SoLoMo Or So Not Yet?

Are you thinking about SoLoMo yet?  My clients definitely are, and I haven’t been surprised by the number of questions I’m getting about it considering that 86% of US online adults engage in social media and 2/3 of online Generation Y fall into the SuperConnected category of Mobile Technographics®. But what does SoLoMo really mean?

It’s a concept that brings together social, local, and mobile media — and it’s intriguing to marketers because incorporating social engagement, local targeting, and the mobile customer into a single program seems like it should lead to especially creative and effective engagement. But I’ve been researching this topic over the past couple of months and I have a couple of concerns:  

  • First, the way we talk about SoLoMo puts too much focus on the technology and easily lets marketers slip back into technology-first strategies driven by trends rather than audience insights.   
  • Second,  SoLoMo programs often take the form of a check-in offer today. This can certainly be an effective marketing tactic for retailers and brands with brick-and-mortar presences. But isn't there something SoLoMo can offer other brands?

I’ll be giving one of the keynotes at Forrester’s Marketing Leadership Forum next month and I’ll be talking about how I think it’s incredibly important that marketers continue to put customer needs first as they explore the idea of SoLoMo. The brands that have been able to do this have realized something pretty powerful: Even if they started the strategy discussion expecting the outcome to be some kind of check-in program, the real opportunity of combining the social graph, physical location, and mobile technology is to consider customer needs in a wider context and therefore to create a more expansive program.   

Are you thinking about SoLoMo yet for your brand?  Or have you participated in a SoLoMo program that you particularly liked? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.