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MMA Forum: Mobile turns traditional video on its head

More people carry mobile devices with them — roughly 6 billion — than brush their teeth daily. It’s a number that Tom Wheeler, managing director at Core Capital Partners, speaking on June 12 at the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Forum in New York City, says points to the clear ubiquity of mobile device. “And the need for better mobile-dental hygiene,” he quips.

Between now and 2016, mobile video is slated to grow 78% a year, Wheeler says. “2012 is a huge year: processing power, network speed and acceptance have all come together to make this the big revolution,” he says. “The challenge is the capacity to carry that traffic.”

Because the traffic will only increase. “Video might be considered ‘the new text,’” Wheeler says, citing a recent report that found an 85% increase in a consumer’s likelihood to purchase off the Web after watching a video, while 60% of consumers would rather watch a video first before reading any textual information.

As the former president of the National Cable Television Association, Wheeler harked back to a bright and sunny morning — June 1, 1980 in Atlanta, Ga. — the launch of CNN, at which he was present.

“Here we stand 32 years and 11 days after that event talking about a new watershed in the provision of video information, because what began that day was the marriage of the ubiquity of publishing with the excitement and information of video,” Wheeler says. “And that has become nothing but more powerful since then — and now when you add portability and pocket-sized processing to that, I think we’re moving to yet another horizon and yet another opportunity in terms of what video means to people and to the market.”

Part of the beauty of mobile video is the way in which it can be targeted with precision, unlike television ads, which at best — despite attempting to buy spots on specific networks — is still just a scatter-shot approach, Wheeler says.

“Mobile has delivered the ‘holy grail’ for marketers, which is information about the consumer with great precision,” he says.

A mobile user’s ability to choose when and how to consume video content, and content of all types, has changed the marketing playing field, creating the closest-ever relationship that has ever yet existed between the consumer and the marketer, Wheeler says.

“Mobile video is more than video, it’s my video,” he says. “It is a shift in how information has always been delivered.”

Mobile is irrefutably a game changer, says Michael Becker, managing director of the North American arm of the MMA — especially when combined with social.

Mobile is social,” Becker says. “It’s the connective tissue that glues our worlds together.”

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