Chapter 7

Social and Local Are Built-In Mobile

The intersection of social, local, and mobile is a marketing sweet-spot that is blurring the lines of time and place.

Mobile phones are much more than communication tools these days. They are practical computing devices that are revolutionizing how we live, work, and play—all of which is not going unnoticed by marketers. Searching the web and using it to connect with people used to focus on one variable—speed. But now that mobile technologies are achieving widespread use, they are profoundly affecting how the web works, and specifically how marketers can use it to leverage the variables of location, time, and social connectivity.

Many people here in the United States and within other technologically advanced nations are actually blind to the mobile revolution that is spreading across the globe. This became apparent to me this past year while on a vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, a town that attracts tourists from all over the world, and that also has a vibrant local population.

Despite Mexico’s status as a developing country, and one that most people would not consider a leader in technology, Wi-Fi availability in this little village was both common and expected by tourists and locals alike. In fact, after being seated at restaurants, almost without exception we were offered the password to use the establishment’s Wi-Fi, and this even included restaurants that served as few as four tables.

The relevance of this trend occurred ...

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