Hard words rather than hardware are what marketers should chiefly remember from the recently concluded Mobile World Congress.
Sandwiched in Barcelona between the new phones, wearables, and virtual reality gear was straight talk from Martin Sorrell, chief executive of advertising group WPP.
Speaking of what he called a “mobile revolution”, Sorrell admonished marketers for yesterday’s thinking.
"We haven't adapted," Sorrell said from figuratively and literally a global stage. "When people talk about creativity in our industry, they're talking about Don Draper. They're not talking about the new definitions. Believe it or not, people inside media agencies are creative. Software engineers are creative ... It's the definition of it -- we haven't contextualized it correctly yet.”
Sorrell’s comments mirror those that I shared from Hank Wasiak in my The Art of Mobile Persuasion book (http://artofmobilepersuasion.com).
Wasiak, the former vice chairman of McCann Erickson and now partner in The Concept Farm, told me:
“I challenge you to walk into an agency, say that you are going to do a campaign and say ‘give me your ideas in about 3 hours’. Not one is going to optimize around the mobile experience. I'll give you $1,000 if you find one. (Instead) they still say ‘here's a great commercial.’
“They look at mobile as more of a delivery device for their creative work. It is supposed to be something where they can creatively integrate their ideas. Mobile is just a big turnaround for them and then they don't get it yet.”
In Barcelona, Sorrell credited smaller entities with some success in getting closer to the customer via the wireless device.
"The essential problem is that big companies are not thinking about mobile in the right way," Sorrell said. “They're thinking of it as an extension of digital, just a way to reach consumers. They're not thinking of it in a way that changes their businesses or adds values in a way they weren't able to do previously."
“Probably the mobile revolution has not registered yet with companies, although it might have registered more ironically with the long tail then it has with larger companies. But it still has not penetrated companies to the degree it should have.”
Earlier, Wasiak told me that the era demands “a totally new and dynamic marketing landscape”.
“There's a difference between engaging with a human being and having a human experience,” Wasiak said in The Art of Mobile Persuasion. “Any company, brand or retailer should make believe that they are having a FaceTime call with them. It's the next best thing to being there. You're on FaceTime. I called, you've accepted. You see me, you know what I want. You know the situation that I'm in. I can tell by the tone of your voice and the look on your face how you feel. If you can try to draw those pictures in your mind through data, it’s better to get that attitude that I'm having a FaceTime call. This just isn't a digital connection.
“Smartphone-enabled consumers have kicked open the doors to a totally new and dynamic marketing landscape. This is first time in my 50-year marketing lifetime that we have the opportunity to be in service to the consumer virtually any time or any place in their daily lives. An awesome opportunity that comes with a huge responsibility.”
And, to date, with harsh assessments from industry pioneers.
(first published on imediaconnection.com - http://blogs.imediaconnection.com/blog/2016/02/27/three-damning-words-for-marketers-proceeding-with-yesterday’s-thinking/)