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Mobile Fix - March 10

Two Tribes

Building on our piece on ROI last week I liked the speech that  the CMO of BT made at the ISBA conference claiming marketing is in crisis because the industry has split into two tribes;

The traditional marketers have a deep understanding of the customer but "don’t know how to reach customers" and the digital marketers "understand how to harvest clicks, but have no idea why,"

This is broadly true and in line with our oft repeated view that smart brands know how to blend old and new media. CEOs want Growth & therefore value people who can help drive growth

If it is about product and process they tend to hire McKinsey etc but most boards recognise that Creative thinking can drive growth. The fact that comes in two flavours - Brand Equity (Long term) and Sales Drivers (Short term) – doesn’t matter that much as both drive quarterly sales. But it’s the blend of the long term and the short term where the value is.

Unfortunately the Agency business has balkanized and a client now faces a role as ringmaster of competing Factories – all selling what their factory is best at producing; 30 second TV ads,  SEO, Facebook ads, Traditional Media Plans etc.

Despite the siren voices claiming digital is all a con many business know that digital drives great value when done right. If traditional agency people hang on to this fallacy they are vulnerable to the Big 4 consultancies. This look at Accenture shows how real the threat is and these companies have much better board level relationships than most Agencies.

Location Location

Location is the secret sauce of mobile. Knowing where someone has been, where they are and even where they are going is unique to mobile. GAFA make huge efforts to capture location in a way they can use it for marketing purposes, but the Mobile Operators play in this space too and see it as a way to fight back

“There’s a saying I have: ‘Where you go is who you are,'”

Dan Rosen Telefonica

Foursquare have finally found a clear role as they licence all that data from people checking in. This is a good piece on how location is captured and value created.


Now public, Snap have to deal with Wall Street and scrutiny of their share price.  But their main focus has to be on recruiting brands to spend more on the platform and to keep driving product innovation.

If they compete with Facebook et al for ads, the way they think about Product is different. As a camera company they have firmly bet on the shift to a visual age. Emojis, Gifs, Video, Face recognition and even QR codes all play to this. This NYT piece is a good look at this opportunity

One nice story around the IPO was that an early investor was a school in San Francisco. A VC whose daughters attend the school heard about Snapchat from his daughters and the enthusiasm of their schoolmates led him to go meet Evan Spiegel and become the first investor – and he offered the school the chance to participate. Their $15k is now worth around $35million

Watching what is breaking out in schools remains a valid way to spot new social apps. That brought us Peach – which was shortlived - but now Anchor Houseparty and MarcoPolo are the hot apps on the West Coast. Musically went through this trajectory and is now huge – it is where Katy Perry launches her new records - even though its unknown to nearly everyone over 15.


We prefer to think of Musers and Influencers as Disciples - they are true believers in a platform, create content that drives sharing, traffic and engagement - and do lots of evangelising. But if you don’t nurture them you risk them switching allegiance – see Vine for a good example.

There are some stories that Snap are neglecting their Disciples and we would hope that gets sorted, as Instagram etc will be encouraging them to switch.

Influencer marketing is now a global strategy – some work we are doing on Social in the MENA region highlights local talent as being vital. But how to measure the real impact has been a struggle – this Agency advice on measurement and tracking is really useful

But we are going to see Influencer marketing mature and evolve quickly as the regulators are stepping up their efforts to clean up what has been something of a Wild West. The new ASA guidance - such as to include the word ad on an Instagram image - is going to need some thinking through


More evidence that GAFA are moving into content, with stories about Apple meeting Paramount and others.  We are convinced the same logic that drove the Japanese hardware firms to buy into studios in the 80s and 90s makes sense for todays software giants.

Being able to balance exclusive content with wider distribution is working for Amazon (and Netflix) and will work for Google, Apple and Facebook too. We have just seen BT pay double for their next Champions League rights as they believe that will drive customer number. It seems likely they will strike a digital partnership with someone to drive the wider audience that the competition needs. I guess we need some of our Brit friends in Silicon Valley to explain to their US colleagues just how big soccer is around the world.

Imagine if the unbelievable Barcelona come back against PSG wasn’t available in the ITV highlights but was on YouTube or Facebook Live? Facebook are hunting TV like content for Live – including sports - and it’s only matter of time before their cheque book wins out against the traditional players. They are almost there with Baseball and the head of CBS expects them to compete for the next NFL deal

But he believes the sports will want to stay on network TV in some way.


As people unpick the contribution that data made to the Trump win, there are a couple of good pieces showing what Facebook does know about you. Not all of this can be used by advertisers, but there are some clever things possible. For example you can target people on Skiing holidays and those just come back from one – so we could serve personalised ads about Val D’Isere to people who have just been there.

And this piece gets into how they use facial recognition and finds that scary. In London we have more CCTV cameras than anywhere in the world and anyone who watched Spooks know you can be tracked. But it’s not that easy - at the moment.

Quick Reads

US Grocery delivery firm Instacart raises $400m. In the UK Amazon is rolling our exclusive access to the Alexa shopping service

Amazon to add voice calling to Alexa. Will they try again with a smartphone?

Interesting report from Nielsen on what people want from mobile banking.  The case for the challengers entering the Banking market was weakened when a number of them went down last weekend

Finally ….something to think about today; US consumer spend 5 hours a day on their smartphone. The 40 million plus smartphone users in the UK won’t be far behind.

Are you doing enough to capture the opportunity here? Could we help?

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