The September 12 "Emerging Media Convergence 2012" conference (aka #EMC12) in Manhattan focused not only on Mobile, but also how Social Media may be paired along with it strategically. Offering a variety of presenters and formats, from panels to speaker keynotes, conference topics addressed included: millennials' online behaviors, social-mobile campaigns, mobile media best practices, and mobile-social gaming.
Although there were many topic areas and points of view, certainly there were several common key themes that panelists, keynote speakers, and attendees touched on, with regard to both Mobile and Social.
One of those was the power of the mobile-social combination, when done strategically and thoughtfully, and the opportunities that smart marketers may seize from that.
"Our smartphones are with us all the time", explained Persia Tatar, Founder of the Social Media Society (www.socialmediasociety.org
), the organization that hosted the #EMC12 conference along with the Mobile Leaders Alliance. Ms. Tatar said one of the outcomes she hoped for attendees to gain was to "get more people thinking about mobile, and mobile and social integration". She further explained, "Social is powering everything today-- people are accustomed to using it to connect." Dan Wittmers, founder and CEO of the Mobile Leaders Alliance (www.mobileleadersalliance.com
) added, "Marketers need to rethink the way users are engaging with their phones today when planning their mobile strategy.....Social on Mobile is so much more than just social networks."
Another theme was the 'new normal' (and future normal) of multitasking with our electronics, and the emergence of the 'second screen'. That the 'second screen' was a buzzword at the conference reflects the growing number of people today who are already watching television with their smartphones in hand, or a tablet on their laps, and attendees and panelists traded statistics and projections as to how it will continue to increase in the coming years, but it is not only a future phenomenon. The 'second screen' experience is already important right now, according to Stacia O'Connor, Co-founder and GM of Fresh Digital (www.freshdigitalgroup.com
): "It's about going to the next step- bringing in a new experience that connects the dots [because] consumers are consuming media today through so many different mediums, that implementing an interaction with the second screen is now a necessity."
Privacy was also a topic that was of great concern and discussion throughout the conference. It was not only expressed by some of the millennial panelists wary of their privacy and sharing settings (some of whom even shared that they have protected Twitter accounts, etc.) but also by attendees and panelists of varying age brackets and backgrounds. Mobile Leaders Alliance founder Dan Wittmers acknowledged this as well: "We're sharing more than ever on mobile, which makes taking privacy into consideration so much more important when planning a mobile strategy."
PRE-PLANNING MOBILE OUTCOMES:
Perhaps one of the most echoed topics, with good reason, was the necessity that mobile outcomes be well-thought out from the onset, rather than just sloppy afterthoughts lacking in strategy. Taylor Burton, Director of Sales and Brand Solutions at Hipcricket (www.hipcricket.com
), a subsidiary of Augme Technologies ($AUGT) explained the need for pre-planning from the start of the process: "When you're jumping into the mobile space, make sure to know what your KPIs are from the beginning. Mobile shouldn't just be a slap-on, add-on at the end. Mobile can be the glue that brings together all of your other media forms from both an analytic and functional perspective when planned properly."
The Emerging Media Convergence conference certainly gave attendees a lot to think about when it comes to Mobile and Social, and how they may be utilized together strategically. If the conference speakers and panelists are correct, we'll all be marveling at Mobile not only today, but for many years to come.