Required Reading: The Mobile Revolution Rings True
Dan Steinbock is an affiliate researcher at Columbia's Graduate School of Business and has traced the evolution and impact of mobile technology extensively. In The Mobile Revolution, Steinbock looks at the impact of mobility in consumer and business markets, strategy, and across all industries and offers a glimpse of what to expect in the future. CRM
magazine's Colin Beasty spoke with Steinbock about his book.
In the book, you say marketing innovations have begun to play a key role in the mobile revolution. Can you elaborate on that?
One of the surprises I found while researching the book was that the interface between marketing and mobile platforms isn't quite there yet. With mobile platforms you get two things. First, extraordinary reach. Everybody these days, at least those on the cutting edge markets, uses a mobile device, whether it's a phone, a handset, a PDA, whatever. Why? Because of the freedom of range and mobility they offer us. The second reason is intimacy. Mobile devices are a very intimate medium. So you have a medium on one hand that has extraordinary reach and is very intimate with its users. That combination in my mind is critical for marketers who want to achieve that highly targeted, individualized marketing they seek.
How do you think mobile technology has affected CRM and vice versa?
I think to a great extent these are two communities that, except for a small community, don't communicate enough and aren't realizing each other's value. One is technology driven and the other is driven by marketers and call centers. One would think there is a beautiful interface, but it's hard to get people to communicate when their objectives are so different. From a historical sense, before the 1980s, mobile technology was driven by factors other than the businesses or consumers, such as the military. But in the 1980s businesses became the driving factor, and in the 1990s, it was the consumer who drove the trends in mobile technologies. So now we're just getting to the point where global trends between consumers and businesses are beginning to converge in this space. As that happens, CRM, especially with marketing, will begin to play a bigger role in driving the mobile market.
What do you think readers will find most interesting about your book?
I think they will notice the interviews with the executives of the leading mobile vendors, such as Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola. I did a lot of work trying to get together companies that compete directly in this space. I think the interviews are interesting because they show what these companies have in common, what unites them instead of what separates them. I think that will provide readers with a road map where this industry is now and where it's going to move, and I think that's closer to marketing, and ultimately CRM.
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