At first glance the answer to this question may seem obvious. Public and indeed business awareness of mobile and it’s possibilities has never been higher. Everybody wants an app. Agencies and brands are falling over themselves to develop apps not just for the iPhone but also for Android of course, Blackberry and more recently Nokia.
As we’ve said before though (see the iSyndrome the blog) there’s more to a mobile marketing strategy than an iPhone app.
The current market where success is measured in column inches of PR and where agency execs sitting biting their nails hitting refresh every minute or so to see if downloads reach four figures, seems a long way from the mobile dream of just a couple of years ago:
A fully connected, always on, user aware, commerce enabled, engagement tool for brands.
This vision has been reduced in the mind of a large chunk of the media and advertising community to a throw away snack of an app, get it on the iPhone and used twice and we have a winner. I don’t think so.
Mobile marketing should be so much more than this and, in time, I believe will be. Soon all phones will be smart phones, all will run apps and all will be fully connected. But, more importantly, brands will also soon start to ask ‘Ok, what’s next, what do we do on mobile now?’ And that is when mobile will reach it’s peak of marketing influence. By a combination of genuine mobile agencies and mobile technology providers creating mobile experiences for brands that engage far longer and far deeper than most of the current app examples.
So has the iPhone been good for mobile marketing? In the end the answer has to be yes, on balance it has, but it’s not as obvious an answer as you might imagine and it’s not one without the odd caveat.