Orange Connect EventAt least this was the conclusion that mobile executives came to at the Orange Connect event, which I attended last week. The event took place at Shoreditch House in London and was attended by industry peers from different parts of the mobile ecosystem. The half-day event, organised by Orange provided an excellent platform to hear their views on the future of mobile as a marketing channel.

The recent integration between Orange and T-mobile, officially named Everything Everywhere, has created the biggest telecommunications company in Britain. With over 30million customers, both teams are now working closely together on events like Connect, to educate the industry on the great opportunities that mobile offers to brands.

The day was designed to be very interactive, kicking off with Dragon’s Dens style presentations. John Mew, Head of Mobile at the IAB, did an insightful talk on mobile advertising, highlighting that mobile is a great measurable and innovative channel that brands should now take advantage of. Martin Croft, from the Institute of Sales Promotion and David Smith, from the IMRG also presented on the important role mobile plays within their sectors.

One interesting question that came up during the event was – Is the year of mobile finally here yet? “We’ve all been hearing that this year is the year of mobile”, came a voice from the audience. “For consumers, the year of mobile has already happened”, commented John Mew, Head of Mobile at the IAB. “For the last couple of years, they’ve been using their mobile phones to interact with friends on mobile social networks, read news, now brands need to catch up with that trend and embrace mobile”.

Coca-Cola is one example of how a brand can successfully integrate mobile as part of their marketing mix. Rosie Srao, Business Development Manager at Orange, presented an interesting case study on how the brand created their most successful sales promotion campaign to date, using mobile. Targeting the 15-19 old consumer market, Coca-Cola used mobile crediting as part of their campaign, offering a 50p phone credit with the purchase of every promotional pack. Consumers simply had to text an on-pack unique code to get their credit back onto their mobile phones.

This shows that consumers are starting to accept mobile as another promotional channel used by brands, highlighting that when implemented properly, mobile as a marketing channel, can not only increase sales but also brand awareness. The future of mobile is indeed very bright.

You can view some of the presentations from the event here