Year Of Mobile / Year Of App Store

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The silo-ization of marketing is one of the reasons that the adoption of mobile marketing is slowing down, says Adrian Schauer, managing partner of Vortex Mobile.

Schauer told the audience at the IAB Canada-Mixx Canada conference Oct. 1 in Montreal that mobile is often brought into the marketing plan too late, and the organization of communications agencies into silos doesn’t help.

“Mobile is only strategic if it is useful,” Schauer said. “And it’s only useful if it’s strategic.”

Nevertheless, this is the Year of Mobile and the Year of the App Store, he says, and if the marketer can find a way to make mobile useful to the brand, he should use it. But it must be strategic, not just mobile for the sake of mobile.

Schauer sees three trends:

  • Social media and mobile media are overlapping;
  • Transactionality (eg. getting tickets through mobile) is slow but growing;
  • The transition in thinking of mobile as a way to push people to use it.
    Schauer showed off a number of cases where mobile has been used successfully.

For example, Volkswagen found that mobile apps could help it sell cars. Potential customers had the idea that finding gas stations selling diesel was difficult, so its sales people decided to show the stations ‘near you on the highway’ with an app. The result was so successful that Volkswagen extended the idea with a app to help consumers find dealerships, and developed it so it can be updated automatically. Further, it gives full tracking, showing Volkswagen downloads, usage and location of the users.

In another case, a Rogers Plus app on iPhone for Rogers video stores not only helps users locate stores but allows them to view the trailer of a video through a mobile. The aim was to help consumers choose a video and merchandise at Rogers Plus and the result has been thousands of downloads and strong repeat usage.

And Dell, which uses direct marketing, newsletters and e-commerce and knows that it is attracting a tech-savvy audience, now allows consumers to buy through a mobile browser, has a presence on Twitter and has tied into content with contests on Facebook. Its first e-Newsletter gained 500 unique visitors. Dell uses opt-in Widgets.

Moosehead beer jumped into the mobile world with promotions, sponsorship marketing activity. It got a short code, licenced platforms, and now integrates mobile a campaign at a time.

Even the U.S. Department of Defense has got in on the act. Realizing that military service personnel often need help, it has moved beyond the Web portal to offer fast help through its help apps.

Best Buy Remix is an app offering Best Buy’s full catalog, while Nationwide Auto Insurance has a Nationwide claim app that offers a toolkit. Should a driver have an accident, it includes an interactive form to fill out for exchange of information, a flashlight, a camera for pictures, and other info. (Nationwide promotes its claim App as part of its overall advertising campaign)

But despite such progress, there are things hindering mobile marketing’s growth.

“There’s the argument that Canadians pay more for wireless, but I don’t buy that,” says Schauer. “Nor do I buy into the myth that It’s more structural.”

Schauer says that, in addition to the afore-mentioned silo-ization,

  • many retailers aren’t yet set up to read mobile coupons;
  • mobile buyers don’t see the CPM values;
  • on the direct marketing side, mobile apps are competing with e-mails, so it’s tough to justify on a per push basis;
  • interactivity is coming but slowly (interactive contests help).

“Give mobile a seat at the table when you’re considering a marketing campaign,” Schauer says. “And if a brand pulls all its agencies together, you can often package it with them all.

“Further, you might be able to develop an affiliate program, working with an app and Twitter, for example.

“But keep in mind that, if you have only a small budget, say $25,000, to spend, an app could cost $15,000 to $20,000 of your budget, you’d be better off putting the funds into a mobile Web page.

One Response to “Year Of Mobile / Year Of App Store”

  1. Steve Gurley Says:

    I assume Adrian is speaking for Canada only. Mobile marketing in the US is far from slowing down, if fact it accelerating vigoursly. Note some of the recent news articles and factoids posted on my blog at

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