Keeping Up With The [Technical-Marketing] Joneses

Published On October 24, 2011 | By mbalogh | Blog

In 1913 the term “keeping up with the Joneses” first entered pop-culture as an idiom for social caste. For the next 100 years neighbors spent their time peering over fences and through windows as people attempted to define themselves by comparing possessions. Today in technology is no different, and interactive-marketing is no exception. The difference is now we need to have everything they do and more.

Interactive marketing is a balancing act. Balancing what’s next with what’s current. Being new and cutting edge but still being relevant and compatible to the end user. Investing time and energy into learning and experience but choosing the right technology to invest in. Growing and leveraging international resources while maintaining the agile flexibility of a quickly and consistently changing market. And doing all of this while keeping up with the Joneses.

Today’s mobile industry is reminiscent of the Browser Wars of the 1990’s when Netscape failed to fight off Internet Explorer which later lost ground to Mozilla, Safari, and Chrome all the while altering, revising, and inventing new standards, pluggins, and supported technologies.

So which technology do you back? Apple’s iPhone is strong with iOS 5 having a lot of great features but Android is still slated to take a heavy lead by 2015. But Android is an OS, not a device, leaving features, functions, and performance out of Google’s hands and making support very difficult. And, being a user of both, iOS is much better and more intuitive. RIM released Blackberry OS 6 in an effort to leverage the corporate market to grow the private and Microsoft has big plans for Windows Mobile. Thinking globally? Nokia’s Symbian is dominating but in a steady decline.

Where Android may rule the smartphone market, iPad is dominating the tablet market with strong contenders coming out every month in the form of Xoom and Playbook. Fortunately these devices share OSs with their smartphone counterparts. HP recently fire saled their touchpad throwing the market for a loop. What’s next?

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We do have choices. Enterprising initiatives have come up with solutions. PhoneGap and Appcelerator have come up with solid HTML 5 based solutions to applications paving the way for shared features with mobile web. And despite the lack of flash support Adobe isn’t giving up with out a fight. The latest rendition of their Creative Suite not only exports flash applications, but also allows simple animations to be exported to HTML 5. And for those purists we’ll always have native development.

So which do we choose? Where are the Joneses going? The answer is: It Doesn’t Matter. Trying to keep up with the Joneses has never been a good idea. Do what’s right for your consumer audience. With all these options comes data and with data comes information. Leverage that information to know your audience and give them what they want.

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