Friday, January 19, 2007

A digital idea is a digital idea. Mobile and internet are one and the same

In the media world, delivering brands through channels is so cool it's hot. But I'm not entirely sure this emphasis on channels is particularly helpful.
At least, it isn't while we continue to see mobile and internet as separate channels.
In a world of digital land-grab, a blind charge to deliver the idea is often happening without a thought for its appropriateness to 'the channel' you happen to focus your world around.
This is most glaringly obvious in the mobile domain. A mobile play should focus on Tomi T Ahonen's 5 Ms. In short, it should take advantage of what differentiates a mobile device from a standard pc.
This means that if you have a great idea for a new digital delivery of your brand you shouldn't stuff it on to mobile just because you can. If it suits a fixed line play best, then deliver it there. If it offers advantages to the mobile user, make them available to the mobile user, too.
Seems obvious.
But the confusion is endemic and I'd hazard a guess it is structural. If you persist in running units focusing on mobile and other units focusing on 'internet', it's bound to occur. Indeed internal competition may actively encourage this to happen.
I can't think of a single mobile play which wouldn't benefit from the option of access via a 'fixed line' website. I can't conceive of a website which wouldn't benefit from being optimised for your mobile, or which wouldn't accelerate its performance by allowing UGC (user generated content) and social networked interaction via mobile too.
3G Mobile internet screws up the dividing line. Wifi-enabled smart phones erase it entirely.
Fingers crossed for change.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?