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The biggest opportunity

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14:08 PM | 18 October 2011

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The mobile industry talks too much nonsense. It is an industry that spends unjustifiable amounts of time forecasting the future of hologram emitting, location based near field communications. By forever discussing the next industry milestone we make our jobs easier today. We are asphyxiated by the next big thing.

This makes it very difficult for those looking to get into the industry. What can you believe? Where can you find out what the industry opinion is? Who should you be listening to? 

The answer is to listen to yourself. Other people will have ideas but nobody knows. Of course you should read what other people write and keep right up-to-date with the latest and most innovative product releases. But you really do need to believe that it is your ideas that could shape the direction of the industry. Do this and you can’t even picture where you’ll find yourself in 10 years time. 

All very well and good but you haven’t come here for Mr T’s motivational hype machine. Quite rightly you’ve presumably come here to learn. So what do we know?

Firstly, mobile is an opt-in medium where a consumer chooses to engage in the experience a marketer has created. Therefore app design and strategy needs to be consumer led. Great mobile strategy is all about appreciating a consumer’s context. Consumers interact with apps in different ways in different places. Therefore it is logical to create multiple mobile experiences to design for as many contexts as possible and in the process reach the greatest number of consumers possible.

Nike have produced a number of great standalone mobile executions which are sensibly targeted but their mobile strategy appears to lack structure. Nike+ GPS, Nike Training Club and Nike BOOM are all targeted at fitness users. There is a high degree of cross-over between all three training apps. In addition to this, Nike+ GPS and Training Club are only available for iOS and therefore their reach is limited to 25% of the market.

The UK’s no.1 supermarket Tesco has developed an effective, broad mobile strategy. Their apps are available across 5 platforms giving the brand mass-reach. They have not tried to build a mobile Swiss-Army knife but instead have created different apps for different needs. These include apps for the Clubcard scheme, motoring insurance and grocery shopping.

However, it’s the e-commerce site Ocado that has led the way with m-commerce in the UK grocery industry by introducing “shopping walls” where a consumer can scan bar-codes on print advertising to add items to their virtual basket and then have them delivered straight to their door.

Once a brand has grown a mobile presence they can leverage this position to ‘close the loop’ with mobile payment. Again, complex far-off technology such as NFC isn’t necessarily the answer. Pizza Express has pioneered payment in the restaurant industry whereby a customer can pay their bill from their app using PayPal with a code from their receipt. They didn’t need to install expensive contactless terminals at each table.

The reality is that the tools are already in place for brands to create incredible mobile experiences. Marketeers need to spend more time leveraging what is available today rather than constantly fantasising about what it would be nice to have in three years time.

If you have an idea about how these tools can work together then you just need to believe in it, tell as many people in the industry about it and don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have enough experience to make a difference.

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