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The Life of Mobile

April 28, 2009

Original Source: Brand Republic

‘The Year of Mobile’. 

Lets have a show of hands to see who has heard this phrase a few times in the 5 years… 

…That’s a lot of hands. 

Why, then I ask, do people such as myself continue to persevere and have faith in the mobile industry? We dedicate hour upon hour reading, researching, writing; yet we have had little to celebrate. The big ‘Year of Mobile’ party has never come, yet we keep adding the candles. What we fail to realise is that the industry involves so many separate stakeholders, that they can never all develop and perform to the same levels. The universal success will almost never come. 

The past two years have been quite monumental for the industry itself. Two of the most highly celebrated handsets in history nestled in our sweaty palms, yet already we can’t help but feel that the Nokia N95 and Apple iPhone (2G) are outdated. The rate at which technology is accelerating is quite alarming. Just when we thought the be all and end all of Mobile to computer integration was secured by Apple, Google rears its head with Android and threatens to dominate the world. 

Yet no ‘Year of Mobile’. 

As far as advertising on the mobile platform goes, Blyk recognised huge success and recognition in the industry for its groundbreaking business model. With screens getting bigger and rich media becoming more readily available on our handsets, agencies began salivating at the thought of the latest and greatest mobile campaign. 

But still, no ‘Year of Mobile’. 

There is plenty of support for mobile as a marketing channel. Some of the biggest agencies in the world have their own mobile departments, and major players within the industry are supporting the ‘Every Single One of Us’ movement, which intends to unite a wide cross-section of mobile operators, advertising agencies, big-name brands and (most importantly) members of the public; to educate the industry and encourage discussions about emerging business models and to facilitate a step change in communications. 

I don’t think I need to say it again… 

But for me, there will never be a ‘Year of Mobile’. Mobile technology is moving so fast that we cannot all keep up. An innate desire for seamless high powered communication is driving us on to bigger and better things, each and every day. No matter how creative the latest integrated marketing campaign employing mobile, within 3 months the technique will be outdated and there will be a more appealing way to execute the campaign. 

We mobile people are hungry folk. We have so many resources available, that in the time we take making decisions, there is something new on the scene. And having looked back over the past two years, I cannot see this changing. We could go on the next 15 years preaching the ‘Year of Mobile’ message, but it will never come. The demanding nature of the modern consumer, juxtaposed with creative agency’s passion for innovation will ensure that Mobile marketing will always be ‘the next big thing’ for years to come. 

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using Mobile as part of your digital/marketing offering. Take the first step towards incorporating mobile into your business. Forget your clients. Go experiment and make something for yourself. Digital agency Redweb did just that, and by trying to solve an internal problem, came up with the brilliant ‘Wheel of Tea’. For those agencies that think that taking on mobile is ahead of the curve, you couldn’t be more wrong. You’re behind, and will probably always be behind. Catch up with the pack while you can! 

Year of Mobile? Maybe we should start calling it ‘The Life of Mobile’?

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