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Special Guest Post! Robin Patrick’s Musing about Mobile.

Robin Patrick

Robin Patrick

Robin Patrick is a former colleague of mine with a brilliant marketing mind, particularly in the new digital media space. So I thought I would ask Robin to share some thoughts with the Maloney on Marketing community on his latest fascination: Mobile. Enjoy!

It was a big moment

I had a turning point.

To recount the story to others may seem like a trivial experience…but to me it was a significant moment.

Not 6 months ago, I went to the cinema to see Bruno for that mindless Saturday giggle that we all crave. However, due to my last minute approach to life I arrived to a flashing board reading ‘FULL’.

Not wanting the 40 minutes that I had invested in getting a car park to go to waste, I went to a telco store to check out the new 3Gs iPhone which I had recently been trialling at work.

Still unconvinced of its utility I started to play. I thought I would see just how easy it could make my life.

So, I walked through a practical example. I fired up the web browser as if I was going to book a ticket for the movie I had just missed.

Location, check. Movie, check. Time, check. Choose your seat, what the?

This magical device was showing that there were still 6 single seats available.

I raced back up to the cinema to double check and booked myself in.

I ordered an iPhone the next day.

Just let me jump behind the counter for a minute…

The movie’s point of sale merchandise (which to date has been the channel nearest the sale) was telling me it was full. Yet the iPhone allowed me to go into the bowels of the cinema’s system, to the source of truth, and then become the point of sale system.

Pimple-faced teenagers all over the world should be in fear of their jobs.

Event Cinemas - Pocket Cinema iPhone App

Event Cinemas - Pocket Cinema iPhone App

Same same, but different

Now some would say that apart from the new found mobility, this is not much different to what a PC could do. And they are right, except for the simplicity that iPhone apps have brought back to the web.

The fact that internet has now gone mobile has re-introduced a refreshing simplicity and utility back to the web. With the necessity to make mobile devices load and perform quickly while minimising rendering issues, we have been forced to increasingly look at functionality over form.

Again, we find ourselves in Google-like simplicity and loving it.

So park your flash-based microsites, delete your long form integrated visual files, and let me get back to just doing stuff quickly.

The best things in life are free

We are currently seeing some great mobile apps and sites come out from Australian businesses.

The up-coming Commonwealth Bank property app is a great example of the Bank delivering a useful property search tool with an augmented reality experience which cannot be replicated outside the mobile platform.

It is not cool for cool sake, it is both function and form optimised.

Another great example is TiVo. Via its TiVo Genie WAP site, customers can program their TiVo devise to record their favourite television show. Gone are the regrets of sitting in a restaurant hating the fact that you are missing your favourite show; where after weeks of watching every episode that big thing finally happens. In just a few touches you can make sure you don’t miss a thing.

However, just as our traditional print brothers are trying to understand the tolerance for paid online content, so too do all app/mobile web creators need to think about any kind of charging model.

Value after all is the utility of an experience over its price.

What value are you providing? What customer problem is being solved? Is the revenue worth more than deepening a relationship?

Life beyond the app…

The next big challenge is moving beyond apps.

The proliferation and success of iPhones have seen marketers from a diverse range of industries run head first into app creation. However, we all need to be conscious of building a platform that is bigger than one device and one platform.

In that regard, one would assume that mobile web, should just be mobile web. Although holding some limitations, surely building mobile optimised websites provide more freedom than creating several apps.

Freedom of expansion, freedom from 3rd party approvals and also commercial freedom from having your revenue ticket clipped.

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Categories: Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Mobile Marketing

Author:Chris Maloney

Chris is a multi-channel marketing strategist and one of Australia's most awarded young marketers.

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