Brands that can figure out a cohesive strategy on mobile will proposer for long times to come. For this piece I had a chance to speak with digital agency Ubermind about trends they are noticing in this space. More after the jump.
Established in 1999 in Seattle, Ubermind has been quite active in the mobile and emerging technology space, working with big brands (mostly entertainment and retail) such as Target to create and launch consumer-focused strategies on mobile. Target initially came to Ubermind and help them define their mobile strategy. This involved creating mobile optimized site, iOS apps and Android-focused apps. What was important is that Target didn’t go for a one-off experience.
Trends in the space:
- In the beginning there was a lot of demand for one-off experiential apps.
- Fast forward to today and clients are thinking much more in terms of how mobile strategies can align with core businesses.
- For retailers this translates into direct e-commerce (i.e. purchasing directly through mobile site)
- For media its about distribution of content (i.e. watching news from iPad and Content)
In the mobile space they’re seeing simple social tie-ins and deeper integrations where you drive usage of an application for daily use using a blog like Paradigm where you’re pushing out new content and using social to create UGC. Ubermind sees the convergence of social and mobile going beyond social networking and dealing more with real face to face social interactions.
NFC is something they are also looking at seriously although there are some heavy infrastructure changes required to integrate NFC properly into retail. For example, having interactive toys that do something when you bring a phone near it is one area of growth we can expect to see in which digital and physical realms are interacting with each other.
You can use a low latency audio signal to communicate with another microphone, amongst other things. NFC is one of the technologies that detect location and proximity. Other technologies include, bump, GPS, AR and so forth. The individual technology may get popular but you’ll see brands using lots of different technologies integrated into these location to person and person-to-person interactions.
With devices getting smaller and faster, and networks increasing their speeds, we should see consumers consuming a plethora of high quality content over the next decade. To be part of this, brands have to think about what can keep people coming back. Early on we saw companies creating one off experiences but soon they realized they are competing against internet startups. For something thats combining gaming, location and mobile is EpicMix. EpicMix is a great example of a consumer-focused app that provides a ton of utility to skiers. Helping them find out ski conditions and capture plenty of data points in turn draws skiers to EpicMix’ resorts.
There are also co-marketing opportunities in mobile. In Target’s app in the home screen there are campaigns that run in the blank space. This space provides room for collaborative alliances with extended versions of traditional co-marketing models. Basically brands and apps can co-promote each other if their target audience is similar.
Some brands are more progressive and they have internal groups that Ubermind works with. Others leave most of the work to Ubermind. With many devices and technologies emerging, it’s important as a brand to work with an agency that understands shifts in consumer behavior. If you are an entertainment or retail focused brand, I recommend talking to the guys over at Ubermind. If you can entertain consumers while they are shopping for their needs, then you can win.