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Mobile marketing – mobile is not a single channel

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This may sound trivial to the people who are very close to mobile marketing world, but it is not that obvious to others who are still trying to adjust to the rapid mobile market development.

First, mobile is not just your cell phone, and it is not just the new smart phones like iPhone or Droid. It is also eReaders like Nook and Kindle, tablet devices like the iPad and its mini version, the iPod Touch. Even Nintendo DS could connect to the web. And it is also your old and suddenly cumbersomely looking laptop. If it receives data and could be carried then it is another mobile channel.

Yet, even all these mobile devices does not sum to the entire multichannel marketing story. A brand can communicate its messages in more than one way using smart phones.

  • SMS – short messages
  • eMail
  • Mobile web site
  • Mobile search
  • Apps:
    • With or without LBS (location based services)
    • Apps that uses the camera for capturing and scanning objects
    • Context specific apps like Drync

Why is it so important to be aware of all these interaction points? Read about the results of Microsoft’s experiment using multichannel mobile marketing here. Quoting Alison Engel, senior marketing director at Microsoft Advertising (from the same blog post)

The advertising effectiveness results demonstrated that advertiser value increases incrementally with the addition of digital media channels.

Some examples for running mobile campaigns using different communication channels:

  • Bottom up – start-ups like Foursquare and Gowalla that started as mobile apps – Foursquare encourages people to visit different locations many times. FS uses game like campaigns to drive traffic, loyalty, and revenue for customers like Starbucks.
  • Top down
    • Companies like Yelp and Facebook that adds mobile app to their web site – Social networks where people share about what they like or not. Knowing where they are in addition to what they like would help to build even more powerful campaigns.
    • The big brands that are using mobile apps to run location based campaigns like: Pepsi, Rolls-Royce, and others.
    • Companies such as McDonald that uses LBS services like Navteq to run mobile location based campaigns and seeing higher CTR.
    • News and content web-site like NYT, and The Weather Channel.
  • I’m sure that all these new mobile channels in addition to the already growing number of web channels, like Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are raising some tough questions in the Marketing department:

  • Finding the right balance of resources and budget allocation per channel
  • Executing different communication strategies via each channel
  • Measuring the effectiveness for a multichannel play
    Your thoughts,

Pictures credit: Keith Williamson

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