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Focus on 'mobility', not mobile, to engage with Generation C

Adam Reader

In the second of a series of blogs on key mobile takeaways from Advertising Week Europe, Adam Reader, social media strategist at Lida, reviews 'The Mobile C-Suite', a panel session chaired by James Connelly, CEO of Fetch, including Weve, InMobi, Amobee and Tapjoy.

In the past I’ve attended talks and come away slightly disappointed, often feeling that what was being discussed was neither new or progressive. It was refreshing therefore to come away with what felt like some genuine insight into the future direction of mobile and our industry as a whole.

The key takeaways:

The consumer is ahead of us. And they always will be. It seems obvious when you say it out loud but unless we listen to what our customers are saying and follow their behaviour, we are always in danger of missing out. Being truly customer led will be the key difference between businesses that succeed by being relevant and adding value and those that fail.

Our attachment to mobile is stronger and more emotional than any other channel. We spend more time with our mobiles than any other device which means we’re constantly connected and we’ve come to depend on this fact. Which is why we see people suffering from nomophobia (the fear of being out of mobile contact).

2014 is not the year of crossover from PC to mobile. All of our panel agreed that this transition has already happened but not in the way everyone believes. PC usage is remaining pretty stable, but instead consumer usage of mobile connected devices is increasing. Interestingly what we’re seeing is desktop behaviour merging more and more with the mobile experience particularly around browsing behaviour. This is because consumers don’t make the differentiation between desktop, mobile or tablet. To them, it’s just screens.

The purchase funnel is like ‘a bowl of noodles’. How users behave online and engage with brands through social channels shows that the traditional model probably needs a re-think.

A shift in mindset is required. Mobile rightly gets talked about a lot, but often in the wrong way. We need to move away from thinking about mobile as a device and focus our attention on ‘mobility’. It’s not a channel that should be treated as a separate vertical. Instead, understand that consumers are mobile and therefore we need to produce creative that primarily addresses that fact, rather than squeeze traditional content and campaigns on to mobile devices. It’s about reinventing, not re-applying.

So what does this mean?

‘Generation C’ consumers (connected consumers) are not tuned to the way we market to them. It is therefore imperative that we listen to and follow our customers so that we can create relevant experiences, wherever and whenever they are. While mobile CRM (like social CRM) is a hot topic for discussion right now, in the future it will not be considered any different to a broader CRM behaviour. Instead, what will matter is how brands use robust technology and data to connect in a way that is meaningful to the consumer.

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