Mobile Evolution: The Rise Of The Pocket Economy
At the turn of the millennium, the internet changed the way companies in general did business. The dawn of the digital age brought many companies to their collective knees, creating a life-or-death scenario for those who were slow to take the on-ramp to the Information Superhighway and completely reshaping entire industries. There was a mass extinction of many brick and mortar businesses, seismic shifts in how music & television is produced and consumed (ask a millennial what the last CD they bought was, and you're apt to get a puzzled look) and a vast frontier of new and emerging business opportunities in fields that were being created in response to these new and exciting technologies.
The rate at which new technology has been introduced to the masses has historically outpaced the rate at which companies can utilize it.
Here we are in 2016, standing at the precipice of another big shift in “tech-tonic” trends and this time, more businesses are preparing to go to war. The weapon of choice will be the most advanced way to target the masses while still finding ways to target individuals across demographics: mobile advertising.
It’s forecasted that by 2020, mobile advertising will account for nearly 75% of all digital ad spends. While desktop ads still get their share of the current digital spend, the rate at which companies have been shifting gears to focus more on mobile advertising has grown to the point where 2016 should be the year that mobile surpasses desktop, and once that happens, there will be no looking back.
Isn’t It Ironic….Don’t Cha’ Think?
Cadillac was founded in 1902 in Detroit. Wonder where the Cadillac name comes from? The founder of Cadillac, Henry Leland, decided to name his auto brand after the founder of Detroit, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac (quite a mouthful isn't it?). The Cadillac emblem is even meant to resemble his coat of arms!
So, why would a company that took so much pride in the city of Detroit just abruptly move its headquarters? In short, Detroit is struggling to keep its head above water, financially speaking. New York is on the cutting edge of design and fashion, and boasts a very large cultural melting pot. Celebrities, wealthy businessmen, and entrepreneurs abound in New York so it makes sense that America's most posh brand have its headquarters in The Big Apple. In short, it's foolish to cling to tradition simply for tradition's sake. You ultimately have to take the kind of actions that generate profit, placate investors, and satisfy shareholders. This also puts Cadillac's leadership at the doorstep of design and innovation and may lead to spontaneous moments of inspiration.
While I'm sad to see such an iconic brand leave The Motor City, I can easily reconcile why they did what they did. This is a good move for Cadillac, who will attempt to expand their sales well beyond the markets of the United States, Canada, and China. It's worth mentioning that Cadillac's headquarters is the only component of the company (which will regain a little more autonomy this year from GM), that will be leaving Detroit. The remainder of the jobs will remain where they always have.
The Epic Battle for Net Neutrality
What is net neutrality? Well, net neutrality is the “principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.” Basically, one website can’t be favored over another in terms of speed or accessibility just because they paid for it.
Typically, when this topic is discussed, proponents of net neutrality mention how consumers will not be given equal access to internet content such as streaming services unless the website or the consumer pays for it. They argue that smaller websites who cannot pay outrageous fees to keep their content accessible will fail. Freedom of internet speech will be given only to large corporations with enough money to pay for it. This is true, but not the only problem. All small businesses, not only those in entertainment, will be hurt if the internet is not kept open and accessible.
Smaller marketing firms, and by extension other small businesses, will be hurt tremendously if net neutrality ceases to exist. Small businesses often rely on the internet as a cost-effective form of advertising. The internet allows small businesses to reach people around the world at a much cheaper rate than traditional media. If net neutrality is abolished, small businesses will no longer be able to compete against large corporations for cheap ad-space on the internet. Large corporations will have the money to advertise on sites that are more accessible to consumers.
In short, this is a very big deal. Just ask Netflix…who had a brief fallout with Comcast…their streaming content was streaming noticeably slower until they reached a compromise with the internet service provider. Lo and behold, in February, they began to see an immediate improvement (or perhaps just restoration of where it once was) in streaming speed. Netflix was literally held hostage by Comcast until its demands were met. It's naive to think they playing field will ever be completely level, but steps should definitely be taken to ensure that we're doing all we can.
More Platform Jumping Than Ezio Auditore
What this means is that if you were to view an advertisement on your laptop, in theory, the same ad would appear on your smartphone or tablet. This would be absolutely HUGE if it works as anticipated. Currently, this is in a sort of beta phase, with large agencies with high traffic testing this nouveau hashtagging system. If this works, this could be a boon to the advertising community at-large. Digital marketing has already grown leaps and bounds due in large part to the ability to view and track analytics and hypertarget demographic groups. This has the potential to usher in a new era within the purview of the digital marketing age, and with streaming television services becoming more and more the norm, how long will it be before digital supplants traditional media as the dominant medium for advertising? Food for thought….
Consumers are continually becoming more and more sophisticated, especially in an age where we now quantify and track everything. This allows marketers and advertisers to embrace that kind of transparency, put together their own research, and disseminate that information to a more targeted audience, which makes your advertising far more efficient with fewer wasted dollars. The role marketing plays has become more comprehensive, including processes such as planning, implementation, and monitoring & analytics (Manning and Reece, 2008). Analytics have become increasingly important because consumers want to measure success and revise the plan of attack if there are any shortcomings. Instead of putting together a plan and putting the product out there for eyes to see, the marketer now needs to make sure the right eyes see it and with a certain amount of frequency.
At the end of the day, the name of the game is value, and what you can bring to the table will ultimately determine your level of success. Offering a superior value guarantees satisfaction which earns loyalty (Day, 1994). Marketing in contemporary America now favors the cultivation of relationships, proving once and for all that it is, and always has been, all about the people.