SOLOMOCO is the Future According to Head of Social and Mobile at Google

Mobile marketing will be a mainstream commercial powerhouse. Local search will be a key battlefield. Social media will continue to be part of everything. That’s the future of marketing and PR according to Google’s Head of Social and Mobile Solutions, Tim Reis.

Sure social is already hot and we have been hearing “mobile will be a game changer” for the last few years but Reis recently lifted the covers at the Think Small Achieve Big conference hosted by Vocus and gave a peek of where the next five years will take us and how we can position for success.

SOLOMOCO = SOcial, LOcal, MObile, COmmerce

First in the mobile conversation, let’s set the record straight says Reis, “apps are not a strategy, they are a tactical,” and in the design process of those apps “pinching and zooming is not the mobile experience your customers deserve.”

Most people are no more than three feet from their smartphone at any given time and one in four people even use it in the bathroom.  It is a private device that we keep very close so how a marketer uses it needs to be carefully crafted.

Talking to your target market via mobile is an intimate and powerful conversation.  P&G can shout at consumers about Tide on a commercial but try shouting at a consumer on their iPhone and you will be shut down quickly.  How do we get our message across then?

We don’t.  We act as a resource, making it easier for consumers to find us, buy us, and tal about us.

One in three mobile searches has a local intent where 61% call and 59% visit. That is a high conversion rate.  Harness it by understanding how your consumers are using mobile and social and be ready for them.

Two Big Box Case Studies:
Target used to fear competitors like Wal-Mart. Then they feared people would stay home and use Amazon, but now they are seeing that people are coming back into the store and still buying on Amazon.  Target is seemingly paying rent for Amazon to have an in-person product showroom as people stand in the aisles using a mobile app to price compare.  Mobile is changing the game.  Target is responding by using unique SKUs and offering exclusives to their brink-n-mortar stores.

Home Plus
Home Plus is a South Korean/British discount store retail chain and was constantly second to their biggest competitor.  After years of struggling competing in traditional ways they decided to put their products directly in the path of consumers instead of waiting for them to come to their store.  They set up pop-up stores in subway tunnels to hit commuters and used mobile QR codes to deliver a unique experience.  Consumers would scan the QR codes next to products they needed and through an app they would be delivered to their house by the time they got home from work that day.  P&G is now testing similar set-ups in Philly and in Canada.

Now what about SOLOMOCO for small businesses and entrepreneurs?

Reis talked about Google’s offering of a virtual wallet and its impact on small businesses sales.  Google Wallet is a mobile app that securely stores credit cards and special offers on a phone. Checking out at brick-and-mortar store allows users to pay and redeem offers quickly just by tapping the phone at the register.  This could be instituted by mom and pop shops today but there are challenges to overcome such as consumer confidence in the security aspect of the product?

Reis explained that the technology utilized has the highest level of military encryption.  Hear from Reis how small business can make the most of this trend and it’s not payment (check embedded video above).

Not highlighted by Reis, but Square is leading the technology in terms of card readers on an iPhone or iPad for local retailers and has just scratched the surface.

Three Resources:

Tina McCormack Beaty’s passion is food, local retail, and small businesses.  Professionally focusing on strategic communications, branding, and entrepreneurial marketing using integrated tools of social media and PR. Currently, Tina is president of Washington Women in Public Relations and is an accounts lead on Porter Novelli’s foodie team.  She is also serves on Miami University’s (OH) Alumni Board.  You can reach Tina at @TMStrategy.