Mobile is killing marketing as we know it – and it’s a good thing

I stopped watching live recorded television about a year ago – sports are the only real reason I turn on my television these days. I stopped reading magazines about the same time. Newspapers are gone. Books are out. Radio – not even sure if I own one outside of my car. I’ve done this and yet I still know what state the world is in, who runs my city, where the stock market is, what the latest technology/entertainment/fashion trends are and even the 5-day forecast.

I’ve turned off all other media and I still know what is going on out there. All because of mobile. And I’m not the only one that is doing this.

It wasn’t hard. We are all captured in our routines: Get up, turn on the radio, read the newspaper, channel flip, get in the car, listen to the radio, get to the office and surf the web, etc. You get it, you are doing it. This routine is paramount to advertising and marketing success – the marketers know where and when to find you. They know because we have baked these routines into our lives for generations.

Well, things are changing and marketing as we have come to know it is dead.

Our exposure rate to marketing messages has been running at the red line for years – to a point where it doesn’t even register for many of us. My 5-year old boys soak it up as the gospel – the ability to influence is strong in them – but for most of us, the majority of marketing is ignored or diminished compared to other messages we might be receiving at the same time.

Yet marketers continue on their merry way, spending millions on Super Bowl ads and ineffective banners. Might as well just burn your money because what used to work doesn’t anymore on guys like me (with a few bucks to spend) and won’t in the future on nearly everyone carrying a phone.

Marketing today is constant care, conversation and curation. The care is a genuine desire to help a customer, the conversation brings the voices (good and bad) together to help make a buying decision and curation is building a strong community one satisfied customer at a time. All of this is done via mobile. All of this is happening today. All of this will make or break a business.

It is time to realize that broadcasting a message – the concept that one size fits all – is fading and being replaced by up to 200 short, relevant and timely interactions per day per person. This realization breaks the routines, breaks the follow-me approach we see in the industry today and breaks the marketing death spiral most companies are stuck in without even knowing it.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

  • Great post. I couldn’t agree more. This is the time
    to revisit established marketing tactics and lead generation processes. I’m
    still amazed by so many social media positions being held by junior marketers
    instead of senior and experienced marketers who understand product value
    proposition, customers’ cycle and business

  • Hi Virginie – thanks for the comment! Marketing is at a crossroads but few people see it that way. Hoping to stir up a little conversation around this – you know, to get people to ask why they continue to do the same things while new opportunities simply pass them by. Let’s see what happens!

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