Marketing to the Ubiquitous Cellphone (E-Commerce Times)
The North Face To Begin Texting Customers (brandchannel.com)
Prognosticators have for many years predicted the impending impact of mobile marketing. Yet it seems that only within the last year has this really taken hold (thanks in large part to the Apple iPhone). While we’ve discussed mobile marketing in previous posts, we have never really defined the concept.
So what is mobile marketing? Here is how we will define it but like the field itself this definition is bound to evolve:
Mobile marketing consists of marketing strategies and techniques that focus on emerging information and distribution channels accessible through easily transportable and wireless connected devices.
As the definition suggests, mobile marketing goes well beyond the placing of ads on mobile devices and, in fact, is not limited to just consumer markets. Marketing through mobile devices offers opportunities in many marketing areas including: sales promotion (e.g., distribute coupons), personal selling (e.g., key tool for sales force), marketing research (e.g., survey distribution), mobile purchasing (e.g., method for product search, selection and payment), customer behavior (e.g., can track customer usage), distribution (e.g., geographic locators), new products (e.g., apps) and much more.
As additional support for this evolving area, here are two more stories that continue to support the idea that mobile marketing has finally arrived. The E-Commerce Times story looks at mobile marketing in general and offers good suggestions for why marketers should look to get involved.
Mobile sites are becoming a mainstream marketing tactic and an easy way to bring brands to the phones of loyal consumers. There were 56.9 million mobile Web users in July 2009, Nielsen recently reported, and that number keeps growing. Given the depth and breadth of mobile Web usage, it seems prudent for most brands to have a mobile Web site to better and more directly reach customers.
Also, brandchannel.com has a nice example of how marketers are using the geo-location (a.k.a., location-based) features built into many mobile devices and how these can be used to track customers and then offer them promotional information through text messaging.
In an attempt to increase foot traffic, outdoor gear brand The North Face will now send text messages to customers when they are within walking distance of its stores.
From a marketer's perspective, in what ways is the mobile marketing environment different than the Internet marketing environment?
Image by jeffwilcox