Tag Archives: automotive

Marketing Technology: Mobile People & Portable Brands

The idea of mobile communications is not something new, it’s just that things have progressed immensely since the days prior to the Internet and PDA devices.

What lies ahead is a huge opportunity for brands to get closer to their customers daily lives by  becoming integral to their cutomers’ processes. For me, the idea orignated when I was at IBM where self-serve technologies, such as the ATM and airline check-in kiosk were beginning to take hold. One of my colleagues quipped “Yes, it’s really about the customer saying to the brand ‘come into my process’ but I will remain in control of the transaction”.

This was compelling as it freed the customer not only from delays (lineups at the airport) but it suggested that the customer could transact when and where they pleased – on their own terms.

With mobile devices – PDA’s if you will, customer (and brands) can enjoy more freedom than ever before. No longer encumbered by a fixed location to transact, bank customers can now do their banking from wherever and whenever they choose. The same goes for those who travel by air, say, using Air Canada or Virgin Airways.

Mobile applications can and are being developed for many brand categories. Pharmaceutical apps can help patients with prescription continuance and information on disease states; automotive dealerships send service alerts so that maintenance schedules are adhered to; transit systems can notify passengers when the next bus is about to arrive at a stop.

At the end of the day, its about people who are mobile, devices that enable ‘anywhere computing’ and brands that are portable – the ultimate engagement & collaboration.

– Ted Morris, 4ScreensCRM

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ESOMAR & Social Media: Brandmatters 2006 revisited

Then...

Although I did not have occasion to attend the recent 2009 ESOMAR conference in Chicago, I was struck by fact that the agenda was essential devoted entirely to social media. By contrast, Brandmatters 2006 had one session on social media, referred to as “Social Networks and Brand Communities”, a subset of the broader Internet ecosystem.

At that time, I was in the fortunate or perhaps unfortunate position of presenting “Listening to the Blogosphere: How Blogging can Impact Your Brand”. Fortunate in that I was probably regarded as part of a small group of pionners or forward thinkers (lunatic fringe?) on the subject of WOM: Word-of-Mouth media; unfortunate in that much of what I presented seemed to be something of an oddity to much of the audience. Here were some observations at the time:

> 10% of US adults created blogs; 32 mil. Americans read blogs;
> 12% of consumers posted content online
> many ‘bloggers’ has formed brand communities, notably in the automotive and entertainment industry verticals
> many bloggers were considered influencial in shaping a brand’s reputation

...and now.

Fast forward as we move into 2010: It’s most gratifying to see that Social Media is dominatingdiscussion within the marketing research industry.  Much of the thinking has expanded beyond mere curiosity toward shaping opportunity and providing increased business value to clients in a forward looking way. It was to the point that awards for building online communities have become the new hallmark for forward thinking marketing research.

It goes without saying that the numbers presented above would appear to be a mere speck of online activity given today’s dominance of applications such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube, not to mention the hundreds of millions of blogs and forums that contain brand content.

Glad the world has changed so much. I was feeling a bit ahead of myself.
– Ted Morris, 4ScreensMedia