Thoughts on Mobile Marketing in – 2010

Mobile – What is its pure definition?  Is there one? The sentiment around the idea and its market place is still vague, many scrambling to figure it out and still learning how to use it.

I have been doing research in this space for quite some time and have been an interactive mobile device user for over 5 years.  I use my mobile to call, email, text others, surf my favorite sports websites, “Google,” and use it to find any other information at any time or place.  I even used my device to find information about Holiday purchases when waiting for something else to do…hold on a sec, “waiting for something else to do?”

I have seen and heard this quote over and over in my research, and have found it to be a common description for mobile devices and users.  Examples include:

  • The soccer mom waiting for her kids to finish practice
  • The bus rider heading into the city
  • The twenty-something professional waiting for a first date at Starbucks
  • Stockbrokers keeping track of stocks to make timely trades

And what are these people doing?  Catching up on the latest news, researching information, and even staying socially in tune.

With more than a half of internet users worldwide used a mobile device as part of their shopping activity in December of 2009.  What does this trend mean, exactly?  It means that it is a vehicle to get information about a product that mobile users are thinking about purchasing or wanting to gain more insight into.  – eMarketer.com

Back to the original question, what does this all mean?  Many believe that the mobile service networks are lagging almost exactly 10 years behind that of the internet and the start of broadband usage.  The 3G/4G days are upon us.  Technology enthusiasts, visionaries, and early adopters have accepted it.  The market has bridged the gap, and many will have success, new companies and markets will be born.  I love the Geoffrey Moore references!

As these services become adopted by the early and late majority, there will definitely be startups that will retire overnight.  They will capitalize on acquisitions from Google and other powerhouse organizations interested in the ownership of mobile platforms and other mobile network businesses.

There are three major pieces of the business today – advertising and service, mobile website development, and interactive application development.  I look at these as core business models for companies and agencies to become more and more involved in the future.  The search business has already made its way into this market as a mainstream vehicle.

Google has recently launched its mobile carrier and device targeting options for Adwords and it’s worth a read.

The challenge is identifying the right client to offer or pitch this service to.  The most common verticals for this type of services include entertainment (music, video, and travel), financial services, retail, and pure brand recognition. Conversion processes must to be clear and easy.  Filling out a lengthy form on a mobile phone will lose many visitors.

Mobile site and application development is similarly tied.  Some believe that “apps” might be the new website portals and at some point may even cannibalize the internet as new platform.  Advertising with companies that develop niche “apps” is a trend that has began and will continue as it is a medium to target a specific demographic or interest.

Mobile is going to be HUGE in 2010.  This market isn’t going away, but will only get bigger and better!

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Comments:
  • Great article, I couldn’t agree more that mobile is going to be HUGE. What are your thoughts on text message advertising and donations? We have seen how powerful this platform can be for raising money and it is a likely entry point for people new to engaging with companies and charities, do you think that this will be a big part of the marketing mix or will passed over?

    February 2, 2010 at 4:47 am
  • Thanks for your comments, John. Only a matter of time for this thing to shoot to the moon and take people on the ride with it, and it is probably going to happen sooner than most think.

    Text messaging is an interesting vehicle. I think the perception in the marketplace can be mixed at times. It is definitely the legacy service when it comes to mobile marketing of the early days. Some consumers look at text messaging as another form of “spam”, but in your hand. I think it is currently a strength as part of a marketing strategy, as you mention it is an easy way “to engaging with companies and charities.” Depending on its function, it can definitely be a successful way of producing a massive CTA. One of the greatest examples of this, obviously is the recent Haiti disaster, but prior to that, the Obama administration is an organization that I feel leveraged this platform perfectly. They touched millions using this alone. They provided updates, event dates, and many other public announcements using it. They succeeded and captured their goal. Perfect execution!

    I think beyond it though, it will become more interactive, eventually. Just as pop-ups became a fad on the internet, mobile will evolve with its own interactive method as well.

    So to get right down to it, I think ‘text’ will be part of the mobile marketing strategy for a lot of organizations going forward, but not the end all. Just as most successful marketing campaigns, those who use a balanced mix of media in their program and ensure coverage, will be successful in the end.

    Cheers!

    Nick

    February 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm

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