Mobile Marketing Forum Report – Day 1

Here are our mobiThinking impressions as day one of the Mobile Marketing Forum in New York draws to a close:

This joint is jumping

800 people. The networking area is packed non-stop. People doing real business. Badge-watch: some of the world’s biggest brands. In media, travel, entertainment, consumer brands… We’re not in Kansas any more.

Lots of talk about the new 3G iPhone announced yesterday. But the marketing community is surprisingly immune to the Kool Aid of the über-marketer. Here, it’s all about the audience and the iPhone is still only bringing in 6 million users so far. What marketers do value about the iPhone is its catalyst value. It’s getting attention, raising the bar, blazing a trail… and embarrassing the value chain into action.

The rise of utility

The mobile can be a tool. Marketers are learning to go beyond entertainment to functionality – doing useful things for people and attaching your brand to those things. This theme came up over and over again today.

The lack of benchmarks

Marketers are inventing this thing as they go along. Since there are few performance benchmarks yet, marketing teams make up the targets of any campaign. They tend to guess conservatively and – lo and behold – the campaign out-performs its targets. But benchmark data is starting to come in…

Mobile marketing for retailers

Think push: coupons, mobile payments, location-based services
Think pull: once in store, drilling for more information; customer reviews; product specs; swipe a bar code… drill down…

Women start to mobilize

Sophia Stuart, Head of Mobile at Hearst Magazines, makes an extremely compelling case: women are where the action is in mobile.

Best case study of the day

By far: Chris Murphy, Director of Digital for adidas and his story about the Brotherhood basketball campaign from last year. A fantastic example of a truly integrated campaign that started with a big idea: basketball is a team sport – let’s uproot 25 years of basketball ‘star culture’ and bring the young team player closer to the NBA stars.

The campaign included great TV with a text call-to-action (the first time adidas has no .com URL on a TV ad); personalized messages from the big stars (Kevin Garnett, et al); ring tones, wallpapers, out-of-home advertising, a mobile site, mobile advertising, in-store, voice, website…

We hope to bring this case to soon. Watch this space.

In general, a challenging, thought-provoking day around a rally well thought out program by the Mobile Marketing Association. Bravo.

Quotes of the day

    “Participation is the new engagement.”
    Chris Murphy, adidas

    “Think of it as Utilitainment.”
    Daniel Rosen, AKQA on utility meeting entertainment

    “The new emotional trigger is functionality.”
    Sarah Fay, Aegis Media

    “Mobile-savvy users are starting to register in their minds which brands offer mobile-friendly experiences.”
    Tony Nethercutt, AdMob

    “The novelty factor is over. Now it’s about ‘what can you do for my brand that I can’t do anywhere else?’”
    Ari Brandt, Conde Nast

    “In 2001, the online shopping population shifted overnight towards women. The same thing is happening now in mobile Internet.”
    Sophia Stuart, Hearst Magazines

    “Think about Unduplicated Reach – the audience you rech via mobile that you won’t reach anywhere else.”
    John Hadl, BrandinHand

    “Start with the assumption that mobile is different.”
    Louis Gump, The Weather Channel Interactive

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