Jim Kohlenberger, President of JK Strategies, and most recently served as Chief of Staff for the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP), was my favorite panelist during an International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) session on The Future of Mobile-to-Mobile (M2M).
During the course of the discussion, Jim and the panel discussed how M2M can easily be defined as “connecting or communicating with anything that is wirelessly enabled in a variety of ways ” – in other words, we aren’t just talking phone calls – or even phones – here. Wireless traffic lights, proximity sensors, vehicle tracking services, infotainment systems, thermostats, in-store payment systems, etc. qualify in the M2M world. Mobile devices connected to mobile devices.
To help illustrate this, and to help show how marketers and communicators I turn to Carly Rae Jepsen for an assist.
I threw a wish in the well. Don’t ask me, I’ll never tell. I looked to you as it fell. And now you’re in my way.
One of Jim’s projects for the White House OSTP was working on advanced policies to spur a broadband revolution through spectrum reform. The biggest obstacle in path of continued advancement of M2M communications, benefits, marketing, and advertising is spectrum bandwidth.
According to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, “Moving forward, we won’t just be talking into our devices, they will increasingly be talking to each other. This isn’t science fiction. This is here and now.”
A lack of bandwidth could be in the way of appropriate application of M2M. This is being addressed.
Your stare was holdin’. Ripped jeans, skin was showin’. Hot night, wind was blowin’. Where you think you’re going, baby?
Two applications of M2M technology that were most interesting to me were in the retail and transportation sectors.
Imagine walking into a mall. A savvy marketing department for Jeans-R-Us (2nd Floor near the food court…) knows that you complained on Facebook about a hole in your jeans and you’re in the market for a new pair.Because of your location near Jeans-R-Us, an email, an ad on your Facebook page, a FourSquare alert, a text message, an ad played via your in-car entertainment system, and/or a Tweet can be crafted which promotes 25% off of a new pair of jeans. Right when you approach or enter the mall.
I’m glorifying this a bit of course but based on proximity sensors, social networks, always-on Smart Devices, and sophisticated options for markcomm and advertising professionals this could very well be one application of M2M.
Also, consider today’s roadways, particularly with rapidly growing urban environments. Intersection sensors, scattered wireless sensors & transmitters, and cameras can be used to communicate alternate routes to driver infotainment systems or mobile devices or emergency response professionals in case of congestion, accidents, or events. Such systems may decrease transportation times (saving companies time and money), improve emergency response, provide advertisers and marketers target people based on where they are and what their myriad of social networks say they like, and help our example from before sort out how to find that Jeans-R-Us.
Before you came into my life I missed you so bad. I missed you so bad. I missed you so, so bad.
Marcomm and advertising has never been a pinpoint practice. Sure, media can be bought around potential audiences, online consumers can be retargeted, e-mails can be sent, and so forth but all of these things are peanuts compared to the ability to engage with targeted audiences based on where they are, their current activities, intent based on online discussions and statements, and other creepy 1/2 stalking|1/2 targeting opportunities that haven’t been dreamed up yet.
5, 10, 15 years down the road marcomm/advertising pros will wonder how they managed to deliver their respective results before M2M technologies came into their lives and unlocked the mysteries of customer behavior and intent and location.
M2M technologies will be a constant for the rest of our lives. How we manage the technology, support it through bandwidth availability and investment, and understand how to apply it towards all facets of life is yet to be seen. I am excited to see what’s next.
Want to provide your input? Call me.