Call me narrow-minded. Tell me I lack imagination. But, for me, it can be hard to visualize exactly how something new will work until I see it in action. I can read about exciting new ways of doing business, but until I see real companies doing business that new way, I have a hard time believing it will work.
An example that comes to mind is social marketing. Think about how social marketing seemed so foreign only a year or so ago. Wasn't it hard to visualize how companies could benefit (or, gasp, make money) with social marketing programs? Now, marketers have definitely jumped on THAT bandwagon.
Well, I'm at about that same place when I think about mobile marketing. How will consumers embrace their phone delivering advertising? Seems like a hard sell, to me.
Don't get me wrong, I text message my friends and family all the time. I also understand how the people in Europe and Asia are light years ahead of us Americans; they definitely use their cell phones for lots more than simply making phone calls. But, the concept of integrating cell phones as a marketing channel continues to be a hard one for me to accept.
However, this article from DM News has opened my mind to the concept. It talks about how many firms are successfully using mobile marketing. Playboy, Coca Cola, Jaguar, Virgin Mobile and grocery store chain, Kroger (who offers coupons on your cell, while you're grocery shopping--wow!) are other examples of marketers using this channel.
In addition to these real-world examples, the article does a good job of explaining logistics, the opt-in process, the importance of integrating mobile marketing with other channels and discusses measurement issues. It's pretty thorough.
According to CTIA — The Wireless Association, mobile marketing has become close to a $1 billion business, with 1 billion text messages sent per day in the US and 70% penetration of mobile use in urban areas. Mobile marketing is projected to grow from $708 million in overall revenue in 2007 to $2.2 billion in 2012, according to JupiterResearch.In a nutshell, mobile marketing is already big business. Done correctly, it is a channel that should not be ignored. It's probably time to add it to your direct marketing tool-kit.
Now, if I can just wrap my narrow little mind around this...