Mobile Marketing – The Future

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mobile Marketing – The Holy Grail Of Advertising?

Let us just start this piece by saying that we all know where mobile is going, and the answer is of course everywhere.

True to its meaning, “mobile” is becoming so ubiquitous that many companies who have not actively engaged in looking at mobile marketing options do so with a genuine reason to be concerned. One can assume that competitors of your own will be looking at options to capitalise on getting messages across on devices that are so commonly used that they are fast becoming a main drainer on internet data activity.

So, similar to how web marketing was seen around 15 years ago, we are all in agreement that this is the next logical medium for brands and companies and individuals to utilise, the question is what ways will this new medium prove to be a success and what avenues do we need to go down to prove them to be less desirable as a means of marketing to a mass audience.

Mobile marketing looks different?

But is mobile marketing the same as what we are used to or are other opportunities that come under the umbrella of marketing really where mobile is heading?

Unique challenges to mobile marketing:

Similar to the problems early internet marketeers faced with various browsers. The new frontier of mobile marketing is presented with similar issues, mainly O/S choices, Android, Apple, Blackberry etc, and device specific challenges such as smartphones or tablets.

With mobile being much more of a personalised device than the PC ever was or will be, we must now learn how much we can push our own brands onto individuals in order to provide gentle persuasion tactics or indeed give stuff away fro free to benefit from simple top of mind results.

The people – them love free(mium):

Currently, in my own opinion, traditional advertising campaigns should use the “freemium” model as they are the best way to gain traction for plain and simple communication and message sharing. It is currently what can be given away for free that will prove to be the best marketing success on mobile devices, we already see this in the mobile application market, where we can get either scaled down versions of games or applications or advertising backed apps with a choice of removing these if you buy the full price version.

Anna Bager, general manager of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence states that:

“Mobile is very intrusive. It’s hard to shut it off. Mobile is the remote control for our lives. It’s much closer to us than the PC ever was,”

With user numbers rising to unprecedented levels in such a short period of time, it is clear that tablets and smartphones will dominate our everyday use as time goes by, eclipsing the PC for most mundane tasks and everyday communication with the Internet.

Creative uses of apps that help marketing efforts:

The future of mobile marketing though looks like it will be the creative use of applications that mobile devices can utilise that will be the main reason that brands start to set aside more and more time and resources to mobile technology and its ability to communicate in such a unique and thoroughly modern way…..lets take a look at some good examples currently.

If we can take our minds out of traditional “eyeball” mentality and numbers, then mobile marketing starts to look a bit different, yes the same principles are there but the medium changes quite a bit, and done well, is much more powerful.

Macy's backstage pass app
Macy's backstage pass app

Macy’s use QR codes to drive traffic to designer videos:

Macy’s used a novel QR program using multiple channels bringing in-store signage that contained QR codes. Once scanned customers were treated to a short video featuring Tommy Hilfiger, Sean Combs, and other designers as a way of being a little novel, this app drove 45,000 video views within the first week or so of launch. Success?…read on to find out our own thoughts.

Verizon Wireless-NFL App
Verizon Wireless-NFL App

Verizon NFL Nations Football League App:

Verzion are offering US device owners the chance to watch live football and games using their National Football League app. This also includes a fantasy football tracker. A morning alert can also be set and fans of American football players who are on twitter can follow their favourite sports stars twitter feed within the app.

Steve Fox, associate director, media and sponsorships, Verizon Wireless.

“We want not only our customers to use the app, but want to drive some of our competitors’ customers to switch over to a Verizon smartphone,”

The basic service is totally free in keeping with the “Freemium” model that seems to work so well for apps, the free version of the application will offer audio of games but the premium version will give users access to live video of games at $9.99 a month.

IBM: Sales driven applications:

IBM do not mess about, pretty much one of the largest employers in the world, IBM rely on a huge sales force to go out and sell their hugely successful products and services to a variety of clients.

One of the challenges that IBM face is that they not only sell services and products but also highly complex solutions, which may include hardware, services, or software and will incorporate numerous consultations with clients and a lot of communicating of end goals, challenges and opportunities.

So what have they developed?

A new tablet application that aims to provide sales staff with access to information before and during sales calls, with over 100,000 products, services, and solutions and a sales team of over 70,000, the challenge IBM face is scaling the application, but like all complex beasts usability and finding the right information proves challenging once scaled to certain levels, and in IBM’s case this could prove seriously tough.

But the right angle is being taken from IBM, access to information is key to mobile marketing success, even if the person who is being sold to does not see what is behind this mobile marketing effort.

Multi channel approach:

A multi channel approach seems to be one of the best ways to leverage all the various methods of marketing, from TV to Social, to Print, to QR, to Mobile, having an integrated approach seems to appeal and to be working for most brands currently.

Mobile Marketing: Experimental phase just now:

In the case of the Macy’s campaign the campaign manager behind this stated that:

“Mobile is uncharted territory. No one knows what the model is, where the investment needs to go, how you scale it, from the client side or the agency side, we’re overwhelmed by the user revolution and we don’t yet have a model to scale and that makes us all anxious.”

With project managers hoping to achieve 7,000 views on the Macy’s QR video campaign with no historical context, and ending up with 45,000 in the first week, the results were only impressive as they had no benchmark whatsoever to base their guestimates on.

Such will be the case for mobile for the coming months and years as we all work out how best to utilise this diverse medium that offers so much promise to marketeers and advertisers.

Anthony Munns