John Hadl is the CEO of "Brand in Hand, Navigating the Mobile Industry" and a longtime strategic advisor to Procter & Gamble about many issues that include mobile marketing. I recently chatted with John about mobile dos and don'ts.
: Can any brand go mobile or is it only right for some? What sorts of brands (CPG, Automotive, Entertainment) make mobile work the best? Conversely, where is mobile just not the right option? John Hadl
: "Brands" is a big category, and, yes, mobile is not right for all brands. If we divide mobile into its two parts: 1) a channel, and 2) a response vehicle to traditional/offline advertising, then we can evaluate what sort of brands work in each.
As channels, Financial Services, Entertainment and Automotive are top of the mobile list. While as a response mechanism, CPG, Retail and Apparel are on top. Mobile is not the right option for products targeting children under the age of 13 or over the age of 55. Most importantly mobile is not right for a brand that cannot dedicate the internal resources to understanding the elements. It's rarely a 1, 2, 3 industry. In terms of a specific category mobile couponing in the grocery channel just does not work!
Berens: What mobile campaign have you been involved with that you are most proud of? Can you give us details about the strategy, execution and results? On the other side, what mobile campaign that you have not been involved with that you sure wish you had been?
Hadl: I can't say much, here, because of client restrictions. However, some campaigns I liked a lot were Limbo Mobile's Bravo and Redbook campaigns, as well as Shoptext's text to sample campaign with Cosmo Girl.
Berens: People take their phones quite personally, so it's easy to kill a good relationship with a customer or potential customer by taking the wrong mobile approach. What are the worst mistakes a brand can make in mobile?
Hadl: The best way to avoid a mistake is to remember the phone's equity and that our emotional attachment to our mobile phones is based upon our ability to communicate with others. It's why we bought it in the first place. Can you say "voice" is the true killer app?
The worst mistake a brand can make is to think mobile is just like the web. That's simply not the case. Having done over 30 mobile campaigns this year, I can say mobile results may surprise you in the most interesting of places.
Berens: Compared to what's going on in Europe and Asia, the U.S. is just getting started with mobile. What do you think the future will bring with regard to mobile marketing? Can you give us the Hadl vision of the future at 6-12 months out, 5 years out, and 10 years out?
Hadl: With the gradual diminution of power among mass media -- caused by both fragmentation and by greater audience control -- the explosion in one-to-one, addressable, real-time and permission-based media, as well as the great increase in the power of c2c communications, we will see the mobile phone becoming the premier consumer connection and insights medium in the market.
In terms of a time table, not much will change in the next 6 months other that the quality of the discussion, attention and focus on mobile. 5-10 years out, look for your mobile number and IP address to be at the center of marketers' campaigns and a pillar in their quest for more informative consumer insights.
Berens: What's the biggest myth about mobile marketing that you'd like to dispel?
Hadl: "Consumers do not want advertising on their phones." The results are is in: they are happy to have it so long as it coincides with a perceivable value for them.
Brad Berens is the editor in chief and chief content officer for iMedia Communications. Read full bio.