Digital Marketing

Understanding mobile marketing

Mobile – market size and rate of growth

Over the past decade or so, mobile marketing has gone from being a fairly broad advertising term to referring to a rather specific type of marketing. Once used to describe any form of marketing that made use of a moving (mobile) medium (things such as moving billboards, roadshows and other transportable outdoor advertising), today it refers to a completely different form of advertising: reaching out to connect and interact with consumers through their mobile electronic device of choice.

Mobile – Web 2.0

The widespread adoption of internet-enabled mobile devices gives consumers access to timely, relevant information and services wherever they happen to be. It lets them interact with their network of online contacts and share experiences, images and content – any time, any place, anywhere. That takes the paradigm shift that is the interactive Web 2.0, and raises the bar to another level entirely.

With mobile you have to deliver personalized, relevant and exciting content, participate in a two-way conversation rather than one-way messaging, and really listen to and engage with your customers. When you reach out to a person’s mobile, you essentially reach into their personal space. There’s something immediate and intimate about it. That’s a powerful combination for the marketer, but it is one that comes with a lot of responsibility. It’s a position that is easy to abuse, and the potential repercussions for your brand reputation could be huge.

Mobile marketing – a game-changing channel, or just another conduit?

Mobile marketing is still marketing on the internet. The net is still the net, regardless of the device you use to access it. Social media is still social media no matter what device you use to share your content; the World Wide Web is still the World Wide Web, whether you’re accessing a mobile-optimized version of a site or belt-and-braces desktop version, e-mail is still e-mail no matter how you choose to pick up your messages.

As with everything in digital, it is the human element of the mobile equation that makes it so powerful, the technology is the bit in the middle that helps that human connection to happen in new and more interesting ways. You may recall earlier in the book – way back near the beginning – we mentioned that digital marketing has little to do with understanding technology, and everything to do with understanding people. Well, it’s the same thing with mobile.

Show and sell’ is dead, welcome to the world of ‘utility and entertainment

A great example of a brand embracing the ‘utility and entertainment’ aspect of mobile to maximum effect was the ‘Axe Wake-Up Service’, a campaign that ran in the mobile marketing capital of the world: Japan. Research showed that 70 per cent of Japan’s urban male youth (the brand’s target market) used their mobile phones as alarm clocks. All Axe did was to use this generic consumer behavior as a platform, and built a campaign around it.

So what can mobile marketing be used for?

mobile is essentially a new, exciting and convenient way for people to access online information and services, elements of your mobile marketing can be employed to achieve many of the same business goals as any other form of digital marketing.

Mobile: evolution on steroids

Innovation, and the very human desire for something newer and better, is driving the rapid evolution of the mobile device. We’re never content with the status quo. Last month our all-singing-all-dancing smartphone was the bee’s knees… but today, well today we really need that shiny new tablet. You know, the one that is so achingly cool we don’t even need to turn it on to impress our friends.

Last word

Manufacturers introduce new features and form factors in their mobile devices all of the time in a bid to capture and retain a share of this burgeoning new market. If those features resonate with people (are truly useful, fun or, ideally, both), then the positive selection pressure of people handing over hard-earned cash pushes the retention and enhancement of those features; if they don’t, they die. Over time this leads to the iterative refinement and development (the evolution) of devices that are ideally suited to their particular niche in the digital ecosystem.

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