Introduction to the book DESTINATION INNOVATION: Creative Mobile Marketing and Commerce Strategies


Steven Dempsey and Heather Thiermann decided they wanted to start a family. Due to medical reasons, they were unable to have a child. Heather turned to online social networking for support. She found several people willing to talk openly about infertility, pregnancy loss and the tremendous stress that often accompanies these problems. Talking to people in similar situations was incredible therapy for Heather. After participating in these discussions for a few years, Heather was able to return this kindness by consoling hundreds of other women. Eventually, Heather’s dream came true. She became pregnant with her first child.

Heather and Steven had a beautiful baby girl. They named her Tara. Tragically, Heather died from complications related to the pregnancy. As you can imagine, this was devastating to Steven, their family and the thousands of women that Heather helped online over the years. After Heather died, her friends created an online Angel Award to be presented to individuals who provide useful information and advice to those suffering from infertility or pregnancy loss. Heather was honored posthumously as the first recipient of this award. [1]

You may be wondering how this story relates to a book about mobile innovation. I hope it can be used to help you understand the power of an interconnected world in driving innovation, possibly even in a direction that was different than you initially imagined. This new interconnected world is not about mass marketing and mass markets. It’s about people – individuals with unique aspirations, needs, desires and cultural backgrounds. It’s not as much a mass market of billions of people as it is billions of markets, each with one person in it. This is especially true for smartphones. They are not your advertising platform. They are personal communication devices – probably the most personal, cherished and intimate technology devices owned by billions of people around the world. Treat your interactions with people with respect and you are more likely to build your brand and position yourself for future achievements.

And Social Media is not inherently a sales medium; it’s a communications enabler, an educational gateway, a family portal, a support medium and an entertainment hub. By understanding these principles, you can mold your efforts to fit this environment and succeed.

Meet people, help people, educate people, entertain people and build relationships with people. Your efforts will be rewarded.

[1] Adopted from content in my book Strategic Internet Marketing, Tom Vassos. 1996. Macmillan Publishing.


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