All Roads Lead to Convergence

Dutch HollisIf you’ve been paying attention to some of the news in the telecommunications and mobile industries lately, you’ve no doubt heard about Sprint-Nextel, Intel, Google, Time Warner Cable, and a few other big players jumping in to bed together in the Clearwire deal. These are strange bedfellows. So, what brings a wireless carrier, a chip maker, the 400-pound Internet gorilla and a cable provider together? It’s the potential promise of WiMAX that makes all these pieces fit together.

What is that promise? Well, in a nutshell, WiMAX makes real the possibility of having a broadband wireless connection everywhere, all the time. Okay, I get that you’re probably skeptical. So, what does “everywhere, all the time” actually mean? “Everywhere” means the connection is in reasonably well-populated urban and suburban areas. “All the time” means only if you’re a subscriber, or if the network is supported by a municipality. So, “everywhere, all the time” captures the vision pretty well.

Combine what WiMAX represents with Internet-savvy devices like the iPhone, Verizon’s promised LG Voyager and Google’s own pending entry into the mobile device market, and what you have is the Internet in your pocket. Wherever, and whenever, your pocket may go.

So, what does this convergence of technologies mean for the marketing professional?

  • It means that the “year of mobile,” despite experts forecasting it prematurely several times, will actually get here. When it does, it will be full of robust online experiences, not just text messages and WML coupons.

  • It means that there will soon be many more opportunities to provide targeted, relevant experiences to customers that aren’t necessarily sitting at a computer. It opens the possibility of universal relevance – and the opportunity for the consumer to buy from anywhere, at any time.

  • It means video is fair game…game on!

  • It means geographic targeting is possible, provided your customers are comfortable with it (and the FTC doesn’t prohibit it).

But mostly, it means that both marketers and consumers are going to have a lot of fun.

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] marketing needed to successfully execute a mobile marketing campaign. I talked a bit earlier about convergence in the mobile space, and my colleague Bryce talked about determining your needs for a mobile strategy. Let’s set […]

  2. […] A current definition of “mobile” or “mobile marketing” encompasses SMS or MMS bi-directional messaging, mobile advertising in its nascent state, mobile-friendly web content and perhaps some forms of mobile social networking (Twitter) all generally taking place on a mobile device like a cell phone or a smart phone. In these terms, it’s true that not all marketers need to be active in the mobile channel. Not all marketers have a clear-cut path to implementation of mobile tactics that makes sense for their brand, their customer or prospect, or their budget. My colleague Brian Deagan summed up this argument very well in his Lunchpail post here, and Dutch Hollis spoke to the possibilities of mobile targeting here. […]

  3. […] price increase by Verizon would surely wound, if not kill, mobile marketing via SMS altogether. Convergence of networks, hardware and software technologies will make other methods of reaching the mobile […]

%d bloggers like this: