Friday, December 02, 2005

Are you a texty thing lecture about mobile marketing

Well, against all the odds (burst water mains, fire alert, security alert, terrible weather), I finally arrived at the University of Hertfordshire where I lectured on mobile marketing to the Business Studies undergraduates. I was delighted to see that the lecture hall was full of students (so much so that they were sitting in the aisles) and a few lecturers too. They seemed to lap it all up - after all, this is the mobile generation.

I really feel for them though. The marketing landscape is getting ever more complicated. And as new technologies emerge and existing technologies evolve, their job, as the marketers of the future is going to get harder and harder. Then what happens when we add location based tracking into the mix? That's going to throw a cat amongst the pigeons when it comes to targeting and will make postal-based direct mail look like a walk in the park to manage. It will no longer be about who you are and where you're at in your head, where you're at in your lifestage, but also where you're at physically (work, school, gym, pub, nightclub, shopping mall, wherever). Gender, age and postcode just won't cut it for very much longer.

Still, by spreading the word now about mobile marketing and getting the topic on the agenda, I'm quite sure some bright spark will come up with a solution at some point. Here's hoping anyway.

I'm off to run a workshop next week too at the University of Westminster as part of the Masters Course in Integrated Marketing. Guess what, I'll be talking about mobile marketing! And I've been booked in to run more courses for the IDM next year too.

It feels like, at long last, marketing folks are beginning to take thismobile channel seriously. Who knows, maybe even James Eadie, marketing manager at Coca-Cola, will get it at last. He was recently reported at the Mobile Marketing Conference this week as saying that the mobile channel showed great potential but

"Until such time as the digital platform [ie mobile] can help us connect emotionally with consumers, in the way we can with a 30-second TV commercial, we are always going to struggle."

Ho hum. He really doesn't get it yet. He seems to think that there's nothing emotional about a text message, let alone other mobile content. Well I guess he's never been dumped by SMS or maybe his partner never says 'I love you' via text as Russell Buckley points out over at Mobhappy. He also was not running campaigns at ZagMe (where we sent texts to shoppers at Lakeside and Bluewater) 5 years ago where our customers out at Lakeside and Bluewater loved us so much, one of them even dedicated a record to us at Capital FM. Other feedback included things like:

"Hello ZagMe How R U today"
"ZagMe iz cool Text me back d:->"
"ThanQ ZagMe team 4 my lovely b’day txt, I had 1 sweet day X"
"Thank you for the £10 voucher"

No emotion indeed! Everything's possible. It's not about the technology, it's about how you use it. Let's hope tomorrow's marketers start learning this lesson now before they hit the marketplace.

btw, if anyone is interested in learning about Mobile Marketing - what it is, how and when to use it, what not to do it etc. Then I'm your woman. Please contact me for details of mobile marketing training course outlines.