Mobile marketing is now considered the 7th mass media channel after print, recordings, cinema, radio, TV, and the internet. So with this new mass media channel, the question is what’s the best way to approach marketing to users of mobile devices?
A brief history of mobile marketing
Marketing to mobile devices is widely believed to have started in the year 2000 with text message/SMS news services that were free but sponsored by advertising. This evolved into mass promotion of events and alerts with even recent claims of “more than 100% response rate” by Marc Hyatt of Txtlocal, thanks to the viral effects of users forwarding messages to others.
SMS advertising, like forms of email marketing, can often be obtrusive and annoying, with the added inconvenience of costing users money based on their mobile service’s inbound SMS rates. As such, it remains more effective as a “pull” medium rather than a “push” one, such as a means for polling or voting for programs like American Idol or Dancing with the Stars.
Mobile applications also began appearing in 2000 from Handmark. But apps didn’t really become mainstream for in-application advertising until Apple’s App Store for the iPhone arrived in 2008.
Android, Blackberry, Symbian, along with the iPhone and iPad have advanced mobile web browsing to near mainstream use as the February Nielsen Mobile Report affirmed there are now over 72 million mobile web users in the United States.
Are we there yet?
Mobile has been touted repeatedly at conferences over the past few years as the next big thing for marketing years. However, most predictions were based on traffic charts and pretty graphics with gaudy numbers, while ROI and tangible mobile marketing results were often missing from these chipper forecasts.
So where does this leave marketers in getting any real value with such a limited viewing real estate on mobile devices, often less than 4 inches?
Here are some of the main services a business can use to implement a mobile marketing strategy:
Currently, the largest mobile advertising service; Google wants to buy the company and is awaiting FTC approval.
This relative newcomer provides full screen mobile ads.
- GoldSpot Media
Focusing on rich media and video mobile ads.
- Google AdSense for Mobile
Google application advertising.
Focusing on mobile website advertising.
Ad network of mobile sites and applications.
Android and iPhone/iPad application advertising network.
- Millenial Media
High end mobile advertising networks and toolset.
Largest mobile ad exchange network.
Advertising on news, sports, entertainment and gaming mobile sites.
- Quattro Wireless
Full spectrum mobile advertising service which was acquired by Apple to become iAd.
- Rapid Mobile
Full spectrum mobile advertising including SMS/MMS.
Mobile advertising platform aggregator.
Focusing on SMS mobile advertising.
AdWhirl is a great service that now combines many of these advertising options for the developers themselves in a one stop shop mediation solution.
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