Mobile Insights – Notes From a Somo Innovation Networking Breakfast

Last week, Feb. 26th in NY, I had the pleasure of moderating an innovation networking breakfast, hosted by Somo.  The purpose of the breakfast was to bring together, in an intimate setting, respected peers within the marketing community to review some of the latest innovations in mobile marketing, to network and discuss and debate mobile’s role in business. At the beginning of the breakfast, we showcased the latest in beacon technology, how to trigger engagement through wearables, and looked at new mobile experiences powered by augmented reality and data. We divided the group up (about 25 of us) into four tables of 6~8 people and encouraged each group to discuss the following three questions:

  1. What are the three trending innovations or insights that are impacting your business the most, today and tomorrow?
  2. What capabilities (people, process, technology) do you need to refine or build to take advantage of the latest innovation?
  3. What excites you the most about the changing dynamics of marketing?

Here are the top four insights that came out of the discussion:

  1. Mobile innovation is here, but…wearable technologies, augmented reality, and Bluetooth low-energy (iBeacons) are notable innovations but widespread adoption and integration is yet to be seen. Remember that Amazon River analogy? Mobile and Marketing are running alongside each other at different speeds, velocities and temperatures.
  2. Endless possibilities and capabilities, mobile is transforming how we think about most things. Every surface is an opportunity for engagement. Smartwatch, smart cars, smart kitchen, smart houses. The list goes on and on…..Photos used to be tangible memories you could hold in your hand, but today? Photo editing can be done on your phone and the memory is hosted on Instagram’s server—-what is real anymore?!
  3. Privacy, privacy, privacy, privacy. It’s a common concern and obstacle for us all. The challenge lies in keeping the trust of your customer and giving them preferences. Generally people are willing to give up some data in return for a reward, offer or VIP treatment. And, is there a better term for “Opt-In?” Perhaps a change in our language could be more effective….What about those young’ins who don’t care about privacy?
  4. Generational acceptance of mobile, any kid born after 2008 expects every monitor or visual display to be interactive and touchscreen. Millennials’ use of social mobile platforms is rising exponentially (Snapchat, Instagram, Vine) and Facebook is being described as a network for “their grandparents.” From the event’s conversation, it’s evident that there’s a generational difference in the way we accept and incorporate mobile. Perhaps this explains the difficulty in getting more internal stakeholders to buy into the concept of mobile?

Keep an eye out for future events; for example, Somo is hosting another event, a dinner next week in Atlanta on March 10th.  If you’re free, join us.