Monday, May 4, 2009

Mobile Marketing/Advertising, Hang On - We’re Just Getting Started

By Drew Dahms

Mobile marketing. Maybe you’re starting to hear more about it. Maybe the possibilities excite you. Maybe the thought of brands reaching out to you through your mobile device scares you. But the one thing is certain- the dawn of mobile is here and the landscape of marketing and advertising are changing; slowly, but surely.

Two decades ago, the Internet was strange and confusing. But brands and advertisers quickly adopted the technology and consumers embraced their messages. Today, in 2009, mobile is the new Internet; strange and confusing, yet exciting. The main contrast between the early days of Internet and mobile is that not many people owned computers or had Internet connections when the “web” rolled out. Today, over 80% of people in the U.S. own a cell phone and the mobile revolution is just getting started. The people are ready!

There are a lot of exciting mobile technologies that are developing; mobi sites, Image Recognition, QR codes, mobile video, m-commerce, plus a multitude of iPhone & Android apps. Whew. It’s mind numbing, and there are a lot of variables involved with each. Thankfully, for the moment, text message (or SMS) marketing is where everyone is starting. It’s simple, reliable, low cost, and works on every phone.

Text messaging is the single biggest feature that is used by cell phone owners besides making phone calls. In the United States, 123 million people send and receive text messages at a rate of 2 billion messages per day.

Looks at these recent statistics from the Mobile Entertainment Forum:

  • 89% of US workers have a cell phone, 19% have a Blackberry
  • 59% of cell phone or Blackberry owners use text messaging
  • 66% of Americans aged 30-49 use text messaging
  • 76% of Internet users watched video on their PCs
  • 44.7% of US mobile users looking for a phone with better Internet
  • 78% of Americans own cell phones
  • 65% of unemployed Americans have cell phones
  • 17% of US wireless subscribers are prepaid customers
  • 23% of all mobile users to use mobile social networks by 2012
  • Mobile marketing budget percentages to grow 150% by 2013

Marketers are beginning to understand the need to integrate mobile into their multichannel branding, customer acquisition and customer retention plans. The emphasis, however, should be on mobile’s complementary nature- it gives legs to other channels including retail, television, print, coupons, radio, outdoor, direct mail, e-mail and insert media. Marketers must remember that mobile cannot, and must not, be treated like other mass mediums out there. Mobile is a highly personal channel with double opt-in permission requirements. So it’s not the quantity that should matter for marketers looking to incorporate mobile into their multichannel marketing plans. It’s the quality, and that’s where mobile excels.

Right now the biggest obstacle facing mobile marketing (besides being so new) is consistency. The way mobile campaigns can be launched and tracked has not been consistent across vendors. Everyone does it a little differently. Outside of text messaging, there is still very little that can be done in the area of consistency. User experience is dependent on what was viewed on what device. There are hundreds of different mobile phones currently in use and many different operating systems and configurations. What looks good on an iPhone may look stretched on a Blackberry or over-sized on a flip phone. But let’s cut everyone a little slack here.

Like I said, it’s all just getting started and it’s going to be very exciting.

Drew Dahms is a Relationship Manager with Sumotext who provides SMS campaign solutions for marketers and business owners. Sumotext is a CSCA approved short code provider and member of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).

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funmigarrick said...

Hi there,
Very informative article. I'm one of the 44.7% looking for a phone with better internet. Long time coming...I'm currently waiting for the new Palm Pre to be released.

Funmi Garrick
Accounting and Consulting to Small Biz

Anonymous said...

Really great article! Today i found that mobile marketing or advertising is the new tread of marketing products because of uses of mobile phone. According to recent survey about 90% US people read sms and this shows how people interested in mobile. Sending sms through shared short code or own brand short code to customer helps to reach your products to customer. Short code is now used by all popular reality shows, programs, games and election campaigns to send or to populate their message to targeted audiences.

Wire2air Mobile Marketing Solutions
228 Park Avenue S
New York

mobile marketing said...

Mobile marketing is the most growing marketing strategy these days to promote brands, business, services and organization. Mobile marketing come in focus in recent few years, especially due to fast growing mobile phone uses across the world. Analyst Estimate that in 2008 about 3.4 billions text messages send worldwide and the response rate of these text messages were about 70%, this statistic attract shoppers, business organization to invest in mobile marketing. Today all top brands and organization using mobile marketing campaigns to promote their products.

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