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Brands must 'earn' mobile success

News, 26 October 2015

NEW YORK: Marketers hoping to succeed on mobile must ask themselves how they can "earn the right to live inside of people's pockets", a leading executive from Facebook has argued.

Margaret Gould Stewart, the social networking platform's director/product design, discussed this subject at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) MIXX Conference in New York.

"Our relationship with mobile devices is qualitatively different than traditional media," she said. (For more, including further tips for brands, read Warc's exclusive report: Facebook design looks back to move ahead.)

"These mobile devices are not scattered appliances that sit on our wall or lay in stacks on our coffee tables. They help us work and play and connect with our colleagues, friends and families every day - many, many times a day."

In fulfilling this role, wireless devices have assumed a central position in the everyday lives of users - meaning that brands must offer something of similar value on mobile in order to succeed.

"They are hyper-personalised, multipurpose power tools, and we carry them around with us right inside of our pockets," said Gould Stewart.

"As designers - as marketers and as business people - we can never forget this because it is an incredibly privileged place to be.

"And, in fact, every day, we have to ask ourselves, 'How can we earn the right to live inside of people's pockets?'"

To take just one example of activating this theory in practice, it can be highly beneficial to look beyond the US customer base alone when thinking about mobile.

"We must design for people where they are. The US is only 3% of the world's population, but it dominates the tech and design conversations and standards. And there's a real danger in this," said Gould Stewart.

"There's a real opportunity to break into new markets and connect with new communities. And it's exciting for marketers. But we're only going to succeed if we take into account the kinds of devices and connections that people have access to."

Data sourced from Warc