get into the mobile marketing. But I think it’s important to note that getting into mobile marketing isn’t just about simply putting yourself out there. I think it is also about creating a quality app or service for mobile users, especially if that is what your customers have come to expect. You want your mobile self to be a condensed, but true, version of your company. I have no particular suggestions for specific plans but I do consider my above points things to think about when diving into the mobile world.

    • Barry Says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      We took a mini-vacation last week and my wife convinced me to leave the laptop behind. Sure enough, our phones provided everything that we needed, info-wise. I never even had to visit the business center at the hotel. Also, it seems like we can take your comment about customer expectations one step further and say that this applies to any IMC strategies undertaken by a company, whether it’s social, mobile, traditional media, events, etc. Thoughts?

      Thanks for the reply.


  3. Jennifer Graber Says:

    I would have to agree with you on that too. I think that everything a company does in the marketing world has to represent the company well. For some, that interaction with whatever marketing tool might be the only impression the customer has of a company and it would be bad if the customer got a wrong or bad impression. And if a customer expects a company to have quality marketing tools, because it has in the past, one mis-step could offset any good it has done, at least for a little bit. It is such a delicate balance we all face.

  4. The last assignment « WVU IMC Student Blog Says:

    […] hanging over my head and it’s one that I gave to myself: a promise to follow-up to my July blog post about mobile marketing. I’m well aware that I’m the only person in the world who remembered that I was […]

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