Aspiring Mobile marketers are keenly watching the space for signs of convergence, for consolidation among advertising platforms and for industry standards to emerge. In the meantime, more aggressive players are actively mining the mobile device revolution for increased sales and mindshare.
Here are 5 mobile channels that you can take advantage of if you belong to the “aspiring” marketer category.
1. Mobile Display Ads
Movie theatres and movie industry insiders have been religiously tracking studies that show that “avid movie-goers” use their mobile devices to get movie times and information “at the point of decision”. Studies show that this category of movie goers are heavily influenced by mobile display ads.
To place similar ads, you should sign up with mobile ad networks like AdMob and Peerfly. Very recently, on the heels of their purchase of AdMob, Google announced the introduction of “location-aware” mobile display ads giving advertisers the geo-targeted mobile display advertising capability. Google has linked this capability with its “Pay-per-call” model so that advertisers only pay when prospects call in from the ad.
2. SMS (Text message) Marketing
The SMS marketing category is still by far the most established of all the mobile marketing channels. SMS stands for Short Message Service. SMS marketing campaigns generally work by using Common Short Codes – the four, five, or six-digit numbers that subscribers use to send SMS messages in order to receive coupons, promotions, and other branded content.
Research sponsored by neustar indicates that SMS-based campaigns achieve over a 90% opt-in rate, compared to 22.1% for email. There is no better channel for database generation today. SMS campaigns have demonstrated extraordinary pulling power when deployed in TV advertising.
3. Mobile Search Advertising
Mobile search is fast coming of age, and Google and Yahoo (in particular) are angling to be the default mobile search engine across mobile platforms. Currently, Google appears to have the lead in this area – because of their brand, and their default placement both on iPhones and Google Android-powered phones.
Google offers advertisers a robust set of targeting options on AdWords, including targeting by mobile carrier or by operating system. Marketers can take advantage of mobile search to have unprecedented access to consumers at the right “marketing moment”.
Highlighting the importance of this consumer segment, 54 percent of users who researched online and bought offline did so with their research on mobile devices (according to Google’s Retail Advertising blog). When you consider that a June 2010 report by Latitude Group that click through rates are 200 percent higher on mobile vs PC searches within their client base, and “still over 35% of searches on Smartphones do not contain sponsored listings”, you probably realize the opportunities in this area for marketers.
4. In-App Advertising (or AppVertising – Ads within Applications)
Mobile apps are an increasingly significant advertising channel for marketers. Apple’s iPhone App Store now supports over 200,000 titles (and growing). Google’s Android market has over 40,000 titles (and climbing) among others who have joined the app market dash.
Marketers may choose between working with ad networks to launch ads, or sponsoring apps directly. Some of the advertising format options include using links, banners, and clickable images (like logos) to deliver messaging to consumers who have proven willing to endure advertising – in exchange for keeping most apps at 99 cents or free pricing. The promise of locally-targeted app advertising only adds to the possibilities.
5. MMS (Multimedia Message Service) and Mobile Video
Although adoption has been hampered due to the complexity of the mobile ecosystem, the diversity of carrier networks, and mobile platforms, research in the automotive industry has shown that rich media ads resulted in double the click through rates of banner ads in controlled testing.
Although Ad-supported mobile video is still a very small market ($35.1 million dollars in 2010 per eMarketer), it is projected to grow at a 60 percent compound rate between 2009 and 2014. Aggressive marketers targeting the young male consumer category may find it worth experimenting here.
6. Mobile Social Gaming & Networking Ever since Mobile Game Town, a social gaming network, ballooned to over 10 million users, with more traffic than Yahoo.com, and over $200 million dollars in annual revenues, analysts and industry watchers have excitedly waited for other breakout hits to emerge in this space.
UK-based Flirtomatic, a location-based “social flirting” site has also seen a lot of growth and has developed a model that earns revenue from 15 percent of its subscriber base.
If you have been putting off your first foray into mobile marketing, now is the time to launch an earnest marketing effort in this space. For marketers, who decide to take the leap, your target objectives can be:
- Learn how to build targeted lists of mobile users
- Work out offers and campaigns that resonate
- Craft synergy between mobile, internet and other marketing channels
Whether your organization is a national brand, a local establishment or an institution, there is most assuredly a place in mobile marketing for you.