Monday, November 29, 2004

The Future Is Mobile

Mobile marketing offers real potential, says new survey
The convergence of the telecom and media industries is leading to new opportunities in infotainment-related value-added services, including mobile marketing. This development could prove to be an effective way to invigorate the historically underdeveloped direct marketing industry in the region and open up an attractive new option for advertisers.The upside potential and unique nature of mobile marketing at the intersection of media, telecom and advertising is attracting four types of players with varying business models.

¿ Telecom operators are attempting to leverage existing application and service provisioning to build direct marketing capabilities. Operators' key advantage lies in their existing mobile portals, billing relationships, large customer databases and their position on the value chain as the gatekeeper to customer access. However, operators are not advertising agencies and have no experience in designing and running campaigns. Therefore, many have been content to focus on simple format, high-volume consumer campaigns such as TV voting or selling SMS in bulk to corporate clients.

¿ Advertising agencies are extending their traditional media services offerings into the mobile marketing space. The key strategic objective is to complement traditional media campaigns with mobile marketing vehicles such as SMS in order to differentiate their offerings to existing clients and attract new brand relationships. Most agencies, such as Carat Interactive and Oglivy One, are partnering with content and application service providers to secure technology and delivery capabilities. Some new entrant players, such as 12Snap, aim to position themselves as new media agencies specialised in interactive mobile marketing. They do this by focusing on mobile marketing creative services and partnering with application service providers, such as Lucent and NeoMedia for mobile software, and patented technologies, such as PaperClick (an application to capture bar codes and ISDN product codes through a Nokia mobile camera and retrieve product information including the retail price in alternative outlets).

¿ Operator partner companies are spin-offs from mobile operators in order to prevent the momentum of the much larger core business from subduing the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of their new mobile marketing ventures.

¿ Independent players are greenfield entrants offering specialised mobile marketing applications, content and services including integrated creative and campaign management services.

These different players are gearing up to win future mobile marketing campaigns that are becoming increasingly sophisticated and integrated in nature. Rudimentary mobile marketing campaigns such as branded ringtones/logos and mass SMS for event marketing are unlikely to persist in the future. More elaborate and integrated mobile marketing is already emerging in the form
of mobile promotion coupons, branded multi-level games and CRM marketing that includes personalised information alerts (customer retention), loyalty schemes and mobile community marketing. A good example is when Mobileway and Adreact created a campaign for Dunkin Donuts in Rome, Italy, which was designed to increase footfall in the Dunkin Donuts stores and raise awareness of the brand. The lead was in the form of four billboards, two-week radio plugs, 1,500 leaflets dropped among students, and posters in all eight of the Rome outlets. Donut lovers were invited to enter a prize draw using SMS, receiving in return a money-off or free coffee voucher sent back to the consumer's handset for redemption in stores. Further interaction was encouraged with options to text to obtain addresses of the franchise outlets, statistics regarding Dunkin Donuts, or employment information. Redemption of the SMS coupon in-store and purchase of a donut automatically entered users into a draw for a free Piaggio scooter..

When will search engines realize the advertising dollar will shift to mobile platforms? And how will they make money from this when search takes on a new look when it goes mobile..

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