Monday, August 13, 2007

Mobile Marketing: A New Way to Reach your Customers

Interesting read on the power of mobile marketing: Mobile simplifies marketing.

In a nutshell: "Mobile marketing reduces time to market because there is a direct link between the company and the end user through their cellphones." Other key benefits cited in the article:

- Mobile marketing is especially targeted and it offers the ability to segment customers.
- As a new, fresh channel, the author believes that "consumers are far more likely to view the MMS and show it to other people than say a TV advert for example."
- There is 0 waste--"This is because it is possible to verify with the networks whether cellphone numbers have been registered for MMS. All numbers that are not MMS registered can be removed from the campaign."
- Speed to market--the campaign can roll-out in days instead of months (for more traditional media, where the creative needs to be developed, the campaign needs to be implemented, etc.)

What was especially interesting (to me) about this article is that it heralds from South Africa. "Given that there are 36 million active SIM cards in South Africa (more than TV viewers, Radio listeners or Internet users); companies need to begin to thinking about reaching using mobile marketing campaigns to reach out to the largest group of users in the country."

In thinking about how mobile marketing applies to the US, I DO believe that there is an important place for it. But, we marketers need to make sure that we don't abuse this channel, even before it's introduced to the masses. We need to be responsible. We need to only employ this medium to groups that we are pretty darned sure will welcome the message. For example, send a cool announcement, or a great offer to a group of rabid fans. We need to make sure that there is a value to the recipient of each and every message we put out there. We cannot let SPAM take over this channel. We must develop and then follow opt-in rules.

I'd love to bring the power of this targeted marketing vehicle to my clients. But, I'd hate for our industry to abuse the power of mobile marketing even before it's widely used. Thoughts anyone?

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