Business Digital Marketing — 21 July 2011
Is mobile marketing the secret to real-time marketing?

Whether you prefer an iPhone or Android-driven mobile device comes down to personal preferences. I for one have the iPhone 4 loaded with applications that are relevant to my interests, personal goals and recreational activities. I have apps for everything ranging from the Human Body, to Office Help to Games and Sport.

But why is this relevant to Marketing and more specifically Digital Marketing?

I love my sport and apps for major international events including for Roland Garros 2011 and  Wimbledon 2011 for tennis, Tour De France for cycling and of course, Formula1 (C’mon Hamilton!).

Now before the digital age, the dates of each event listed above were included in my calendar at the same time as birthdays. The marketing behind the events relied heavily on TV, radio, pre-event events and display advertising. Of course, each event had its own website with detailed information around the dates and times, player and team profiles, last years’ champions and recent news. And then there was the event. Then what?

My point here is that these apps have been designed to keep the user engaged in real-time.

Let’s take the F1 app as a case study for example. I am notified when practicing (P1, P2 and P3) begins and the results. The same occurs for qualifying and the actual race. In addition to this information, there is a Live Timing page with a Track Data tab that displays figures and graphs of up to date weather and atmospheric conditions at the circuit and a Lap Chart tab that shows a list of drivers in grid order. During the race in real-time, the line bends up and down the screen depending on the driver’s position in the race, with lines highlighted for those drivers in scoring positions. There is a Races tab that allows the user to click into any race over the season to view details about race information and results including those that have been completed. Lastly there is a Standings tab that provides up-to-date driver and constructor standings for the season.

Now this may not mean anything to those of you that do not follow the F1. But to those keen petrol heads out there, F1 is more than just who can drive the fastest. The strategy and statistics behind the status of the track and the car — which tyres to use, how much petrol is in the tank, how many laps were completed by the drivers during practice and qualifying is vital information for the teams. The team will use this information to strategise and plan how to drive during the race and when to pit. To the avid supporter, this information is gold, enabling interacting on another level and really exciting to track.

I am totally engaged and I am on the other side of the world. How evolved is that?

In conclusion, these apps are driving interest-driven communities. The brand is promoted within the app community and allows the audience to work as the brand ambassadors. The implications of these apps means that through digital marketing, marketers can push directly to brand ambassadors in real-time, anywhere in the world. The innovation and thought process behind these digital marketing campaigns is driving constant brand 24/7, 365 days a year.

Is mobile marketing the secret to real-time marketing?

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(2) Readers Comments

  1. Hi Kyle. Thanks for your post. I can empathise with a lot of it being a huge sports fan too. Although, I much prefer F1 and cycling to tennis. Even the current Tour de Pologne keeps me interested and I never miss a Grand Prix.

    I had the Tour de France app running on my iPhone in July. And I have used the live timing screen on the Formula One website for some years now. My question is: are these apps that we have now really mobile? That’s not meant to sound as stupid as it might do! Of course they are mobile. In one sense at least. And great apps they are too whilst, at the same time, being little more (in most cases) than existing content repurposed for mobile devices. The TDF app was, as I mentioned, great but did nothing over and above the ‘web’ content other than make it available on a small screen and handy when a laptop or desktop was not to hand. And it was sponsored by Skoda wasn’t it? – an ad campaign totally lost on me.

    Isn’t the really power of mobile – the time when apps become truly mobile – when they know where you are and what you are doing? Isn’t this when mobile advertising tips into something truly game changing and disruptive?

    Imagine that Tour de France app. Instead of just having a Skoda screen on startup (the same screen for everyone everywhere in the world regardless of age, location, interests etc) what if it alerted me to a cool bike shop as I walked by telling me about some great offer on a bike and that they were showing Le Tour on TV? In other words the app contextualised my interest and my location and gave me something useful and potentially really relevant and engaging. So, instead of a one off fee with Skoda (let’s ignore the broader advertising deal for now) the app developers had invited hundreds of thousands of bike shops all over the world to partner with them in handing over 5 bucks for every punter they drove into a store brandishing a code that got them 10% off stuff. Isn’t this the sort of thing that will be the future?

    This feel likes the future of mobile advertising. When apps become truly mobile in their ability to understand and contextualise people’s situations and behaviour. The difference, if you like, between a truly mobile app and an app that is merely mobile.

    Just some thoughts. Incidentally if you haven’t already popped over here to Singapore for the F1 I can thoroughly recommend it. That’s because I know you love F1 and are not far away! I wouldn’t make the same recommendation to my Mum in Europe who doesn’t care too much for F1 and is further away. Isn’t this how apps should be ‘thinking’?


    Carl Griffith

  2. Pingback: The future of Mobile Marketing is NFC (Near Field Communication), Advertising

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