10/04/2011 06:35 pm ET | Updated Dec 04, 2011

Mobile or Mobility

Hundreds of speakers. 119 seminars. 20 official venues. Handful of conferences and awards galas. And of course, countless parties and dinners. Bigger and better -- Advertising Week is back!

Throughout this week we are promised that the Advertising Week panels, conferences, forums, roundtables, and keynotes will address the utmost important questions that the Advertising community is asking. Putting aside the dozens of parties, concerts, and cocktail hours, this week provides us with an opportunity to take a hard look at ourselves and ask 'What can we improve? What can we do better? How can we solve major issues?'

Amidst the usual slew of topics, "mobile" will be featured in 8 different panels this week. After watching Day 1 unfold, I can point out several panels that didn't feature mobile but ended by touching upon it in some way. Is this because "mobile" is a hot buzzword OR is it because mobile is impacting every single media channel in some form? I'm here to tell you it's the latter.

Yet anytime I talk with someone -- even those in advertising -- and I tell them that I'm in mobile, they say 'Oh yeah? You make ads that run on phones, right?'


Mobile marketing cannot be narrowly defined as reaching people on cellular phones. The truth is that when we say mobile we really mean mobility. Mobility is about reaching an audience on-the-go, an audience with a certain mindset, an audience that conducts life on a device that allows for the consumption of all sorts of content in a portable format.

We've all imagined some scenario where we'd one day be able to target a shopper just as she's passing by her local grocery store, or delivering an ad to a mom when she's at the park playing with her children, or reaching a millennial when he is commuting to school and watching videos on YouTube.

These imaginative scenarios are now reality. All of this is possible due to a vast amount of content made available for portable consumption, coupled with increasing speeds of connectivity. Another reality -- we expect smartphones to be in the hands of 1 in 2 Americans by the end of 2011.

Think about it for a minute and tell me that mobility isn't already impacting every single media channel.

TV, Print, Out-of-Home, and Radio are all going through some major transformations where mobility is directly affecting business models for both publishers and also changing consumer habits.

Look at TV for instance. Video distribution is challenging the networks and service providers to make some tough decisions on how to deliver their content across increasingly popular devices like smartphones and tablets. And once you say tablets, one can't help but think about the major changes that we are seeing in Print. Magazines and newspapers are feverishly trying to figure out how to create a long-lasting revenue stream in an effort to monetize the digital versions of their monthly, weekly, or daily content.

Out-of-Home already reaches people on-the-go, so it's only natural that we build advertising programs that encourage people to engage and participate with these digital boards through their mobile devices. After all, a mobile device is basically attached to our hips, making this a perfectly synergistic opportunity to connect the two mediums.

And lastly Radio -- an industry that continues to adapt. From broadcast radio, to satellite radio, to the most recent 'personalized digital radio', consumers are still spending time within radio-like environments and most recently we're seeing people spend hours in apps like Pandora. What's interesting is that people are spending more time on Pandora's mobile app rather than on their desktop website.

So starting this week, anytime you hear mobile -- think mobility.

You can count on me to continue to curate the best in mobile trends, comments, and topics covered this week. I'll be sure to bring you what you may have missed.

Heck, I'll be there taking notes on my tablet and firing off emails on my iPhone.