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CMA Mobile Marketing Conference Debrief

Last week I attended the CMA Mobile Marketing Conference in Toronto. Here are some of my condensed notes and key takeaways:

  • Less than 1% of all websites are mobile enabled and yet in 2011 most people access the internet via a mobile device. <–Please read that again.
  • 3/10 Canadians have smartphones, however the key thing to pay attention to is the drastically rising adoption rate (over 90%/year).
  • 9/10 high income earning Canadians have smartphones.
  • 50% of Twitter use occurs on mobile devices.
  • On average, Americans spend 3 hours a day on their mobile device.
  • Half of all local searches occur on a mobile device.
  • The definition of mobile has evolved. Focus should be on understanding that people want contextually relevant content on the go.
  • Magic mirrors are coming. Watch “The Future of Screen Technology“.
  • Gamification is the big new word that all businesses and marketers need to understand. Look up gamification expert Jane Mcgonigal.
  • Ford is using gamification in its Fusion Hybrid. The instrument panel includes a SmartGauge that measures fuel consumption with a tree graphic that grows when you drive economically and shrinks when you don’t.
  • In five years time we won’t necessarily talk about gamification, it will just be part of everything.
  • If 10 consumers walk into a store, 4 want to buy, one actually does. Mobile marketers have an opportunity to convert the other three.
  • Social networking is the fastest growing category on mobile devices.
  • It is much more important to have a platform neutral mobile friendly website than to have a mobile app. Do not confuse the two.
  • Unless you can create extreme utility with an app, focus on creating an incredible mobile website experience first.
  • Modern mobile websites now replicate mobile app experiences (thanks to HTML 5). Mass brand adoption will follow.
  • Electromagnetic screens are coming.
  • All digital marketing is going social, local and mobile.
  • Need to focus on loyalty, commerce and real-time experiences
  • Get Mobile Comscore Survey from January 2011.
  • The top use of smartphones is to find a nearby store.
  • The top reason someone does not buy via mobile is due to inconvenient or non-mobile friendly sites.
  • Take the CMA Mobile Scorecard to see how your organization fares re: mobile.
  • The word “mobile” should be replaced with “experience roaming”.
  • There is still a widespread lack of comprehensive mobile data for Canada.
  • Consumers will forgive you if you don’t have an app, but not if you don’t have a mobile friendly website.
  • Need to really focus and pay attention to NFC (Near Field Communication). Watch this demo video.
  • Good to learn a bit more about Apples iAd’s. Note that Steve Jobs is gambling on apps vs mobile websites (contrary to today’s presenters)
  • Download the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner App and take a look at, which has over half a billion yearly visitors. Essentially it’s a social network for cooks.
  • Apple and Android users are much more engaged with online content than RIM users. A lot to do with RIM still lagging in touch/engagement friendly devices. Will the Playbook change that? We’ll see.


  • “Mobile is dead. Long live mobility” – N/A

I also had a great discussion with Matthieu Houle, Director of Mobile & Platforms, Yellow Pages Group during his roundtable on Geo-Location. Be sure to download the Yellow Pages app (available on most platforms) and stay tuned for their upcoming open-API and universal sign-in. I suggested to Matthieu that he should (as should I) talk to government organizations such as Service Canada and listings services such as the government Blue Pages. It’s only a matter of time before they will finally wake up and think about location based mobile so why not work together and leverage the Yellow Pages platform? Please feel free to comment if you have opinions on this. To me it’s a long-overdue no-brainer.

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  1. […] Consider these stats: On average, Americans spend 3 hours a day on their mobile device. Half of all local searches take place on the smartphone. It’s clear — your customers have gone Mobile, have you? Join SMB Seattle and founder of Tatango, Derek Johnson, on May 18, as we explore the world of mobile marketing and learn how to add mobile to your marketing mix. […]

  2. Hi, my name is Ricardo Bonilla.
    Recently, I’ve been reading a lot about mobile marketing because I am starting up a business on this niche.
    The information and stats you are talking about since one year ago are increasing into this tendency.
    I hadn’t heard some of your data, but it simply reaffirm my convictions to go for Canada.
    I hope soon to be a player into the mobile websites and apps market.
    Thanks a lot.

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