Live From DMA2010: Marketers Need to Understand the Importance of Social Mobile
It was almost as if those opening the exhibit hall at DMA2010 in San Francisco were just as excited about Timothy Quinn's declaration as he may have been to originally write it. At 3 p.m. on Sunday, the final session during the pre-conference, a chorus of "yays" from the booths a floor above the presenter coincided with and seemed to affirm his take on how social and mobile are melding to create deeper dimensions in communication.
"Social mobile is to mobile as the telephone was to the telegraph," Quinn says during the session "Demand Gen: How to Use Social Media for Lead Prospecting." Quinn, vice president of production at Toronto-based mobile and social media marketing agency Vortex Mobile, notes that 91 percent of mobile users "go social," compared to 79 percent of desktop users.
Checking in on social sites is the most popular Web activity on smartphones, with the second being weather checks. So the days of separating the technologies may be over; especially because the perception that tweens and Trekkies are leading the social mobile trend is wrong—women predominate in the space, he says. Also, those who are social on their mobile devices are, for instance, twice as active on Facebook as those who aren't social mobile types.
And just about every function smartphone users task their mobile devices with is becoming social—with the exception of clearly personal activities. Quinn says, "Online banking—you would never want that to be a social activity."
Gaming is one of the main social activities marketers can capitalize on in this space, Quinn says. Gamers tend to simply enjoy the competition and think of earning badges as the reward.
Quinn then presented a series of case studies with gaming, Facebook, location-based applications and virtual reality predominating. Marketers ranged from travel to consumer packaged goods and from publishers to clothing retailers.
Quinn's main advice: Marketers need to make the consumer experience "device aware" or "device agnostic" and seamless. Don't, for instance, send mobile users to the desktop to complete their experience. "Nobody's going to do that," he says.