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Mobile Marketers can fail and still succeed.

Mobile advertising is projected to generate revenue somewhere between $1 billion and $24 billion within four years. However, at the moment they(analysts) still do not know which business model or marketing approach will be successful in tapping into that money.

So you’re saying,”Well how can they come up with those projections then?”  They can come up with those lofty projections the same way analysts said that one day the internet would be really really big. The upside and the potential are so great, that even those numbers are skewed on the side of conservatism.

To put it in perspective you have to understand that nearly everyone including your average 10 year old and up is now carrying a cell phone. If you want a hard number, think north of 2 billion users worldwide. With that device is the real estate to market and advertise to a captive audience. With that device and it’s associated burgeoning high speed browser comes the ability to search, use the internet or access email. Currently in the US, there are almost 35 million users of the mobile “net”. So what comes with search? contextual advertising. What comes with surfing the net? Advertising. Or using email? Get the idea?

But see that’s the easy side to marketing on a mobile device. The challenge for marketers and advertisers will be how to create stickiness not only for search results for instance but also to geotargeted results via a mobile device. In other words, how are you/they going to create the mobile call to action?

Some of the other questions will also be; How intrusive can you as a marketer be on a mobile device? Do the devices need to also have micro-java apps for pop-ups for instance? Can a marketer hone in on perhaps using SMS alternatives or opportunities until a more solid marketing platform is developed? When you think about it, it really is wide open.

The answer is yes to all of those questions, and the best part about it is the result can be a complete and utter failure and thats ok. So now you’re saying, “what do you mean it’s ok to fail?” Well it’s ok to fail because the user has no preconceived notion or expectation as to how it’s supposed to be. And because they don’t know what to expect, they will be willing to accept, for now, whatever comes down the pipe.

But marketers and their brethren will only be allowed to fail x amount of times before the user a) finds another solution that best meets and exceeds their intial expectation or b) becomes completely frustrated by the lack of performance. And trust us, they will find it. Either through another marketer letting them know that their is a better solution out there, or they will find it virally.

Until the bar is set, mobile marketers will have a grace period to get it right. The unknown is how long the grace period will be. The unknown is who will set the tone? Who will establish the way things are done in the mobile world? Because at the moment the canvass is blank and anything can be tried and ANYTHING can be successful. In the end the ultimate judge will be your average consumer, or your average 10 year old!

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The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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February 2008
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