Every year it seems people are rumbling about how “[Year X] is going to be the Year of Mobile Marketing.” Yet at the end of each year it seems as though mobile marketing is standing on the edge of a pool, dipping its toe in, and shivering at the touch of the cold unfamiliar water before pulling away, staring into it with nothing but apprehension.
I’ve never really believed that mobile marketing isn’t legitimate because it’s yet to have its explosive year. Some may call it snake oil while I call it what it is: a nascent industry which will grow steadily as the technology catches up to the aspirations.
And the technology appears to be catching up. According to a new Nielsen report, “almost one-quarter of all mobile device purchases (277 million) over the last year were Smartphones.”
Also according to that report social media usage on smartphones jumped 187 percent. That data seems to be backed up by a September 2009 study by TNS Media that shows iPhone owners and owners of more traditional smartphones such as Blackberries and Palms use more or less the same apps, though iPhone users are heavier users.
- 73 percent of Blackberry owners have downloaded or purchased 5 or less apps
- 72 percent of iPhone owners have gone for 10 or more
- Applications priced under $5 appeal to 83 percent of all smartphone owners
As more and more mobile users adopt so-called smartphones less for their “smart” capabilities and more for their convenient services perfectly articulated by Apple’s iPhone Apps commercials, this creates a new dimension to mobile marketing I dub “SAM,” Services as Marketing.
Essentially SAM is something I’ve used a lot in proposals for my agency, Conversation. For every client, we consider creating online and mobile services which benefit a consumer’s life while creating a positive brand association. In almost all cases, we also try to figure out how to encourage sales from the service, but only when it’s not shoehorned intrusively into it. I’ll talk more about it in future posts, but Purina is implementing the idea well with its “PetCentric Places” iPhone app.
But, let’s not forget that opt-in SMS marketing isn’t bad at all. I can cite plenty of case studies, but I’ll use a personal anecdote. I was sitting around with a few friends the other day thinking about what to get to eat. Suddenly, my phone buzzed and I looked down to see a Dominos promotion from an SMS campaign I had forgotten opting into.
Needless to say, we used the mobile coupon and had some Dominos.