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The Future of Mobile Marketing – 2011 and Beyond

The following is an outlook for the future of mobile marketing – for 2011 and beyond.

Introduction

There are various reasons why mobile marketing will continue to rise in the next few years (the Mobile Marketing Association predicts mobile marketing spend will rise 124% from 2010 to 2011):

  • Smartphone Hardware / software. Improvements in the hardware / software of the smartphone itself (i.e. faster processers, more memory, better operating systems, more apps – allowing for more functionality and better user experience).
  • Smartphone Users. Many more people will be using smartphones (Nielson predicts that by the end of 2011, there will be more smartphones than feature phones in the US – a jump from making up about 10% of mobile devices in general in 2008 to about 50% in 2011).
  • Social media environment. Mobile is well suited to social media
  • Mobile technology/platforms/channels. Certain mobile technologies/platforms/channels will come of age / just continue to grow in importance. See below.

Location-based Marketing
In location-based marketing, marketers are able to reach mobile phone users via GPS and location-based technology – basing their marketing efforts on the location of mobile users. Not only that, but they can refine what they communicate based on knowledge they already have on the user. This all leads to: relevant marketing, on-the-spot marketing opportunities, as well as various creative possibilities in which to communicate to audiences.
We’ve already seen the success of location-based social network sites such as Foursquare and Gowalla. On top of this, Facebook has introduced its location-based Places, Twitter has introduced geolocation, Apple has introduced its iAd (that includes the ability to target users based on location), Google has acquired AdMob (that includes location-based advertising capability), and more. Lastly, the Mobile Marketing Association has published the results of a survey in which “26 percent of that group has used a “map, navigation or some other mobile phone service that automatically determines your current location.”
Looks like geo-location marketing is going to big.

Augmented Reality
In augmented reality, an image of reality is modified in some way to create an altered image. Depending on the creative team behind a campaign using augmented reality, augmented reality can be used in a variety of ways. Nike used it with great success in their treasure hunt campaign to promote the launch of the sportswear giant’s T90 soccer shoe in 2008. Geoffrey Handley of The Hyperfactory (mobile marketing agency), Hong Kong wrote after the huge success of this campaign: “The 3D augmented reality is really taking mobile a step further. .. With all this digital and 3D stuff, you get this little sticker that unlocks a journey into this augmented world, It wasn’t all about selling a shoe. It’s making Nike an innovative brand, unusual and different.” More recently (2010), there have been successes such as: Stella Artois Le Bar Guide, Layar Browser, We Are Autobots, and more. Looks like augmented reality is going to increase in importance, and a particularly useful tool for people in branding.

Apps
Apps are playing a key role in the success of the mobile industry in general. Gartner predicts the mobile app market will increase from $6.8 million in 2010 to $29.5 billion by 2013. IDC believes Apple’s iPhone will have 300,000 apps will have available by year-end.
But apps are, also, important in mobile marketing. Firstly, advertising within apps. Advertising within apps is predicted to be worth $0.6 billion, worldwide, in 2010. And, secondly, branding (i.e. brand-sponsored apps). Many brands have had great success with brand apps. However, increasingly, companies are considering mobile websites instead of apps (unless they have the marketing budget for both). There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Certainly, branded apps will remain important in certain situations i.e. for enhancing user experience of the brand – but success, here, will depend very much on the creative and marketing thinking behind the app.

Barcodes / QR Codes
Mobile (2D) bar codes contain information that can be picked up by mobile phones. The information can be used for a range of marketing purposes (promotions, to activate downloads, discount vouchers, and more). Bar codes can be strategically placed in public areas adding an extra dimension to existing marketing channels i.e. product display, promotions display, adverts, and so on).
QR Codes are the most popular kind of mobile barcode.

SMS
Text message advertising has been around for a while. It’s always, potentially, been attractive to marketers because of its various marketing purposes (promotions, alerts, voting, coupons, and more), can be relatively cheap with relatively good ROI (compared with emails, for example), and more, and has a less spammy reputation than email because of the tight anti-spam regulations in the mobile industry.
SMS Shortcodes. SMS Short Code numbers are short and easy-to-remember SMS Text numbers. They are displayed on many different types of media. This enables marketers to provide product information, promote products, send audiences a link to a mobile site, and more.

Mobile Marketing forecast / prediction / outlook for 2011 – the future of  Mobile Marketing – E. Mahony – spotlightideas.co.uk  – 2010

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