Back to the Future

Post PC World

In a world where according to the recent Jefferies survey mobile engagement has risen 35% whilst newspaper and magazine engagement has fallen 28% and 19% respectively we are dealing with more than a Post PC World, we are dealing with a mobile driven revolution.  There are credible projections from Cisco and Gartner that show over all mobile data growth to be up by 100x by the end of the decade. Against this sea change in user behavior and expectations  we should contrast the basic needs of the same users.

A Simple Phone Call

While some part of the lead gen industry may still have reservations, it’s clear that the end users don’t:  They are using their mobile devices (and there are yet more ways to engage with mobile in the works) for just about everything. They expect useful content and transact-able commercial messages. What’s fascinating about the mobile explosion (especially for the technology challenged SMB market) is that the most obvious deliverable through the vast majority of mobile devices is in fact the good old fashioned phone call…how very last millennium.

The tracked quality lead driven through multiple kinds of new media but experienced on the smart hand set is the emerging new normal. The great strength of this approach is that it resonates with even the most conservative and technophobic local businesses. There are many challenges around this trend back to a more call centric delivery approach. Prime of those is the inability of many SMBs to actually answer the phone and respond to opportunity in a timely and professional way. For larger businesses, grown used to a lead ecology driven by form submissions and email, the usability problems associated with mobile devices are a real problem. The solution of deploying call centers or distributed agents to respond to these conversations can generate their own sub set of problems.

What’s clear is that the call as a lead generation delivery mechanism flattens out the technological challenges of new media, at the same time delivering indisputable ROI to businesses of all sizes. Somebody pass me the flux capacitor.

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