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Mobile: more than media

Glen Sheehan, group creative director, (second from left) spoke about mobile engagement at this week’s Mobile Media Summit in San Francisco. These are just a few of his many thoughts about mobile.

(Photo from @MobileMSummit)

Mobile ceased being “just a phone” long ago. It’s time to stop talking about it as media and think of mobile as a multi-faceted medium. Mobile has an implied intimacy—we use our phones for pretty much everything—which should impact the way marketers service, entertain and amplify relationships with consumers.

We are at a point where PC web traffic is being surpassed by mobile web traffic. Much of social content generation and interaction takes place on mobile. Suddenly it is no longer a question of “what is your mobile strategy?” but instead, “what is our strategy to engage our consumers?” Mobile both provides consumers with constantly flowing streams of content and allows them to control what they see and share.

This idea of “streams of content” highlights the importance for agencies and brands to formulate an overarching content strategy. We need to understand what the consumer wants from us so we can determine how to formulate experiences and content for mobile.

To achieve this, we need to be thinking about content strategy. A content strategy is not merely the structure of the content. It should also include an understanding of what our consumers need and at what point in their day. Once we understand that, different channels (Facebook, Twitter, owned, apps) can provide targeted content and fulfill user need. And then the science comes in, as we need to understand consumer behavior. The end goal? To use mobile to amplify our other marketing efforts and connect directly with our consumer.

For example, this content “engine” we provide to the consumer via mobile allows people to not merely watch TV. They can “do” TV. Interact with TV. Mobile connects our on-land communications with the online world.

If marketers think about mobile not as media, but as a medium, maybe we’ll start thinking of the giant, diverse canvas we have to work with—we won’t mistakenly categorize mobile as just another “channel”.

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