Mobile is NOT a channel, it is a lifestyle

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Avalon Group NZ ceo/content director Ryf Quail writes exclusively for M+AD: Will we see the explosion in mobile investment by marketers in 2017? Not if we continue to view it as a standalone channel or an afterthought. Many marketers today make the mistake of treating mobile as a communications channel for customers.

Smartphones dominate the mobile category, but they aren’t a channel – they’re a platform supporting multiple channels of communication for our lives.

Yet many marketers are still using desktop thinking or worse still, treating mobile as an afterthought.

But equally important is the fact that consumers don’t view mobile as a channel, rather as a ‘lifestyle enabler’.

Mobile plays a central and multifaceted role in consumers’ lives however our personal needs are all so different when it comes to our ‘life enabling’ smartphones. The implication for marketers is that they can ill afford to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach.

Some consumer segments thrive on content consumption, others crave connection, others love the utility and many just use their phone to call each other. Blanket messaging and programmatic campaigns alone simply won’t cut it.

Augmenting this issue for mobile is that businesses have tried to isolate mobile and digital channels and make them standalone entities. To this end, they have been myopically focussed on creating attribution models to recognise sales in isolated digital channels such as mobile sites or apps.

However consumers don’t think that way as they bounce from digital platforms and into traditional bricks and mortar stores. The digital and mobile platforms are actually enhancing the traditional  experiences and adding incremental revenue. Who would have thought!

Success in mobile will be had by moving away from a desktop view and a one-size-fits-all approach to mobile towards a customer-centric view where marketers start thinking mobile first, and start building mobile experiences that are deeply personalised.

I mean every one of our smartphones is an extension of us – the way we dress it, the way we arrange our apps, the way we store our contacts and when we start to look at each other’s newsfeeds, we begin to understand how different we really are.

For marketers, the challenge to understand our customers – I mean, really understand our customers in a way that we never have had to before is incredibly daunting but also exciting. Understanding some of these needs may actually make you more effective as a marketer than ever before!

So how do marketers put their customers first and start making the most of mobile in a small screen world?

Modern Marketing Summit
They attend MMS Auckland on Monday 6 April. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience a showcase of ‘best of breed’ mobile work from multiple angles, spanning brand, agency, publisher and vendor perspectives.

They’ll learn the latest strategies, see first-hand the latest technologies, and have the opportunity to network with the leaders, movers and shakers in the mobile sector.

  • For details of this year’s event see:
  • (The Avalon Group is a portfolio of marketing leading brands which connect marketers, business leaders, publishers and agencies with consumer insights, customer data and digital innovation to enable change and drive business growth.)

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