Across the board we are seeing some big numbers for Mobile Marketing and this excites us, because really, this industry is only in its infancy. eMarketer reported that in 2010 U.S. mobile ad spending was up 79 percent over 2009 reaching over 700 million dollars. They also predict that this number will climb to over $1 billion in 2011. Now more than ever, while this market is just getting started, it’s important to make sure we nurture the technology and utilize it in the best way to ensure healthy development and greater market opportunity.
To achieve the promise of mobile marketing, marketers need to figure out how to unlock the full potential of this personal and interactive medium. The mobile experience is very different from a desktop, television or newspaper and so should be the marketing associated with it. Utilizing the key characteristics inherent to mobile, such as context, two-way instant communications and multimedia, are a starting point for enabling enriched mobile experiences. If your brand customers decide to start utilizing mobile as a marketing channel, you want to be ready to deliver an effective campaign. As marketing budgets shift towards mobile, it will be critical for long term success and revenue growth.
In a world where most of us fall asleep next to our phones and keep them nearby when we cook, eat, shower, drive–you name it–we are more connected, more reachable, than ever. In a connected world, context is king. What do you know about the mobile consumers you are trying to reach? Consider these questions when trying to reach your target:
- What services are they using and on what network? Do they have access to Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G? You might be able to create some really cool and interactive advertising, but that doesn’t mean your audience will be able to access it.
- Do they have a smart phone or a feature phone? According to eMarketer, messaging like texts still top mobile advertising spending because it is ubiquitous and over 90 percent of messages received by mobile users are read. If most of your audience is still on a feature phone the campaign will have to look different than if the demographic is likely to have a smart phone.
- Where are they and are they willing to tell you? Matthew Honan explained how powerful location can be in WIRED magazine when he said, “Simply put, location changes everything. This one input (our coordinates) has the potential to change all the outputs. Where we shop, who we talk to, what we read, what we search for, where we go–they all change once we merge location and the web.”
- Last but certainly not least, when and how are you going to reach out to the target? One of the biggest concerns with mobile marketing is privacy. Have you finalized all of your opt-in permissions and policies? Not till those are perfected will your campaign succeed.
All marketing needs to be relevant and unobtrusive to thrive, but this is most important with mobile. If marketers can get the recipe right then what might be possible? Say you’re sitting in a WiFi enabled office on a Thursday night and you get a message connecting you to a trailer for your favorite genre of movie. After watching the trailer, it prompts you to purchase tickets and charge them to your phone bill. When you get to the theater 15 minutes before show time you get a coupon for $1-off popcorn. You enjoy the movie and three months later you receive notification that it has just come out on DVD. Ordering in advance means you get a 10 percent discount, so you buy it (again charging it to your phone bill) and it arrives on your doorstep the day it hits stores.
Yes, it seems futuristic, but if the mobile industry can work together, manage all the connections and respect the end user, then this isn’t too far off at all. Stay tuned!