Saturday, May 15, 2010

Marketing 2.0 ~ A new perspective on Mobile Marketing

Riddhiman Kundu, IIM C

One of the most disruptive marketing channels marketers can ill afford to ignore is mobile marketing. Business today is more challenging than ever before with customer service and communication taking unprecedented importance. Brands need to communicate directly with customers in real time in order to keep their finger on the pulse. Trends change more rapidly than traditional research can track. Mobile media marketing is opening up opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed and integrated in conventional marketing to enable businesses stay at the forefront.

Why Mobile Marketing Works

The biggest reason for the proliferation of mobile marketing strategy is the kind of opportunities it opens up both in B2B and B2C interactions. Why mobile marketing for B2C?

It is highly personalised and targeted, meaning it can reach people at the exact moment when they are most receptive to your communication. It boasts of high levels of interactivity, such that mobile ad campaigns lead to users to instantly making a call, sending a message or downloading content. Even more impressive is the precision with which mobile advertisements can be tracked and monitored, down to clicks, conversions and revenues.

Mobile marketing can also create new fast and interactive marketing channels to target niche markets on the fly and interact with customers; Push and pull rolled into one system.

Even for B2B services, mobile marketing is becoming indispensable. It provides for leveraging a dynamic, valuable and new product ‘touch point’ for highly engaged business customers. Professionals have transitioned to needing content in bite-size chunks due to more multi-tasking, increased flows of content and more communication channels for them to manage daily.

How Mobile Marketing Works

With the explosive growth of mobile phones the world over, dramatically faster download speeds due to technologies like 3G, Wimax and 4G (currently being deployed) mobile marketing has proliferated to become one of the most important marketing channels.

The Game Changers
What this article will further discuss is how it will be benefitted by the onset of a new disruptive technology- tablet computing.

One of the major drawbacks of mobile advertising is its inability to get the message properly conveyed across a rather small sized screen. Smartphones have opened up a window of opportunities but their screen is just too small to be of legitimate advertising appeal in the business world. This undermines their appeal as a potential ad medium.

The advent of tablet computers like the Apple iPad will prove a blessing. With their rich larger displays tablets will combine the best of both worlds- high personal engagement and visibility of content. Tablet computing is also likely to appeal to a broader group than Smartphones and may prove game changers for telecom and media industries. This makes it all the more suited platform on which brands can launch free applications to boost their multichannel marketing efforts.

Since Steve Jobs unveiled the long awaited iPad, mobile app developers like those at Omni Group have begun shelving unfinished iPhone/iPod applications and various digital projects to begin focusing on the mobile marketing-rich potential of the iPad. At present, it is in the process of introducing five of their groundbreaking productivity apps to the iPad. They include: OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, OmniPlan, OmniFocus and OmniGraphSketcher.

Apple's recent $275/£171 million purchase of Quattro Wireless followed Google's November purchase of AdMob, another mobile ad provider, for $750 million signal the growth impetus of mobile marketing. Both Quattro and AdMob focus on in-application and other types of mobile ads, which are displayed on the iPhone/iPad or those that run Google's Android operating system.

According to the Mobile Marketing Association, the iPad can prove to be a win-win situation for marketers and consumers alike. For marketers, the impact aligns along the factors of potential reach and rich-media Internet-enabled services delivery. For consumers, the value aligns along the lines of increased capability and access. "This could give brands the ability to reach who they want, where they want, when they want with rich and compelling media and branded apps," says Michael Chang, CEO of Greystripe, San Francisco.

The bigger the canvas, the better it is for users viewing many types of media and for creative agencies who often feel restricted by the confines of a banner."Imagine watching a traditional television show in which the commercial shown was targeted toward people like you for a shop down the street," he says. "A single touch of the screen could pull up store hours, coupons and the phone number.”

"It is an exciting time for mobile advertising."

Clearly, the time for it to take the next big step has truly arrived.

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