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Edelman Mobility Quarterly: Edition One

When considering that more than half of Americans is now carrying a computer in his/her pocket, many technologists and marketers have blindly rushed to address mobility as it leads us to who-knows-where. So much of desktop behavior such as email and the web have followed us here, while incumbent text messaging and a newfound lust for apps is chewing away at time spent on the device. Through all of this prescriptive technology, it is critical to respect and understand that liberation from the desktop carries with it disruptions from the offline world and traditional media. These observances and some telling data are included in this first edition of the Edelman Mobility Quarterly.

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Edelman Mobility Quarterly: Edition One

  1. 1. Edelman Mobility Quarterly: Edition One Mobile Business is Everywhere. Today. August 22, 2012By Tim Hayden, Senior Vice President, Mobile Strategy, Edelman Digital Edelman Mobility – August 22, 2012
  2. 2. The “Age of Mobility” Has ArrivedA s more than 50% of cell phone-carrying Americans now own a “smartphone”, no one can deny thatwe are well underway into living each day as a mobile society. As the United States eclipsed thisveritable and undeniable tipping point of smartphone ownership in the firstquarter of 2012, a tremor ran up the spines of CMOs and media executiveswho believed they had seen it all, surely knowing what to plan and budget for “…every now and again, a trulythe coming 3+ years. disruptive technology appears and causes major changes to business, society, or economics. US Cell Phone Ownership It yields non-linear effects on so many levels and at such a grand scale that it’s very hard to grasp 12% the scope until after the dust settles. Mobile computing is Smartphone this type of disruptive Feature Phone technology.” 44% 44% No Cell Phone Michael Saylor, The Mobile Wave, How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything SOURCE: “The Smartphone Consumer”, June 2012, Arbitron and Edison ResearchTo put this abrupt shock into perspective, consider that 36% of smartphone-owning Americans haveowned such a device for less than one year. Length of Smartphone Ownership 13% Dont Know 10% Less Than 3 Months 18% 3 Month to < 6 Months 9% 6 Months to < 1 Year 1 Year to < 3 Years 17% 3 Years to < 5 Years 31% 5 Years or More SOURCE: “The Smartphone Consumer”, June 2012, Arbitron and Edison Research Edelman Mobility – August 22, 2012
  3. 3. The Dawn of an Untethered WorldWith the explosive growth of tablet computers (~20% of Americans 18+, from multiple sources)factored into view, the dawn of an untethered world grows increasingly more complex with a mix ofbehaviors and media consumption habits that are causing a dynamic shift in business and life.While technologists and marketers are excited to capitalize on an additional medium, it is crucial torespect how mobile devices and their accompanying technology fit into usage patterns and the daily lifescript written by the mobile audience.Anyone who dismisses this phenomenal growth and its swift associated changes as simply anothermedium will soon learn the harsh reality that mobility is about more than a technology and new form ofmedia. This is an evolutionary chapter in human history that will alter our standards of communication,commerce and more. The addiction to, and dependence on, mobile computing is here and now. "Smart" Dependency Almost Never Rarely Sometimes How Often Is Your [SmartPhone] With You or Most of the Time Nearby…in Arms Length?" Always 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% SOURCE: “The Smartphone Consumer”, June 2012, Arbitron and Edison ResearchThe time has arrived, with urgency, for brands to embrace the opportunities and address the threats that mobility brings to business today. Edelman Mobility – August 22, 2012
  4. 4. All Media Boats Will Rise (Or, “stay afloat”)When considering the untethered audience, now free from the chains of a desktop, one can surely betheavy on the presence of a mobile device being always there and always on. With this, so much ofbroadcast media that has been dismissed recently as irritating “push” messaging is actually now back inplay. The things users see, hear and experience are now often the catalyst for engaging social media andsearch tools to learn about, discuss and purchase those products and services with compelling creative,messages and media experiences.The universal presence and probable “in-the-moment” use of mobile technology means that there aremultiple pathways and opportunities to intercept and engage known and unknown brand advocates andprospective customers. Integration is critical. At least, aligning all media today is paramount to ensuringadvertising, marketing and public relations activities do not miss these opportunities, or “mobilemoments.” Offline Ad Exposure Leads to Mobile Search 70% 58% 57% 60% 48% 50% 36% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% TV Shop/Business Magazines Posters/Billboards Source: Our Mobile Planet: United States, Google/Ipsos OTX MediaCT, US, May 2012 Edelman Mobility – August 22, 2012
  5. 5. Mobile Is Social, Social is Mobile…Much fuss has been made about Facebook’s mobile headaches, and this is for good and valid reasons.It seems as if Facebook never forecasted how use of the social network would change once subscriberswere no longer sitting in front of a computer for hours on end. Not only is the experience packed into asmaller screen on a handheld device, but a user is less likely to “surf” the network or her/his newsfeedin the absence of tabbed browsing and prolonged periods of screen attention.The jury is still out in understanding the behavioral balance between voluntary Facebook viewing on asmartphone versus primarily going to the network (web/app) in response to notifications. That beingunknown, there is no doubt that the proliferation of smartphone use has resulted in higher volumes ofsocial content. More specifically, visual storytelling has exploded in social media as more photos andvideos are captured and immediately uploaded to a social network and/or a microblog, such as Twitter.Of particular note, the rise in popularity of supply-side social apps such as Instagram and Path maydemonstrate how smartphone owners are frustrated with/ too busy for Facebook (which is often theobject of complaints around poor app and mobile web performance) and have chosen a tributary to thenetwork with less friction and noise.Just know that with real life in the way, social mediawill be more about “ in-and-out” activity than thededicated screen attention we knew in the desktop era. Edelman Mobility – August 22, 2012
  6. 6. The Mobile Investment ConundrumIn mobile marketing, challenges rise when deciding the technology and tactics in which to invest first ornext. Outside of mobile advertising, those technologies that require more involvement by the individualuser tend to carry a higher price tag while being used less frequently, if at all by mainstream users. Inother words, mobile assets such as native applications, augmented reality and mobile wallets may beadopted and used often by only a brand’s most loyal and (hopefully) influential customers andcommunity members, while the audience at-large is most comfortable with legacy desktop (mobile web)and more universal touch points such as SMS texting and social media.If there is one must-have item in your 2013 marketing plans, it is a mobile web strategy. Mobilesearch, as the predominant consumer utility on smartphones, and sideways traffic (links shared throughsocial media and email that are primarily accessed via a mobile device) are together responsible for themajority of all mobile web traffic. Those brands that are delivering brief, actionable content to thearrivals of this traffic stand the greatest opportunity to convert it into business. Those who do notoptimize a mobile web presence and mobile search strategy are missing a significant portion of theirexisting or inquiring audience. Edelman Mobility – August 22, 2012
  7. 7. Mobility Tips For the End of 2012Mobility is About Behavior, Not TechnologyPut forth the diligence and research to understand your individual and audience segment behavior.Framing their daily contextual situations from home to office to play, alongside analysis of existingmarketing data, is imperative to making decisions on where to focus and invest.Don’t Forget, It is Still a Phone!Within mobile apps and on the mobile web, ensure a clickable phone number or “click-to-call” button ison each screen of navigation. With so much search inquiry coming from handheld smartphones, do notignore or lose respect for the power of the human voice to qualify a transaction or relationship.Capitalize on the IntimacyThe smartphone is the most intimate consumer electronics device we have ever carried. It is just asprivate as it is social, and we have opportunities to curate personal feedback and data direct from theuser on top of objective metrics on the use of the technology.Mobile is BusyIn addition to the many apps, texting, email and social media that converge on a smartphone (howconvenient), we must respect that the individual is now liberated with places to go, people to see andthings to do. Attention spans have no option but to shrink in this environment, and so too should ourmessaging and “asks” of the mobile audience.The “Push Button” LifeMake it easy. The performance of your mobile marketing efforts will be largely dictated by the simplicityand ease of use of your mobile apps, mobile website and other channels accessed through smartphonesand tablets. Seriously, if an 8-year old cannot navigate any of these without parental guidance, then youcannot expect your customers to consistently use them.Don’t [Always] Believe the HypeBeware of “shiny objects” and over-stimulating statements from developers. Mobile technology makesmany things possible, while what is plausible or probable for widespread and successful adoption todayis not as great as the potential. In other words, not everyone can afford a new smartphone or tabletwith the latest functionality, and only a select few of your customers have the bandwidth orconsideration to experiment with new technology. Edelman Mobility – August 22, 2012
  8. 8. “Go Mobile, or Go Out of Business”*The “Age of Mobility” is nothing new. Humans have been upright, walking and mobile for nearly 4million years, while we have been sitting in front of keyboards for less than 200 years. It is thisevolutionary reality that has alarms blaring across the business world, and it is for this human reasoningthat no brand can afford to ignore or dismiss the rise of mobility as just another technology trend.The data, media and integrated business opportunities that are arriving alongside mobile liberation andan untethered audience may create a more segmented, complex marketing puzzle. In the end, this isabout market communications, customer service and business operations working together to assume areal-time actionable role; one which is a more human role.This inaugural edition of Edelman Mobility Quarterly is primarily focused on statistics and observationsspecific to the use of smartphones and tablets in the United States. The point-of-view and opinionpresented here is sighted on select areas of responsibility to address shifts in mobile technologyadoption and usage that has been brought to our attention as immediate and urgent.There are vast differences in the way mobility is being addressed by business and how it is reshapingconsumption habits. Industry by industry, brand by brand, this disparity becomes even more complexwhen comparing the unique traits shaped by geography, culture and economic conditions. At EdelmanDigital, we respect the need to be agile and diligent when scoping mobile solutions, and this has becomea top priority for our Global network of offices and services to ensure each client is prescribed anappropriate and effective solution based on these coordinates.Each quarter, a new edition of Edelman Mobility Quarterly will be shared with clients, partners and thepublic at-large. Please enjoy this resource and supplement to navigating the exciting future ahead. *a popular battle cry heard within the Online Services Division at Citrix (makers of GoToMeeting, PODIO and other online collaboration tools) Edelman Mobility – August 22, 2012
  9. 9. Questions & Inquiries Photo Credit: Tyson Goodridge on FlickrTim Hayden is SVP, Mobile Strategy for Edelman Digital. Inthis role, he helps teams and clients understand the currentand future landscape of mobility in order to developappropriate integrated strategies and programs.Tim can be contacted on Twitter (@TheTimHayden) or viaemail ( He is also a frequentcontributor to, where insights andopinions are shared on the larger view of emergingtechnology and human behavior.(The opinions expressed within this report are his and do notnecessarily reflect those of Edelman Digital or its clients.) Edelman Mobility – August 22, 2012