Thinking Human: Permission based mobile marketing can help lead the way

Mihai Vlad

People are mobile, and mobile is part of who they are. Our growing identification with and dependence on mobile devices was first captured in Personal, Portable, Pedestrian (Ito, 2005), a milestone book written by Mizuko Ito, a renowned cultural anthropologist at Keio University in Japan, together with Daisuke Okabe and Misa Matsuda.

In this work Ito and her colleagues outlined the pivotal importance of the mobile phone. This conclusion is based on their observation that mobile is personal (we customize our mobile devices and regard them as an extension of our personal identity), portable (we have them on our person most of the time), and pedestrian (we make them a part of our real-time life as it happens).

Fast forward, and mobile is more than a tool that allows us to construct an intimate environment in which to interact with friends and family members. In a networked, wired-up world where 5.6 billion people (Meeker, 2011) are connected to one another by a mobile device, mobile also allows us a voice —and a role —in much larger conversations, equipping us to connect with an extended family of communities, organizations, companies, significant others, even governments.