Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Agility of Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is having a profound impact on the way in which companies think about, approach and implement marketing campaigns.

The immediacy in generating the content and the personal attachment people have with their phones facilitates fast moving, high impact campaigns.

Consider the time it takes to generate a TV or print campaign. First one needs an agency to create the campaign; then there is the conceptual work, the creation of the specific content and the booking of airtime, or space in print/online publications. The process of start to finish can take anything from weeks to months. Furthermore, the company has to align its business with the campaign, particularly for retail companies who use their marketing to move stock.

However, mobile marketing is far more direct and agile because a company communicates with consumers through their cellphone.

So for example, if a retailer at the start of a week wanted to have a sale that Saturday, using broadcasting or print mediums to publicise the sale would be impossible. Online advertising could be a possibility but high volume Sites would most likely have already sold their advertising space for that week.

However, the same experience as a TV, radio or print campaign could be created using MMS. In contrast to other mediums, an interactive MMS campaign with voice over, graphics and text can be created within two working days. Distribution to a base of say 200,000 MMS enabled handsets (registered handsets are verified first) could be done in a further two days and by the weekend over 90 percent of the base would most likely have been exposed to the campaign with an added knock-on effect given the viral nature of mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing can therefore be used to have a direct, immediate impact whereas other mediums need time for the message to get out into the market given people's intermittent use of those media types.

In addition, unlike other forms of marketing, a medium like MMS gives power to both the sender and receiver. Advertisers can deliver a content rich message including video, sounds, pictures and text to specific consumers, while the consumer has the choice of whether to accept or reject an incoming MMS and should be able to unsubscribe from the service at any time.

And because mobile marketing is measurable, companies can see real time reporting including when the MMS are delivered, who opens them, which numbers fail to receive the MMS and which recipients reject the message.

Along with looking at mobile marketing's ability to deliver content quickly, companies need to take cognisance of the number of phones in the market. It is difficult to say how many people have cellphones, but the three cellphone networks together claim to have a combined base of over 36-million subscribers in 2007.

Compare that to TV and radio audiences. According to the South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF), its 2006 AMPS (All Media and Products Survey) estimated there to be over 24.5-million adult viewers, while there were over 28.5-million radio listeners. Importantly, these figures represent people who watched TV or listened to the radio once in the space of a week. Running campaigns to this group of people takes time for the message to saturate the market.

Mobile is more direct because you're going straight to the person. Given that there are likely more cellphone users than adult TV viewers, the strength of mobile channel to deliver marketing is becoming significant. Globally cellphones clearly have the greatest penetration of devices. There are close to 2.5-billion active cellphones, compared to an estimated 900-million internet users and a billion television sets.

Mobile marketing is therefore poised to become the most powerful marketing medium in the world. It is therefore vital that companies begin to think about mobile marketing as a means of reaching out to their target market.

Source: Marketing Web

Full article here

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