Within the ever evolving world of the Internet, we have witnessed different channels of online marketing evolve. With the advent of smartphones and PDA’s, the Internet has quickly become accessible to people all over the world, everywhere and at every time. This constant contact between users and information is invaluable for marketers. Let’s explore possible avenues where entrepreneurs, businesses and marketers could reach out to mobile subscribers by leveraging different types of mobile marketing campaigns.
The Mobile Web
According to a market research report by NetMarketShare in 2009, mobile web browsing accounts for 1.3% of all browsing in the US alone. While this is a seemingly small number, it offers an enormous opportunity for mobile marketers. With the rising popularity of the mobile search engines, mobile SEO has become a revenue-generating channel, making the need for developing compatible websites, which match the screen resolutions of different mobile devices, increasingly important. What’s more, recent research has provided invaluable insight into mobile web content. A recent study by Neilson revealed that in 2009 33% of mobile users performed information related queries, 29% of mobile users were interested in local listings and 27% of users searched for website/navigational queries.
According to survey conducted by ComScore, “Of the 17 million mobile subscribers who used an application in Oct 2009, maps were the most popular, followed by weather, social networking and search apps”. The need for finding specific locations and getting directions while on the move has become very popular among the mobile users. According to a survey by ComScore Mobilens taken during Oct 2009, maps were most popular, followed by weather, social networking & search applications.
Banner ads, pay per click ads, text ads have gone mobile too. These mobile banners are designed to match the screen resolutions of mobile devices. Over the past three years, we have seen an increasing number of large screen mobile phones on the market, which are ideal for mobile browsing. As a result, we can expect that mobile banners and pay per click ads will become increasingly important for marketers over time.
In the interest of better understanding mobile consumers, and being able to directly target towards a desired audience, marketers have developed an innovative set of mobile applications. As of late, mobile users, who use applications on the iPhone, Blackberry and other PDAs, has increased by a factor of ten. The mobile applications market is expected to reach $9 Billion dollars by 2011.
WAP games ruled the roost for a while and were then dominated by games developed by Java (using the J2ME technology). Today’s games are more interactive, making the overall gaming experience very entertaining. Many mobile advertisers nowadays have developed mobile games to promote movies, products and their services etc.
Mobile Text Messaging
This has been one of the most reliable methods of communication, and has attracted over thousand of millions of mobile subscribers. As such, text messaging has become a popular mode of mobile advertising, as a reliable means of contacting mobile users who are always on the go. Entertainment organizations, local restaurants, malls, retail brands etc have seized the power of text messages to advertise their brands, events and products.
Multimedia Messaging Service enables advertisers to combine text, images, video & audio in their text messages, enabling them to send potential customers animated cartoons, videos, news, greeting cards and weather updates.
Mobile Video & TV
This is one of predominant features of the 3G mobile phones. Mobile TV can be accessed through subscriptions from the mobile cellular or proprietary networks. Today mobile video ads are becoming increasingly popular on various Mobile TV channels.
Notifications can be sent to the mobile phones to update subscribers about the latest breaking news, stock markets index, events, weather updates etc. Mobile subscribers have the option of choosing the alerts that interests them.
Mobile is a compelling communication platform for marketers. However, marketers do face a lot of challenges. Now let’s discuss a few advantages & disadvantages of mobile marketing:
- Communication is possible anytime, anywhere & is immediate
- Campaigns can be targeted towards highly specific target audience
- Campaigns are typically cost effective
- As the nature of this media is interactive and instant, there exists the potential for viral marketing.
- Consumer response is higher in mobiles, as compared to other media such as television and radio ads.
- The ability to targeting a broader and more relevant audience
- ROI can be easily quantified; usually delivering a high ROI with low marketing costs
- Mobile campaigns are mostly permission based
- Easy accessibility from anywhere in the country can generate a lot of unwanted sales calls and messages
- Privacy has been an issue with mobile phones. Marketers should be aware of the privacy concerns that consumers have and must provide clear instructions to mobile subscribers for opting out of any communications.
- Navigation remains one of the biggest issues in mobile phones, not many phones have a large display, mouse or a QWERTY keypad. This makes it difficult for mobile users to navigate the mobile web.
- Standardization poses a problem to mobile marketers, as every phone model has a different sized screen, different operating systems and browsers. Marketers should optimize their ad creatives & webpages, so that they are compatible across a broad range of mobile phones.
Web Marketing and Mobile Marketing have a lot of similarities, but they also have a few differences. Some of these major differences between the web & mobile marketing are mentioned below:
|Web Marketing||Mobile Marketing|
|1. Messages may not be delivered all the time||1. Messages can be sent and received instantly|
|2. This platform has fixed and portable multimedia capabilities||2. This platform always employs portable multimedia capabilities|
|3. Marketers advertize in abundance||3. Relatively novel and unexplored|
|4. Good for building relationships with huge groups and individuals||4. This form of marketing is good for building relationships with individuals|
|5. Payment systems are not standard||5. This has a built in payment system|
Mobile marketing has been getting a lot of attention over past several years and the marketing spends on mobile campaigns have been increasing exponentially each year. The graph below shows the increase in the mobile marketing spends during 2009.
Today, there are more than a billion mobile subscribers in the world. Not only are the number of mobile subscribers increasing, but mobile phones are being developed with better functionality and features. As a result the demand to create mobile content that’s interactive, informational and useful has also increased.