On Tuesday, I participated in a SWANA Communication, Education and Marketing Webinar. It was very cool! The Internet application for the Webinar was great and there were quite a few questions from the audience. Check out my presentation here.
One question I received was “How do you set up a mobile phone text campaign?” which I said I hoped RE3.org would embark on soon. There was a good article in Ad Age last month about that topic. Excerpts are below.
So Just What Is Mobile Marketing?
By Alice Z. Cuneo
Published: March 17, 2008
Let's begin with what mobile marketing is not: It is not billboards driven around town on the back of a truck. Mobile marketing is, well, marketing that makes use of the cellphone, and it could potentially take many forms.
"COULD"? "POTENTIALLY"? ARE YOU SAYING MOBILE MARKETING HASN'T REALLY TAKEN OFF YET?
It's very small -- at the moment. Ovum pegged it at $45 million in 2005, while others' bullish estimates are that mobile will grow from $1.8 billion in 2007 to as much as $24 billion worldwide in 2013. By comparison, according to Robert J. Coen, senior VP-director of forecasting, Universal McCann, worldwide advertising spending in 2008 will hit $653.9 billion. In his report, Mr. Coen does not even break out mobile as a media category.
HOW CAN ADVERTISERS TAP THE DEVICE THAT CONSUMERS DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT?
Mobile marketing has taken, and is evolving into, many forms. The earliest and simplest forms of mobile marketing involve text messaging, useful for a variety of marketing purposes such as entering sweepstakes, receiving sponsored news or sports alerts or company information. Another early mobile-marketing opportunity existed around sponsorship of free ad-supported directory-assistance services.
The next big step came with the growth of the mobile internet on the phone. Subscribers with phones capable of accessing the internet were able to receive highly targeted banner ads supplied by the telecom carriers, as well as ads on content sites such as the mobile version of Weather.com. The floodgates of opportunity, however, have begun to open as Google and Yahoo ply their search wares to mobile -- now the internet giants can combine search results with maps to the nearest pizza parlor or a click-to-call number for the nearest auto dealership.
IN WHAT OTHER WAYS IS IT EVOLVING?
The mobile device also allows for subscribers to make purchases and put the bill on their monthly tab and this is beginning to move beyond just buying ringtones, wallpapers and applications such as games (which can also be ad supported). Already, in Japan, mobile devices are used just like credit cards and are even fitted in some buildings to act as front-door keys.
Gradually, U.S. subscribers are upgrading mobile devices to include video, which, of course, can come with the familiar pre-roll and post-roll ads, not to mention ads which run on live mobile TV coverage over Verizon Wireless' MediaFlo and AT&T and Sprint's MobiTV offerings.
The next frontiers in mobile marketing are mobile coupons, social networking and more technology advances like the iPhone, which brought the full view of the PC-based internet to the phone rather than the condensed mobile-web version.
WHICH MARKETERS HAVE SUCCEEDED WITH MOBILE MARKETING?
Optimism aside, it's difficult to say. Most big marketers have tapped into mobile on an experimental basis. Last June, Coca-Cola Co.'s Sprite launched with the "Sprite Yard," a MySpace-like mobile website. Sprite Yard promised to move the brand from generating impressions on TV to connecting its consumers through photo sharing, group activity planners and shout outs. After eight months, Coke, like most marketers who have toyed with mobile, declined to provide specific results.