Mobile Marketing Is All About Location

Most clients are asking about mobile technology. They have immediate concerns: Android versus iPhone or BlackBerry, apps versus mobile-enabled Web pages, Japan versus North America, GPS, QR codes, mobile wallet, mobile couponing, technologies and execution.

But often they need to take a step back. Mobile devices have for the first time ever made location and context the most critical things to consider in mobile marketing. You should start planning for mobile by considering where your audience is and what you anticipate they will be doing when you create a mobile experience.

Unlike previous platforms such as the computer or television, portable digital devices hold our office, our lives and our connection to everything in our hands. Now the location of the customer with the mobile device and the context of what the customer is doing determine whether or not the moment affords receptivity to messaging or the ability to perform tasks on the devices.

And brands are getting it wrong quite often. One example of a contextual miss we see is the use of QR codes on direct mail pieces. The fact is, the recipient more likely prefers computers or laptops to experience content than on a mobile device. As direct mail arrives at a home or office, the use of mobile devices at the mailbox is minimal. QR code at a conference? Yes, absolutely. No one carries around a laptop then.

The best way to get your head around mobile marketing is to start creating a mobile strategy in which the user is the centerpiece. What can we create for these users that will be useful, usable and desirable? What ethnographic observations can we bring to the table? How can ideas be influenced by locations and contexts in which they will be used? Once you answer these questions, all the other details, technologies and choices will be much easier to determine.

by Mike Tittel
Executive Creative Director – Cincinnati

Cross-posted at Ignite Something on the Forbes CMO Network