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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing can refer to one of two categories of marketing. First, and
relatively new, is meant to describe marketing on or with a mobile device, such
as a mobile phone. Second, and a more traditional definition, is meant to
describe marketing in a moving fashion - for example - technology road shows or
moving billboards.

Marketing on a mobile phone has become increasingly popular ever since the rise
of SMS (Short Message Service) in the early 2000s in Europe and some parts of
Asia when businesses started to collect mobile phone numbers and send off wanted
(or unwanted) content.

Over the past few years SMS has become a legitimate advertising channel. This is
due to the fact that unlike email over the public internet, the carrier who
police their own networks have set guidelines and best practices for the mobile
media industry (including mobile advertising). The IAB (Interactive Advertising
Bureau) and the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association), as well, has established
guidelines and evangelizing the use of the mobile channel for marketers.

Mobile Marketing via SMS has expanded rapidly in Europe and Asia as a new
channel to reach the consumer. SMS initially received negative media coverage in
many parts of Europe for being a new form of spam as some advertisers purchased
lists and sent unsolicited content to consumer's phones; however, as guidelines
are put in place by the mobile operators, SMS has become the most popular branch
of the Mobile Marketing industry with several 100 million advertising SMS sent
out every month in Europe alone.

In North America the first cross-carrier SMS shortcode campaign was run by
Labatt Brewing Company in 2002. Over the past few years mobile short codes have
been increasingly popular as a new channel to communicate to the mobile
consumer. Brands have begun to treat the mobile shortcode as a mobile domain
name allowing the consumer to text message the brand at an event, in store and
off any traditional media.

SMS services typically run off a short code, but sending text messages to an
email address is another methodology. Short codes are 5 or 6 digit numbers that
have been assigned by all the mobile operators in a given country for the use of
brand campaign and other consumer services. The mobile operators vet every
application before provisioning and monitor the service to make sure it does not
diverge from its original service description.

One key criterion for provisioning is that the consumer opts in to the service.
The mobile operators demand a double opt in from the consumer and the ability
for the consumer to opt out of the service at any time by sending the word STOP
via SMS. These guidelines are established in the MMA Consumer Best Practices
Guidelines which are followed by all mobile marketers in the United States. The
guidelines can be accessed at

Such is the emergence of this form of advertising, that there is now a dedicated
global awards ceremony organised every year by Visiongain.

Mobile Marketing via MMS

Brands are delivering promotional content such as mobile music to mobile games
to drive consumer engagement. This mobile content is delivered via MMS
(Multimedia Message Service). Brands are also leveraging consumer generated

A good example of this is Motorola's ongoing campaigns at House of Blues venues
where the brand allows the consumer to send their mobile photos to the LED board
in real-time as well as blog their images online.


Mobile Web Marketing

Advertising on web pages specifically meant for access by mobile devices is also
an option. The MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) provides a set of guidelines
and standards that give the recommended format of ads, presentation, and metrics
used in reporting. Google, Yahoo, and other major mobile content providers have
been selling advertising placement on their properties for years already as of
the time of this writing. Advertising Networks focused on mobile properties and
advertisers are also available.


Mobile Marketing via Bluetooth

The rise of Bluetooth started around 2003 and a few companies in Europe have
started establishing successful businesses. Most of these businesses offer
"Hotspot-Systems" which consist of some kind of content-management system with a
Bluetooth distribution function. This technology has the advantages that it is
permission-based, has higher transfer speeds and is also a radio-based
technology and can therefore not be billed (i.e. is free of charge).


Mobile Marketing via Infrared

Infrared is the oldest and most limited form of Mobile Marketing. Some European
companies have experimented with "shopping window marketing" via free Infrared
waves in the late 90s. However, Infrared has a very limited range (~ approx.
10cm - 1meter) and could never really establish itself as a leading Mobile
Marketing technology.

Future of Mobile Marketing

According to a survey conducted by a mobile marketing provider, approximately
89% of major brands are planning to market their products through text and
multimedia mobile messaging by 2008. One-third are planning to spend about 10%
of marketing budgets through mobile marketing. [2] Also, in about 5 years over
half of brands are expected to spend between 5% and 25% of their total marketing
budget on their mobile marketing. Already, 40% of the firms that responded have
implemented this feature for their audiences.

What will and already has given mobile marketing's attraction are: the ability
to reach a specific target audience; information about how the user responded to
a marketing message; and proof that a message has been received by the user's




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