No longer in the “Year of Mobile,” us marketers are deep in the midst of what Cindy Krum, CEO of Mobile Moxie, describes as “the Decade of Mobile.” The fact is, mobile is here, it has been here, and it’s here to stay. Marketers, brands and consumers are still reacting to this new landscape and #usDragons were fortunate to have Cindy join us for a conversation about what it all means and where we’re headed.
Up there with “Year of Mobile” in the annals of marketing buzz-words is “Big Data.” Cindy explained how these topics converge with users’ smartphones and wearable tech, contributing to an opportunity for data-driven decision making like never before. In addition to her tips for mobile marketing, Cindy explained how small to medium-sized brands and agencies can excel in a new frontier. As we all grow to meet this need, Cindy recommends a blend of technology savvy with creativity to bring new mobile experiences to users.
Cindy sat down with our intrepid Dragon and host of “Marketology in Motion” Abe Uchitelle for a bit of Q&A about how mobile if not only affecting marketing strategies, it is shaping it.
We hope you enjoyed our interview with Cindy. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to be on the lookout for the next Marketology in Motion video.
Abe Uchitelle: Hi I’m Abe, the Director of Business Development with DragonSearch and I’d like to welcome you to another installment of our series of marketing interviews: Marketology in Motion. Today we have Cindy Krum joining us, who is the CEO of Mobile Moxie, which is a leading mobile marketing consultancy. She is also the author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are and a contributor to many, many digital marketing blogs. I’d like to thank you for joining us, welcome!
Cindy Krum: Thanks for having me!
Abe Uchitelle: How did it all start? How did you get into the industry and with so much of a focus on mobile marketing?
Cindy Krum: I had just taken a new job and with my first new paycheck I got a fancy phone. Fancier than I had ever had before. I was doing SEO and I started looking at the searches that I was testing on my computer on my phone and noticing that they were wildly different. I just decided that I was going to figure out how things were ranked and why they were different. So I just started investigating and figuring out how mobile developers who were developing mobile sites and what they could do to make mobile sites rank better on the phone.
Abe Uchitelle: I feel like it’s been a few years now that folks have been saying: “It’s the year of the mobile”. Can we officially say the year of mobile is behind us and accept it as a reality?
Cindy Krum: Maybe, or just say that it’s the decade of mobile. Everything is going to be mobile soon enough. If it’s not mobile now, it will be soon.
Abe Uchitelle: Do you find that the questions that people are asking you just off the street have been changed?
Cindy Krum: People don’t ask any more if it’s important. Everyone knows it’s important. But the questions are becoming more specific and also more urgent.
Abe Uchitelle: Mobile phones are more powerful than some of the computers we’ve had in the past and they’re generating tons of data.
Cindy Krum: Mhm.
Abe Uchitelle: It’s big data.
Cindy Krum: Yeah, yeah.
Abe Uchitelle: Last week I got a letter in the mail from Verizon, telling me about my terms of service and some interesting uses they were going to find for my data. They’re going to essentially be using it for marketing purposes. And I found that kind of interesting, as a marketer my mouth was watering a little bit, but as a user I was kind of like, “wow, this is a new frontier.” So what are your thoughts about that?
Cindy Krum: So I love it and I hate it. I think it’s something that I’ve been saying is going to happen for a long time, because the carriers aren’t making as much money as they used to because there’s been so much competition on pricing, driving the pricing down. Data usage and minutes went from being per minute to unlimited or close to unlimited and stuff like that. So much competition for customers that the carriers just aren’t making money. So they’re having to figure out how to make money in a different way, and I’ve been saying for a long time that they’re going to start selling all their user data, because they have it and they can aggregate it, so why not? What’s interesting is, in the United States either it’s happening, and they are not being as transparent about it or it’s not quite happening yet. In places like Latin America, I think Mexico is the country that has the carrier called Telefónica and they have outright created a marketing branch of the carrier where they aggregate all the data of their visitors and sell it. You can go to this spin off company from Telefónica and say, “I want to know about people who live in this area or I want to know about people who are in this age bracket or this income bracket” and with all the information that you have to give them to get your cell phone you sign away the right for them to use that data in an anonymous way and repurpose it. So I imagine that is where Verizon is going. But also there has been so much controversy with the NSA recently and how the government can access that data that perhaps the new terms that you have acceded to have multiple reasons behind them.
Abe Uchitelle:Perhaps. There are companies like Verizon, we’ve got internet service providers, we’ve got search giants like Google and all these companies are keeping track of a lot of data for us. I think of those companies as being the ones that can take advantage of the data. It’s kind of an elite class of companies who have the resources and the manpower to really put action behind it. But what about smaller companies, looking at smaller marketing agencies or smaller medium size marketing agencies, or even some small to medium sized brands, how can they take advantage of this?
Cindy Krum: Oh my gosh there are so much that the brands could be doing but they’re not, or maybe they are but they’re just not telling us about it. So think about something like a MyFitness tracker or a calorie counting app, people divulge their deepest darkest secrets to apps. And I’m not saying that brands should necessarily leverage deep dark secrets that can be attached to a person but anonymizing the data is interesting. Think about a calorie counter, if I am constantly putting in everything that I eat, some of the calorie counters are becoming more advanced and instead of me typing in “I had a strawberry Pop-tarts and it was 250 calories,” they have a dropdown menu, where you can pick exactly what you ate. So I ate a strawberry Pop-tart, it already knows how many calories that is but that also says that I’m a good person to market strawberry Pop-tarts to, you know? Or new flavors of Pop-tarts. People are telling us exactly what they are buying at the grocery store when they are using apps like that. And that data could be captured, anonymized, and published in really interesting ways. Or, mixed with other data sites, right? What if we took all of the calorie counting entries from one calorie app and crossed it with the TV schedule and said, okay, on average people ate an extra 3,000 calories the week of the SuperBowl or we should up marketing for fried chicken for the season premiere of ‘The Walking Dead’ or whatever. Because we know that’s what people are eating anyways, so let’s push it further. We can take lots of different approaches to the data that all the apps are already collecting. Sometimes saving locally on the phone but putting it up to the cloud does a lot of things in terms of making it more accessible to the users but also in terms of making it something we can aggregate.
Abe: So these are really exciting developments for marketers, right? A little scary for users, but ideally we are going to get marketed more relevant things, so we’re going to have a better experience in the end. I want to transition to something that is really just cool and fun for users and I haven’t heard anyone talk about it from the marketing perspective, and that is the next generation of wearable tech. Smart watches, Google Glass, what are your thoughts on the next frontier there?
Cindy Krum: So I think what we were talking about with the apps recording all your daily activities that has just been made more obvious and apparent with the wearables. You know all of the wearables are eventually going to not only start storing information locally but uploading it to the cloud so that you can maybe deal with your information and plot it out on a graph or whatever it is. That is fascinating, but then take it to the next level where you can aggregate everyone’s data, so a Pebble, or a Fitbit, or whatever and we can make heat maps that show what are the most fitness conscious areas of town. If you’re looking for a house or want to be surrounded by fitness conscious people. Or we could have contests, especially if we created APIs to accept data from all different kinds of wearables, fitness data so not just Fitbits but Fitbit could be combined with Pebble data. Then we could say let’s have this high school versus this high school have a competition where we know that 80 percent of the students have one device or another and we’re going to burn more calories than you this month or something like that. So there are fun interactive ways of dealing with it, but there’s also lots of cool potential for understanding and solving big social problems, right? They’re marketed as a personal action, life improvement, right? I’m tracking my fitness so that I can be healthier or I’m using Google Glass so that I can somehow make my life better. There is also just so much potential information there that it just can’t be ignored, I think, or won’t be able to for long. And marketers of course will be the first ones at the table.
Abe: So as the marketers are coming to the table over this and agencies and brands are adapting to all the changes, what are some of the skills that people need to be thinking about as they’re hiring people, as they’re training themselves, you know, just going into this mobile universe that we’re in?
Cindy Krum: Having people that are able to keep up with the technology in terms of just knowing what’s available, and then the creativity; taking whatever data you have and making it mean something, right? [tweet_line url=”http://drsr.ch/cindykrum/” hashtags=”mobile”] Because data is nothing unless you put a story with it[/tweet_line]. The other thing is finding people who can do data visualizations that are meaningful or interesting that can capture all the big data and either graph it or make it actionable for people who aren’t as familiar with data or who don’t have to work with data every day. So this is way more than pivot tables; really interactive data that you can kind of mine quickly. And that’s a really cool new or newish spin on an old profession that is data analysts.
Abe: There’s a lot going on there, I think people are adapting really quickly, we are seeing some really fun stuff happen, and I’m very excited and I’m very happy that that you were able to join us today! Thank you so much.
Cindy Krum: Thank you again.
Abe: You can check her out online. She is on Twitter and I’m sure on other social networks as well. You can go see her speak at a conference; check out her book: Mobile Marketing. Thanks for joining us, be sure to leave us a comment in the comments below whether you are on YouTube or on the blog, there is probably a comment box below. Let us know what you think and thank you so much for joining us!
Cindy Krum: Thank you for having me!