Rendezvous at Centre Point for Mobile Monday – “Mobile Marketing – Truth, Misconception & Wishful Thinking” my first MML event, keen to hear some expert thoughts on the state of mobile marketing. First thing that panelist Ilicco Elia (Head of Mobile at LBi) remarks is that he is faced with a sea of scalps as the audience login to tweet along with the debate. This is very much the trend I’ve noticed at events these days. I recently witnessed members of the audience communicating in real-time; cutting panelists out of the discussion altogether until a coffee/device break where they could pick up the #feed. That wasn’t the case at Mobile Monday where refreshingly, the audience was encouraged to get involved, an invitation that was taken up whole-heartedly. With an enthusiastic Alex Meisl (Co-founder of Sponge) hosting, the panel launched into a lively discussion covering (in a nutshell):
- What is a mobile device? Phones, “phablets”, tablets, laptops? They are all mobile devices but depends on what the customer wants and where they consume
- The reality of mobile sales – tripled in the last year with success stories like John Lewis who have taken a 360 degree approach (if product isn’t in store, they encourage you to buy online: integrated & effective)
- The difficulties of measuring how mobile affects ROI and how to demonstrate this to clients (reach 10 targeted people outside a shop with a complicated app or reach millions with a tv spot?)
- Hitches with the challenges of mobile payment technology that can’t keep up with our constant device upgrades
- Mobile on its own or mobile as part of an integrated strategy – not “where is my mobile strategy” but “where does mobile fit into my strategy”
- How is our data being used, is targeted mobile advertising a good idea, relevant or invasive?
The panelists seemed to take a somewhat defeated tone as they highlighted the obstacles that make mobile marketing a constant challenge. However, one feisty audience member was having none of this. She insisted that the panelists “open your minds up in the context of a magic wand – not just display advertising. Look what’s happening in Japan!” which encouraged a more positive conversation around some of the great things mobile can do, like: allow non-English speaking parents to text using Siri and Instagram pictures of chickens. Wonderful real-time interaction with the BBC during the 2012 Olympics on red button on TV and on mobile (notably not with advertising though…) It was clear that the panelists have by no means lost their passion for the possibilities, they just want to be in that future where brands and clients are ready and excited about using mobile and the technology works seamlessly; ideally as part of a larger cross channel strategy. The discussion continued around a lovely glass of Croatian wine care of Rube Huljev and Infobip (thanks! It was truly delicious!) where the panelists and hosts were more than happy to give their views and answer questions. Alex Meisl managed to convince me of the benefits of a text campaign (I hate thinking I have a text only to find its money off something I don’t want) and Ilicco modeled a fine coat with magnetic sleeves made to hold all devices including an i-pad. Ideal for a regular Ryan-air traveler! Those who stayed networking were treated to drinks up at the Viewing Gallery which was stunning. Definitely an informative, enjoyable evening. I look forward to hearing how things have progressed (which they inevitably will have) within mobile marketing by the next Mobile Monday. Particularly as an avid consumer on my many twinkling screens.