The Convergence of Mobile Marketing

Lets face it, the cell phone is an extension of who you are. Back in the day, it used to be that your car was how we determined your social status. The bigger and flashier the car, the “more important” you seemed to be.  To that end, the bigger and badder your cell phone is, the bigger and badder you are, right? Wrong.

To the mobile marketer, all cell phones are created equal. The space that they are most interested in, is the 2×2 real estate above your key pad. More importantly is your demographic, not the type of phone you have, but where do you as a ptential customer reside.  Because, to the mobile marketer, your 2×2 real estate is the beach head to marketing nirvana. You and your phone, which are inseperable, are what they want.

eMarketer projects that the global budget devoted to mobile brand advertising will rise to $3.5 billion in 2011, up from $123 million in 2006.  Thats less than 4 years from now. Are you as a marketer prepared for this? As a consumer are you prepared for the onslaught of potential mobile marketing intrusions?

According to eMarketer’s forecast:

  • During the forecast period, mobile direct marketing is projected to grow from $1.5 billion in 2006 to $16 billion.
  • In 2007, mobile brand marketing spend – $277 million – is expected to constitute just 10 percent of total mobile ad spending, which is projected to reach nearly $2.8 billion.
  • By the end of the forecast period, mobile brand ad spend – nearly $3.6 billion – is expected to make up 22 percent of total mobile ad spend.
  • Total mobile ad spending is projected to grow from nearly $2.8 billion in 2007 to nearly $5.0 billion in 2008 (79 percent year-over-year [YOY] growth) and $7.5 billion in 2009 (51 percent YOY growth).

Factors driving the growth:

  1. Mobile text messaging has become more or less a mass-market service worldwide
  2. Mobile music is climbing the rungs of the mass-market ladder
  3. There are mobile-centric tribes of users in both advanced and developing economies, where the mobile screen is the first place where marketers can reach them, according to eMarketer.

But mobile marketing campaigns need to be relevant and hiccup-free so that they don’t turn off consumers sensitive to ad exposure, Nearly two-thirds of respondents to a Maritz Research survey of Gen Y consumers said they were unlikely or definitely unlikely to subscribe to text retail offers sent to their handsets. Moreover, a full 84 percent of mobile users in an Ingenio survey conducted by Harris Interactive said text messages sent by companies would be unacceptable:

So that means, that although the numbers are certainly going to spike and escalate over the next 4 years, marketers are still unsure as to what means will work in marketing to people via their mobile device. The technology is virtually in place, but users need to trust the ad and marketer. They need to trust the brand.

To that end, there is potential in the industry, provided marketers don’t drive the consumer away before they have even begun. What do you think should happen? What do you think might happen? How can marketers utilize social networks to better achieve their mobile marketing goals?