Mobile sessions crowd the Advertising Week, MIXX, and OMMA schedules - it is a hot topic with marketers this year. Yesterday I attended an OMMA panel where they asked if marketers are getting distracted by iphone applications to reach mobile audiences instead of looking at who they need to target and the goals of their campaign.
The panel was moderated by Michael Moroney, SVP, Digital Media, TBA Global and the panelists included Arthur Goihkman, Co-founder, COO, Cellufun, Jordan Greene, Principal/Mobile Media, MellaMedia, Ilja Laurs, Founder and CEO, GetJar Inc., Kyle Outlaw, Senior Information Architect, Razorfish, and Jamie Wells, Director, Global Trade Marketing, Microsoft Mobile Advertising.
There was a lively discussion around the iphone which was less about the platform and who drives the technology behind the phone and more about the reach of the iphone and iphone apps. Although it may seem like everyone has one of these big shiny distractions - ultimately the market share for the iphone represents 2.8% of US handsets (comScore 7/2009). So the panel argued if you really want to reach your audience you'll need to look across the multiple mobile devices that are in market today. However they did say that the app store can be a good way to drive PR buzz if you can get past and climb to the top of the app popularity list.
There were a couple of points where all of the panelists agreed - here they are:
- If you have a smart phone you are ahead of the curve - since all phones will be moving to have the same capabilities as the smart phones do today (+more)
- Your mobile strategy matters. Don't create your mobile strategy in a silo, but ensure like the other media in your campaign you include it as part of your integrated plan. Also if you treat your mobile campaign like it isn't a part of the integrated whole - you won't get the results you are trying to achieve. Jamie Wells shared that the way you win in mobile is by including it in your multi-screen media plan (across in-game, TV, web, etc.)
- There are questions you should ask the next time you are approached to build a mobile app - these are who is your target audience? How does your audience use the mobile web? Does this have a buzz factor?
The panel also discussed how mobile is in some ways an untouched space, but they warned the attendees that if they don't start exploring mobile they may soon find that they've missed out on the next big thing.
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Updated 9/23 - added comScore data