Last night, I read an article in AdAge about how both Google and Facebook were staking their respective futures on mobile, and how mobile was increasingly becoming the foundation of their efforts.
Since 2005, when I started working with The Marksmen, developing applications that could be accessed and utilized from mobile devices (it all started with the Treo), I knew that mobile represented the future of computing.
Notice I said “computing” as opposed to content consumption or the internet, because with the advent of the smartphone, there are fewer and fewer things that one can do exclusively on a PC that can’t be done on a mobile device.
From there it was DOT.TUNES, the first mobile application developed for the iPhone BEFORE the release of the iPhone SDK, which allowed users to remotely access their entire iTunes library directly from their mobile devices (even if it wasn’t an iPhone – holla!).
I even did a stint at MX Telecom (now OpenMarket), one of the largest mobile aggregators in the world, to learn about the ins-and-outs of the mobile industry, from the perspective of the underlying technology behind SMS/MMS/PSMS/Wap, mobile billing, etc.
Ever since, I have been preaching about the importance of mobile to anyone who would listen.
I tell virtually all the clients I consult, that they need to adopt a mobile strategy.
Set up a basic SMS service.
Build a mobile version (or mobile optimized version) of your website.
Create a brand specific mobile app.
Do anything to incorporate some mobile elements to your brand identity or risk going the way of the dinosaur.
I’m saying, if Google and Facebook are banking so heavily on it, doesn’t it seem to make good business sense?
They’re only multi-billion dollar companies.
Clearly, there is some wisdom to their actions.
Recently, I’ve been speaking with Sergio Lilavois, one of the founding partners of WeHarlem, an interactive e-community for those that live, work or socialize in Harlem.
WeHarlem has launched several innovative initiatives directed squarely at harnessing and applying the power of mobile devices.
They have a social media website, WeHarlem.com, which links residents and local businesses.
In addition, they developed device specific applications, for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices, giving WeHarlem users the ability to access all of WeHarlem’s features on-the-go.
One of the most valuable features of WeHarlem’s mobile app, is the Wi-Fi locator, which enables users to find Harlem businesses offering free Wi-Fi in their establishments.
WeHarlem’s strategy involves providing Harlem residents and businesses with bi-directional utility, generating foot-traffic, loyalty and retention.
We’re in discussions right now to help bring businesses even deeper into the fold, by offering services to enable them to more closely connect with their target audiences using mobile and social media technology.
There have been other shining moments, when the strategies I propose actually gain a foothold.
Vincent Morgan, for example, knew immediately that he wanted it all, a mobile version of his primary website and an SMS alert service.
Although he failed in his efforts to dethrone Charles Rangel, he succeeded in rewriting the way candidates utilize the web, social media and mobile in their campaigns.
Anyway, the AdAge article renewed my passion for evangelizing mobile and I will continue to preach the value of mobile to all who will listen!
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