Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Digital Marketing Forum

I was invited along yesterday to participate in the Digital Marketing Forum run by Osney Media. There was a good audience there ranging from mobile marketing providers, publishers, film companies, insurance and brands. I arrived half-way through the day and enjoyed Gillian Kennedy's presentation about what Emap has been up to in mobile marketing and she shared some very interesting case studies from a variety of their consumer titles.

Then we had a round-table discussion on a contact strategy for mobile CRM. Probably too broad a topic, but the main point was that you had to think customer and how you can add value to the customer (service provision), then look at the messages that will be relevant and then choose the appropriate channel. We discussed various examples from publishing, insurance and FMCG brand perspectives.

At the panel session afterwards dubbed 'ask the experts' we were asked about the relevance of mobile marketing for older age-groups, the size of the market and where it's going in the future. In short, mobile marketing is relevant for all age-groups - it's about relevance to the consumer and doing proper targeting. There was some discussion about over 35s being in the 'old' category and they don't use their mobiles for texting or whatever. Well, I'm over 35, as are most of my friends and we're all avid mobile users. So I suggested that targeting simply by age wasn't enough and that you needed to determine propensity to engage via the mobile channel. Re the size of the market, the panel was all agreed that it was growing quickly although no figures were available for the UK. And in terms of where mobile is going in the future, the panel and audience agreed that it's not going away any time soon. Also, we'll see more mobile media opportunities, more advanced services using video, music, wap sites, applications and games.

Overall the conference was a great success and there was very positive feedback. However, the audience were pretty much already converted. The challenge is to engage marketers who don't believe mobile is currently relevant for them. Looking forward to the next conference.

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