The Rise of the Mobile Marketer
Your company is hosting a client summit where you have all of your very best clients gathered in one place, sharing stories of success and failure. You're also providing a lot of educational sessions, teaching your clients to use your products more effectively. All in all, there is a lot of information sharing going on.
Not so far-fetched, right?
Pretty much every company of a certain size hosts just such an event. The catch is, these same companies often fail to make much marketing use of events like this. Perhaps they record a few interviews with their clients or issue a press release. They hire a photographer to snap pictures and a videographer to get some of the sessions on tape. They can't afford to hire enough of these people, however, to truly capture the real conversations that make the event really useful. Anything that is captured is delivered days later after the moment has passed.
This is where the mobile marketer comes in. Now imagine this:
Each of these conversations is captured on video or as a photo set by one of your employees who knows these people, what companies they work for, what the subject of the discussion was, what information was shared, and what the AHA! moment was for everyone involved. Your employee does this using something they already have in their purse or pocket, a mobile phone. Better yet, they are able to publish it the video or photo set right away, with captions and/or descriptions that capture the context and meaning of the conversation.
Pretty compelling vision, no?
Anyone who has been following the rise of citizen journalism knows that the level of context that can be delivered by these amateur reporters is amazing. We have all become accustomed to seeing real life news delivered by untrained people in real time. We know that we're getting snippets as opposed to the whole story, but the mosaic of snippets ultimately add up to the whole picture in a way that a processed news story can't begin to touch.
Your marketing can be delivered in the same way, if you choose to trust your employees to be sane and to trust your audience to piece together the multiple snippets. Of course, you can put policies in place to help guide your employees and you can set expectations with your audience that they are seeing a perhaps somewhat unpolished view of how things work. I think everyone involved can handle it and will even appreciate it.
The key to making this work for everyone, including the people who watch the marketing numbers, is to publish this great material in real time in such a way that it can be monitored and tracked. Mobile applications (like the one Spredfast is releasing in just a few weeks) are the answer. Using the amazing platforms provided by the mobile phone makers, marketing software companies can build light versions of their tools that live on the phone and let the marketer un-tether from their lap top and engage in the conversation while capturing the experience.
I don't think I'm really breaking new ground here. Surely some of you are doing this. If so, please feel free to share your stories in the comments.