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Wireless events: Where are the marketers?

I missed my first CTIA in 4 years this year, but seems like I may not have missed out.  Mobile Marketer’s Editor in Chief is quite disappointed with the absence of mobile marketing at CTIA.  While I understand the frustration, I am not sure it is fair to blame CTIA for this. Sure, they are an industry body with a charter to develop the industry, and sure I agree with the comments of the importance of marketing for wireless to really take off.

But the fact of the matter is that it takes a long time for a whole industry to wake up. And I am talking about the brands and the agencies here. Users have by far outrun the marketing people at agencies in their take-up and use of online entertainment and social networking, to the point where they are scrambling to figure out how to “crack the code”.  AdAge summarized the decline in traditional media brilliantly a couple of days ago (subscription only).  This is affecting the people who have used those channels to advertise.  Add to the fact that mobile is such a technologically complex area to understand – it is easy to understand why marketers fear events like CTIA like the plague. It simply makes them realize how far behind they are.

But there are good news on the horizon. The barometer is probably by seeing the number of “gurus” that have popped up lately to explain the new evolution in social behavior.  Tom Andersson and Seth Godin are old school. Now you have people like Jonathan MacDonald and Steve Rubel (and many, many more) that thanks to the very technologies and trends they talk about achieve fame lots quicker than being written about in Wired and Business Week.

Interestingly, it seems though that users have moved faster than the market in this case, rather than the other way around.  It is somewhat of a reverse of the adoption trend I wrote about the take up of Mobile TV. So as with any trend, CTIA and others just need to be patient.  But surely, 2009 must be the year for mobile TV? 😉

Posted in Mobile Marketing.

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