What a long strange trip it’s been…

April 19th, 2012 by

“It’s nice to be a back in the office” is not a phrase I say often. However, the last few weeks have been chock-full of events stretching from Austin to SF to Chicago. Now that I’m back, I’m finally getting the opportunity to sit down in our new “digs” and collect my thoughts from my recent travels, or should I say, travails.

After 5 days in Austin for SXSW, I learned that Responsive Design is now generating more volume than HTML5, although both seem to be buzz words based in ideals and hype, rather than fact and implementation. As we know, HTML5 is an open standard that is not yet fully baked. And Responsive Design, while great in theory, poses many challenges in developing relevant UX for the mobile user on the go. This was also the first event where I had the pleasure of listening to ‘live” gangster rap in the Austin Convention Center a mere 20 feet from our booth…good times.

The following week we made our first appearance at Customer Engagement Technology World in SF. From what I understand, it got its start as an OOH (out-of-home) display conference, then started incorporating kiosks. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, kiosks are going the way of the dodo bird. So the natural next step was for the conference to bring mobile into the fold. Makes sense to me, and I think we are slowly going to see more kiosks being replaced by tablets and smartphones.

Following on the heels of CETW, we spent two productive days at ad:tech. It was nice to see Mobile Ad Networks finally starting to realize they also need to optimize landing pages for the post click experience. Per the norm, we also talked to the mobile traffic folks and the mobile inventory folks—who always seem to be looking for each other.

Ad:tech quickly came to a close and the next day we had to switch gears and focus on our own Mobile Strategies Forum event with Merkle and Webtrends. You can read a nice summary of the event by our SVP of Sales and Marketing, Ted Verani, here.

This past week, I had the delightful opportunity to join the distinguished guests and panelists at the first ever Chicago Mobile Marketer Day (the first of many I hope). The day was filled with valuable insight from mobile veterans and luminaries representing brands, agencies and marketing companies. The one nugget of information that resonated the most for me during my panel was that consumers spend 23% of their time on a mobile device, yet marketing budgets allocate less than 1% of their spend on mobile. Conversely, close to 30% of marketing budgets are spent on print, and only get 6% consumer penetration.  You don’t need to be a mathematician to see where the money needs to go.

All and all, we had some great experiences over the last few weeks, and I am looking forward to many more to come.

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