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What Opportunities and Challenges
Does the Intersection of Mobile and
Social Media Create for Marketers?

By Pete Krainik
CEO of The CMO Club

As I talk with CMOs around the world, I'm convinced that the explosion of mobile will be the single biggest catalyst for CMO leadership in leveraging social media. Why?

  • Mobile allows a broader segment of customers to participate, share, listen, and engage. Depending on the brand, many companies have, or perceive, that a small subset of customers are engaging with social media. However, in the U.K., for example, more than 50 percent of Facebook access is via mobile devices. With smartphones and mobile apps, a larger segment of customer bases will now engage.
  • Mobile apps will replace company websites as the access point for engagement with customers. It's no longer, "Let’s create ads with calls to action on mobile." Going forward, brands will provide meaningful apps for customers and partners to demonstrate their value to them, not just tell them.

There are a number of challenges as an outcome of this intersection. You thought the data explosion was a problem before? You haven’t seen anything yet.

  • The ease of creating content through mobile devices will result in user-generated content 10 times today's volume. Brand marketers will need to be thoughtful on how to curate the content creation around their brands (listen, participate, and analyze).
  • One of the challenges of marketing is the fact that everyone thinks they're a marketer. CXOs will now have more access via their mobile devices to listen, see what people are saying about their companies, and draw conclusions which may or may not be in line with the CMO's strategy for their brands. Well-thought-through approaches, education, and responsibilities for CXOs are critical for marketing and customer engagement success.

What Opportunities and Challenges
Does the Intersection of Mobile and
Social Media Create for Marketers?

By Hollis Thomases
Author of Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day

I am truly excited by the opportunities presented by mobile and social. It takes word of mouth to a whole new level. Instead of waiting to see or call someone to tell them about the latest and greatest cool thing, now with smartphones and mobile social media applications, we can tag, share, query, search, crowdsource, receive, and process information in ways never done before. For some people, it's almost impossible not to share their every movement with their networks.

This presents almost limitless opportunities for marketers to get their brands in front of the right audiences at the right time. We get to market literally into someone's pocket, but this also means we must adapt to this anytime, anywhere mentality.

The rise of mobile and social also means there will be more clutter and competition than ever before. Mobile consumers require instant gratification, which can just as easily lead to a missed opportunity if the marketer is not taking advantage of mobile properly, and doing so demands keeping up with constant technology changes and innovations.

Marketers should be thinking through the best ways to not only connect with their audiences through mobile but how to leverage their audience's audiences. Brands may get pumped about building their own mobile applications, but like websites before them, just because you build it doesn't mean anyone will come and use it.

What Opportunities and Challenges
Does the Intersection of Mobile and
Social Media Create for Marketers?

By Patrick Strother
Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota

The intersection of mobile and social media creates a unique opportunity to deliver relevant content to customers and prospects at the "moment of truth" because of mobile social media's unique ability to provide relevant content on a real-time basis. Delivering on that unique ability is becoming the new, extremely high expectation of mobile social media users.

Inherent in delivering relevant content at the right time is the challenge to be available 24/7. Building a network of ambassadors for your brand can help you expand your reach, both through searchable, user-generated content and their collective, consistent availability on Twitter and other social networks. You do not have to build a full in-house infrastructure to be "always on," but you likely need to create ongoing, highly relevant content and sustain an engaged social media network.

Another challenge with mobile is that it is a technology-driven medium, just as the web was in its early days. Our agency started working in web very early, and most of our initial assignments were to transform technology-driven sites into more useful, customer-friendly marketing platforms.

The same scenario holds true today. In developing programs to seize the unique benefits of the mobile world, you will need technology experts, but be sure you have them on a balanced team with experts in marketing, social media, and even direct marketing. Mobile users of social media will not respond well to interruption techniques and classic supply push programs, unless they specifically request them. The lessons of permission-based e-mail marketing are relevant here.

Despite the challenges, the opportunity many marketers thought they could only dream of is here with the intersection of mobile and social media.

Pete Krainik

Pete Kranik is the founder and Chairman of The CMO Club. He has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, product management, sales, and IT in the high-tech, software, and consumer goods industries. Prior to forming The CMO Club, Pete served as Avaya's Global Vice President of Marketing, the Chief Marketing Officer for DoubleClick, and the GM of the Consumer Goods Division of Siebel Systems. Prior to Siebel, he spent 15 years at Mars, Inc.

Hollis Thomases

Hollis Thomases is the author of the new book, Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day. She is an accomplished public speaker and a contributing columnist for ClickZ. Hollis was named the 2007 SBA Maryland Small Business Person of the Year, 2008 Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women magazine, and recently made the Baltimore Business Journal's List of Baltimore's Top 50 Women-Owned Businesses.

Patrick Strother

Patrick Strother is a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota. He is also the Principal at Strother Communications Group (SCG). Patrick is a thought leader in the integration of research, branding, public relations, advertising, social media, and direct marketing. He created the proprietary "Converging on Customers" model to help guide SCG in the long term.