iPHONE EXPERIENTIAL

An interesting article in today’s Ad Age points to the mobile marketing revolution that could be augured in with the latest release of Apple’s iPhone.

This movement toward mobile apps is a confluence of two trends: marketers’ interest in creating useful experiences for customers and the opening up of platforms for them to do so.

Marketers are taking dollars that might previously have gone toward traditional paid ad formats and using them to developing content or utilities that can offer deeper engagement and ongoing utility.
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“What’s going to work in mobile is applications over advertising,” said Chad Stoller, director-emerging platforms at Organic. “You have to provide utility and use. But it’s one thing to build it, another to get distribution.”

Particularly interesting is the word choice of the author uses to describe the future of mobile applications.

Indeed, much of the buzz about mobile marketing in the past couple of years has centered on the idea of mobile advertising — importing the paid-display-advertising model into the mobile phone. But in the past six months, marketers have begun talking about a new kind of mobile marketing, one that’s experiential, takes advantage of the medium and enhances something users would want to do anyway. In fact, making sure there’s a specific need or reason for an application is almost as important as determining whether a marketer’s audience can be found on a device.

Isn’t it somewhat poignant that “experiential” is making appearances in conversations about mobile marketing? Isn’t the term only applicable to event and guerrilla marketing, as most traditional marketers and agency hacks would have us believe?

Hogwash! Experiential isn’t a tactic. It’s a philosophy, one that is being embraced by innovators and innovative marketers alike. Time to join in the fun.

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