Today, when we travel we have an opportunity to instantly share our experiences as mobile ambassadors for brands. Heck, it doesn’t really require us to travel to share our experiences with friends or family. All we have to do is leave the house with a smartphone or tablet. As a society we have become accustomed to sharing our happenings, our experiences and this includes sharing our endorsements… on the move.
I am not going to get into the technical aspects of a smartphone, but mobile has changed the way we interact as individuals, consumers and hopefully as businesses. The Smartphone Generation works because it is built on simplicity, an easy way to communicate and to share information. Using a Smartphone while on the go is not as much a modern way to stay connected as much as it is now the norm. Exchanging ideas and thoughts while being mobile is a way to stay connected and be both timely and efficient. Why does it make sense? Because it is easy and fun to be connected with friends and family at all times, plus we are used to having information at our fingertips. How long would you last being detached from your mobile phone?
Time Flies Almost As Fast As Information
Only a few centuries ago word of mouth traveled across vast oceans, where a few months was considered rapid communication. Today, information is shared within seconds. During the days of the spice trades, goods and services were passed along by the hands of the delivery man who had traveled hundreds of miles with them in tow. Information and tales were passed along by way of stories shared around a campfire that had traveled those same hundreds of miles. And now, a picture, a video or a message is exchanged to potentially hundreds if not thousands of followers within seconds.
Why not share an espresso with friends from the other side of the world?
Peer-to-peer recommendations carry so much clout because they come from an actual person. In the age of social media we have friends and followers that we may have never actually met, yet we trust them. Why is this? It’s as simple as having common interests and having shared experiences together. Before friending someone we already know what that person likes, what they stand for and even where they have been, even though we may have never technically met them. This can be hard for someone to understand if they aren’t part of the sharing game. While you might not be interested in it personally, it should definitely be taken into consideration for your business.
Mobile ambassadors are active, social beings who continuously pass along information. In the digital age this transferring of information occurs while using a smartphone. But is it really that far removed from the way stories were based on from one tribe or village through spoken word? Technology hasn’t completely changed the way we communicate, it has just altered the way in which the communication takes place. Words travel faster, to more people in much less time but they are still shared amongst people.
The moment something is printed it starts to get questioned. Perhaps, because it becomes disassociated from the originator of the content or from the creator of the message? Does print lack ownership from an actual person? If we think back to the way stories and messages used to be passed along it makes sense. When you take away the identity of the story-teller, doesn’t it make sense for the validity to come into question? Social media, and mobile ambassadors take ownership of their ideas, they value them since they are attributed to a real person, to a face or to a profile.
Ambassadors and advocates could be the future for advertisers. We trust other people, we crave peer-to-peer advise and we like to see where our friends have been or where they are going. It is for this reason that brand advocates should be a crucial part of your marketing mix. Maybe the quicker the information is shared the more trusted that information is?
Talk about an endorsement. Want to stay at the Beresheet Resort in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel?
Real-time and Real People. This is what modern connectivity is all about. People sharing with other people, friends sharing their current events and their latest activity. We check into restaurants, museums or airports and let our connections know what we are up to. I just came back from a trip abroad and I was able to share my activity in real-time with my connections, with my friends and with my family… all at the same time. I would check-in on Foursquare, that’s linked to my Facebook and Twitter and I would do the same with Instagram when sending images. High School friends, college friends or former co-workers who I no longer speak with on a regular basis were able to share the experiences in real-time. I was literally endorsing the places I went, the things I did and where I ate my meals or the hotel I stayed at.
This is the new endorsement. Real-time, mobile ambassadors bridging the time and space continuum. Ok, maybe that’s a stretch but you get my point. Postcards are out. Sharing a photo album after the fact is old news. Photo-mapping and geo-targeted updates is what it’s all about. Being a mobile ambassador is sharing stories, pictures and endorsements in real-time. This is not the future, this is the here and now.