.mobi – brands are slowly warming to the idea of mobile
I went to a workshop in London on Thursday afternoon held by dot mobi (the .mobi guys) talking specifically about the Top Ten Mistakes in Mobile Marketing. The event, held at the über trendy Hospital Club in SoHo was well attended (perhaps too well attended by pesky Mobile Monday types who asked lots of tough questions).
The host was Amy Mischler who is VP of Identity and Brand Services for dotmobi and is currently on a roadshow promoting their “mobi thinking” initiative. Her presentation was the last on a whistle-stop tour over the last 3 weeks or so.
David Murphy from Mobile Marketing Magazine was also there and has an excellent summary of the top 10 mistakes so I won’t repeat them here, save mention that the dot mobi crew have put together an excellent website called mobithinking that is worth a visit it you want your brand anywhere near a mobile phone.
Amy also gave some great examples such as the Bank of America, Barclays Bank and Zagat who have developed excellent .mobi sites with the mobile user in mind.
As an aside, I had a quiet chuckle when before the session started I saw a flyer offering the first 150 people a free “mobile internet for dummies” book if you sign up at mtld.mobi/book. I tried this from my mobile and it did not display the sign-up form so was totally useless. I let Amy know this, and she did use this example in her presentation of a mobile marketing mistake and admitted they had “broken their own rules”. Hats off to Amy for being open about it – even if it is totally ironic!
Afterwards, I congratulated her on a great presentation with such a tough (and knowledgeable) audience. I asked her about some of the challenges facing her as she evangelises about .mobi when a number of other mainstream sites (think m.facebook.com, m.live.com and m.twitter.com) have all gone down the “m dot” rather then “dot mobi” route.
Her answer was interesting, and explains why she is on the road so much talking to groups, brands and agencies about .mobi and the “mobi thinking” needed for brands and companies wanting to go mobile.
Apparently some of the well known brands such as ebay and Starbucks actually own their own .mobi domains, but have not yet activated them. Often, during the pre-registration phase for new top level domains such as .mobi, the legal department or trademark Attorneys register these new domains to protect their brands – but then never tell their marketing departments! Amy’s initial approaches have been to make some of these brands aware they already own their .mobi domain and encourage them to use them.
There was a lot of debate at the session about why you would use a .mobi and not just transcode (or not) for mobile devices. There was also an interesting question about transcoding on Vodafone UK. Paul Nerger, who is Vice President, Advanced Services and Applications for .mobi explained that Vodafone has agreed NOT to transcode via their Novarra platform for .mobi domains in the UK.
Do you or your brand have their own .mobi domain? I have andrewgrill.mobi and I also provide my mobile friendly site via m.andrewgrill.com and this blog is mobile friendly when accessed by a handset.