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Brands do not get the difference between apps and mobile Web: MMF panel

Posted by TeamITI on June 10, 2010

NEW YORK – Brands should focus more on the overall consumer experience rather than contemplate choosing a mobile Web site or application, per panelists at the Mobile Marketing Forum.

During “The Great Debate: Mobile Web Versus Applications,” panelists agreed that it does not matter whether a brand offers a mobile site or application. What matters is that consumers are engaged in the content.

“Brands don’t necessarily get the difference between them,” said Bradley Cressman, director of sales and marketing at Sympatico, Toronto. “You have a lot of brands thinking this is where I want to go, and it’s great that it starts the conversation, but there’s still a lot of education that needs to be done.

“There’s still a learning curve, both on the user side and on our side,” he said. “It’s a big challenge, but we’re learning everyday.”

Doug Busk, executive vice president of mobile strategy and business development at Whoop, Atlanta, moderated the panel.

Mobile real estate
The panelists agreed that in the next few years, brands are going to be looking at mobile devices as real estate. Companies will need to make sure that consumers will want to download the brand’s application and that there is valuable content in that application, so that it does not just take up room in a user’s handset. According to Patrick Mork, vice president of marketing at Get Jar, San Francisco, there have been applications that have been proven to not work on all handsets. The only way to get repeat consumers is when a mobile site or application works.

“The battle over the next year is going to be the phone real estate,” Mr. Mork said. “What the value on being on that mobile desktop is – whether it’s a short code or app.

Mobile incorporation
Many companies have incorporated both a mobile Web site and applications. Flirtomatic, a mobile social networking site, has a cross-platform presence that lets consumers download the core content of its application and, according to Mr. Mork, because of consumer satisfaction, the company found innovative ways to sell users premium services that they are willing to pay for. Additionally, Fandango is another good business model, per Mr. Mork.

The company has applications across an array of smartphones, including Palm, Android, BlackBerry and iPhone. In addition to its applications, the company has a mobile-optimized site where consumers can find showtimes, view movie trailers and purchase tickets.

“There are a lot of innovative business models that people getting into the app space might want to embrace,” Mr. Mork said. “There’s reach versus frequency and for brands, it’s a challenge.”

Mobile all the way
While applications can be successful for many brands, others should not ignore mobile-optimized sites.

“The mobile Web is vastly understated and vastly underappreciated,” Mr. Mork said. “I think this industry is changing rapidly and the number of application downloads is not the way to look [at it anymore].

“It’s about traffic and usage – and usage is where it’s going to be at in the next 12 months.”

This article is published by Mobile Marketer, please read the original article here.

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