I feel a lot of the time I need to defend my opinions because I can be so contrary. I work in new media, and then I’m fast to bust on it.
Understand this about new media, if you understand nothing else: There are the geeks who adore new media and not coincidentally work inside of it, and there are normal people who could care less.
When you read a blog like this, it is almost always written by someone on the inside of the industry – either as a marketer, a manufacturer, a publisher, or some other “er” I can’t think of that makes money from technology. We tend to have very insulated opinions, and sometimes they bear little resemblance to the “outside” world.
So when I post an opinion that’s contrary to dogma, it isn’t because I’m trying to pull a Glenn Beck and piss people off for it’s own sake. I’m just more interested in what I can prove than what I can feel.
For example, this week, I got a post published on Agencyside.net about how mobile marketing isn’t necessarily worth worrying about. Why would I say something like that? Because, as I’ve said since before this blog started, we still aren’t there yet with mobile. Phone apps haven’t proved they make boatloads of money for the companies that sponsor them. My argument – just for right now – remains the same:
- The number of people with a phone is expected to increase dramatically, but hasn’t yet.
- People still complete more purchases on their home computer. A lot more.
- With several phone operating systems to create apps for, it becomes prohibitively expensive to target them all.
- If you only target the iPhone, you’re still only potentially reaching some 0.5% of the consumer market.
And on and on. Phones definitely have potential to be as important as everyone says they already are, but they aren’t yet. The people who say they are that important already have an iPhone themselves, and are exposed to all sorts of new information about what is on the horizon for mobile.
The average user, however, has a flip phone that barely does SMS messages. They’ve heard phones can go online, and while that sounds neat, it also doesn’t sound necessary. They text their friends often enough, but hate SMS ads. They might respond to a giveaway that requires them to send a text, though.
These are the kinds of things you need to look into before you get serious about mobile, or e-mail, or radio, or any marketing tactic. Coming at the problem emotionally, because you love your own phone so EVERYONE must love phones, isn’t rational. Your own company or clients don’t need to be steered around by your own phone fetish. If you’re in love with mobile technology, great – but do some research on your market and how they use them before you start investing in a campaign.