Is the future of brands on mobile really going to be based on mobile advertising? This is the question I was prompted to answer after reading two recent pieces on GigaOm and the Guardian.

I would argue that mobile advertising has not really been 100% successful to date. Sure, the increased relevance that might come from location, social network integration and actionable offers might lead to more consumer value (and for analysis of that see the GigaOm piece).

But mobile display advertising, whatever the format, however relevant, will still be push marketing. Push marketing on such a small screen, with so much else vying for your attention is not ever going to create long term relationships or value in itself. It is invasive and, in my opinion, somewhat backward looking – mobile has so much more to offer that a re-engineering of web display ads.

Mobile is unique in that it is present across many channels, and stays with the user as they move from screen to screen, media to media and channel to channel.

It is when viewed from the perspective of our increasingly multi-channel, social and reputation driven world that mobile gets interesting for brands. It has the potential to be the unifying element that turns a brand engagement into a brand relationship.

Mobile is not just about any one thing, it has the power to be a part (big or small) of almost every consumer journey – allowing dynamic and intelligent comms and dialogue that blends the online and offline worlds.

If that sounds like marketing waffle, think about smartphone interaction with TV ads via Shazam or Zeebox, NFC tags in posters that deliver vouchers and tills in shops that accept them – all supported by a mobile search, social and content ecosystem that means brands can be searched for and engaged via whatever device is closest to hand. This is not the future, the technology and usage is here now, advertisers and brands just need to re-think and re-engineer their approach(es).

What I am suggesting is a paradigm shift in marketing and comms. Starting to think less about mobile (or other channels) in isolation, and starting to talk about ‘experience’, is where the real consumer and business value lies.

There are very big barriers to this happening. Specialist agencies and silo mentalities in corporations both conspire to mask the real consumer demand and value opportunity – Namely brands and businesses that are always accessible, consistent, meaningful and valuable across any channel.

 

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