May 17, 2010

Mobile Marketing: Channel Shift

Fear.

That's what I hear when I talk to the e-commerce generation about mobile marketing.

It's almost like there isn't any fear regarding Social Media, like that's a harmless thing that is fun to measure and be part of, but not something that will replace traditional e-commerce.

Mobile Marketing is a different story.

Time spent on a mobile device may be incremental time that would not have been spent interacting with the internet five years ago. Conversely, a ton of time spent on a mobile device today is time that would have been spent on a laptop or a desktop computer.

And when you spend time in a different way, you begin to interact with different things. Instead of visiting a website, you use an app to interact with a brand. Once the individual uses the app a few times, the relationship between the individual and the traditional website is fundamentally changed.

This is what frightens the e-commerce generation.

What if the customer stops interacting with the traditional website?

Our job, of course, is to validate customer behavior. We determine if the customer "adds" mobile to the total experience (this is what the e-commerce generation wants to see happen), or we want to determine if the customer "shifts" away from e-commerce, toward the mobile experience.

When the customer is shifting away from e-commerce, we have a responsibility to look into the future. It becomes our job to predict how this shift impacts each channel, and once we visualize this shift, we need to educate folks, and chart a path to the future.

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