The Marketing Intern

Outside the Box / Inside the Cubicle

iPhone Video Marketing the Next Big Thing?

Posted by The Marketing Intern on June 16, 2009

50% markdown is still 200% too much for the intern's budget. (Though I do accept gifts.)

50% markdown is still 200% too much for the intern's budget. (Though I do accept gifts.)

The abundance of chatter this week about the release of the new iPhone has posed an interesting question to marketers. Mobile Web browsing has increased about a gajillionfold over the past several years (vague enough for ya?) and users are eating up video content from the latest YouTube foolishness to video streams from Qik and Fixwagon. So how to marketers capitalize on the influx of mobile web use?

Not an easy answer, to be sure. I don’t claim to know the answer, but I’ll offer my insights with this one disclaimer: I don’t use mobile video. I would if I had something cool like an iPhone — any smartphone, really — but alas my salary as an intern, while above par to be sure, still bars my entry into such rarefied strata. But don’t worry. When I get there, I’ll throw a coming out party. Consider yourself invited.

Back to the issue at hand. Here’s what I know: I know that streaming video to a mobile device is still in its infancy and offers a gigantic range of growth opportunities. I know that no one seems to be capable of creating computer-quality video feeds, even if the smartphone can access those feeds via wi-fi. I don’t know whether this is a case of the phones not being able to handle the feeds or the feeds being incompatible with smartphone technology; either way the fact remains that streaming video to an iPhone is a choppy endeavor.

Furthermore, I’m not convinced that mobile video creates new buying opportunities for a consumer. As mobile Web culture stands right now, video is a bit of a novelty. To say that people can shop on their phone is to leave out the fact that people are more comfortable, for whatever reason, buying from their laptops. So if we have to evaluate mobile Web video in a B2C capacity from a ROI standpoint, the current marketing opportunities would probably earn low marks.

If, however, we are to evaluate mobile Web video from B2B point of view, there may be more leeway. After all, iPhones are most popular among the older professional set, exactly the kind of people who participate in (both ends of) B2B marketing. Because the B2B buying cycle is longer on average than its B2C counterpart, mobile Web video marketing makes more sense as a B2B tool. Mobile Web video can serve as a baited hook to lure potential buyers to a website and, eventually, into the buying cycle. Beyond that, the possibilities seem limited.

Until, that is, AT&T allows iPhone users to stream video from their iPhones. Now, technically this is already possible: some people jury rig their iPhones, others seem to have created software to do so. But I’m betting that AT&T isn’t all that happy about it. Still, the prospect of streaming video from a phone is appealing, especially to those people who organize marketing events, those who attend the events, those who cover the events, and so on. Really, streaming video from an iPhone cuts some significant webcast expenses, and makes the iPhone itself even more appealing (if you can imagine such a thing). The ability to interact directly and publicly with buyers and industry personalities is invaluable, and marketers should be lining up for the new iPhone for this eventuality alone.

Provided the apps work, of course. But that’s another story altogether.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “iPhone Video Marketing the Next Big Thing?”

  1. Bill said

    I, for one, will be the first in line on Friday. My first gen iPhone just HAS to go. You want it?

    On a completely unrelated note, I think it’s funny that on a marketing site, there are 0 ads.

    Then again, the product placement of the iPhone (if you had been hired to promote it), would be pretty effective.

    • The Marketing Intern said

      Bill,

      Thanks for visiting. I am in the business of thought leadership. Yes, I blog about marketing, but I do not want to (nor, considering the size of my wonderful, enlightened audience, do I stand to) profit from it.

      Unless, of course, Apple wants to pay me a gazillion dollars to talk about how cool the iPhone that I don’t have is. Every blogger has a price. (Don’t worry; mine has LOTS of zeros.) Are you listening, Apple? Anyone out there?

  2. I really like what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my personal blogroll.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: