I recently read a great blog post by Tony Foggett on The DRUM about the value of understanding your audience and the importance of mobile as part of your marketing strategy. He walks through several important elements, including the need to look at the user experience differently when designing for mobile vs. PC. User patterns and behaviors are different by medium so the usability should fall in line as well. But the discussion also asks a broader question about marketing strategy, and challenges our thinking about new technology channels as integral pieces of marketing strategy, not individual silos.

'…So, it seems mobile has arrived; and it is changing the rules of engagement again, just as marketers are getting to grips with the disruption digital and social has brought to its marketing approach. The speed of this change, the requirement for more investment and sheer diversity of the technology relating to mobile can seem pretty daunting.

There appears to be some confusion among marketers about what they should be doing. Should they be building 'apps', a mobile website or both?This isn't the way to approach it. Mobile is only one part of a marketing strategy. Brands need an integrated cross-platform view of digital and to rethink their whole approach – from back end platforms that deliver better integration and user experience across not only mobile and desktop but to all other consumer touch points.' - Foggett

It's yet another fundamental example of the value of new marketing channels and how they can be used to reach the right audience at the right time. Too often organizations try and separate the strategies for mobile, social, digital, traditional, etc. when they should be aligning all of these critical elements into an integrated multichannel marketing strategy.

Online and offline worlds are colliding as consumers become more comfortable with networks, apps and mobile devices. Our marketing toolboxes are now filled with things we couldn't have imagined just 5 years ago. Things like, social media, Apps, QR codes, etc. are just the beginning of new and powerful tools that can be used as part of an integrated marketing effort.

As Tony Foggett says so eloquently in the closing of his post…

'We need to be aware that the current mobile trend is just the beginning. Consumers will be interacting with brands via a greater diversity of web enabled devices and platforms. IPTV is an immediate opportunity and announcements like Google's 'Android@Home' framework, which allows household appliances to communicate with Android devices demonstrates Google's intentions of finding new ways to use their information in everyday life beyond the mobile phone. His advice? Get a digital partner, that is user centric in its thinking – offering consumer understanding and planning capability, who can identify the opportunities (and look beyond the app), advise on devices and platforms to embrace, what technology you need to implement it and how it all joins up to deliver cross platform capability.'

We are ready for the challenge. Photo courtesy of Multichannel Marketing Blog Post