Professor, Designer, Husband, Father, Gamer, Bagpiper

I found this blog post interesting, when viewing high tech gadgetry from the viewpoint of mass appeal. I don't necessarily agree with all of it, but those of us embedded in the world of high tech sometimes forget that most people don't have the newest gadgets or will take a long time to get them, so it's good to be reminded of this.

I think it's clear that the best strategy will be to come up with approaches to advertising and marketing that span the spectrum, from low to high tech, especially in the mobile sphere.  Which begs the question, what's the "low tech" you want to support on a mobile device?  SMS?  MMS?  J2ME?  Do we "care" about folks who have the lowest-end of the lowest-end phones right now?

After all, if you look at the other side of the argument about what to assume in terms of mobile device capabilities, it's clear that churn is pretty rapid in mobile devices, so shooting too low may be a bad strategy.  After all, how many of the masses does a "mass" marketing campaign have to hit?   Perhaps shooting for a subset of phones (1%? 5%?  10%?) right now is reasonable, since the owners of those may be the folks you want to hit anyway (tech savvy, disposable income, young?).  By the time we see if a technology works or not, those numbers will have likely risen (5?  10%?  25%?).  And what is the goal of a high-tech mobile advertising campaign right now?  Perhaps the PR from a well executed campaign may be a bigger benefit than the "click through" of a piece of technology.

Of course, it would be easy to say that I'm a technical optimist and not a marketing person.  Both of which are true.  And I'm working in the highest end of the high end of mobile technology (mobile AR).  However, given the cost of creating technology and porting to todays plethora of phones, one has to be careful and reflective on deciding what to try and what to invest in;  the low end approaches don't seem (to me) to offer a lot of potential when compared to the web or print or TV.

Unless you are leveraging location (GPS or otherwise), the camera (for AR, or QR codes, or other forms of tracking and recognition), local ad-hoc networks, and other unique mobile technologies built into the device, it's unclear to me what mobile marketing has to offer.