A Mobile Strategy Isn’t For All Brands

Mobile consultants are rapidly replacing Social Media consultants as people most likely to cold call.  That makes sense, according to the recent CITA survey released in June 2009, there are more than 276 million wireless users in the US.  That’s a lot of people.  And where there are a lot of people embracing a technology, there are a lot of consultants.

Photo Milica Sekulic

Photo Milica Sekulic

So naturally, many companies are trying to design apps for mobile devices.  There are good ones:  Chase’s iPhone app makes my life easier by allowing me to conduct banking business through my phone.  And, there are bad ones:  Pepsi’s Amp was not only sexist, it didn’t do anything.

A Mobile Strategy Isn’t Necessary for All Brands

A couple years ago, we all jumped on Social Media strategies for our brands.  Sure, it felt like a fad, but it made sense.  The Social Web is simply a better way for the web to function.  The Social Web is really just tools and technologies that make it easy to share information with your connections.

The Social Web, and Social Media, works for all brands because it is the logical evolution of how content on the web should look and behave to be more relevant.

But the term “mobile web” is a fundamentally different concept.  It is a distribution method, not a type of content.  I understand that iPhone apps are popular.  However, they are simply delivery methods of content we’ve seen before.

I now run 3 apps on my iPhone for Twitter.  Echofon, SimplyTweet, and TweetDeck.  I love them all.  Having these applications on my iPhone makes my life richer and more enjoyable.  I can say the same thing about Chase’s mobile app, ESPN’s Fantasy Football app, and the World of Warcraft Armory.

However, it’s the technology behind these, not the distribution itself, that makes them important.  The Twitter platform is what makes having those Twitter apps important.  The need to pay a credit card balance, check scores on a Sunday, or pass time during a meeting makes my other apps important.

When mobile isn’t necessary: When it doesn’t do anything

I am a rabid fan of Maker’s Mark bourbon.  They have a tremendous Social Web initiative, Maker’s Mark Ambassadors, that helps me feel a personal connection to the brand.  I was surprised about how well the program is run and how much I enjoy receiving their information

Never, ever would I consider downloading a Makers Mark application.  I love the brand, but there is no way I would put an app on my phone for it.  I want their emails to be visible through my mobile web client, but that’s it.  End of story, there’s your mobile strategy.

What do you think?  Is there a room for everyone on the iPhone home screen?

Posted on October 26, 2009 at 11:03 pm by Ben Foster · Permalink
In: Strategy

One Response

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  1. Written by Ash Blue
    on February 1, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Very true, many clients want their content to be phone accessible, but I often explain to them it might not make a huge difference (seems to always help with eCommerce sites though).

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