This article was written by Douglas Idugboe and originally published on Smedio.
A few years back, smartphones were considered to be a luxury. Now, they have become a norm rather than an exception in our daily lives. Mobile phones are a blessing for businesses as they not only ease the communication needs but also serve as an instant advertising and marketing channel.
The launch of Apple iPhone started the smartphone revolution in 2007. And since then, several other technology heavyweights including Google have joined the mobile bandwagon. As a business or marketer, why should you explore mobile as a marketing channel? The so-called mobile marketing revolution is around the corner, how and why should your business be a part of this game-changing phenomenon? Let’s find out.
Research giant IDC says smartphones and tablets are expected to outsell computers in the next eighteen months. I personally believe that the USP of mobile phones is their ubiquity. From a marketer’s perspective, it’s always the case of the more, the merrier and mobile phones offer a far broader target audience as compared to any other media. More than 5 billion people worldwide carry a mobile phone, nearly five times the current internet population, therefore as far as customer outreach is concerned, there is no other channel which can even remotely match cell phones.
It is expected that nearly 25 billion apps would have been downloaded by year 2015. The mobile apps industry has grown at a scorching pace in year 2010 and this year is expected to be no different. Several businesses have stepped up their marketing efforts by launching mobile apps on leading platforms such as iPhone, Android, Blackberry and others. Apple App Store, Android Market, Nokia’s Ovi Store and other app stores have helped several businesses promote their products and services to millions of smartphone users worldwide.
If you are a retail business, exploring the mobile apps segment can help boost your marketing efforts.
Mobile Social Networking
Mobile social networking is increasingly gaining traction amongst business users. Location-based services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places and others offer a lucrative marketing proposition for businesses. As a business, it helps you market your products and services to a target audience in geographical proximity. As an end user, it helps you get great deals and discounts from businesses. Therefore, it’s a win-win situation for both businesses and end customers.
Mobile Internet Marketing
A large number of people use their smartphones to access the internet. The mobile web segment is bigger than ever and it’s continuing to expand at a rapid pace. From a business perspective, there’s a wide variety of mobile marketing platforms available at your disposal. Google offers AdMob and AdSense for mobile applications while Apple offers the innovative iAd platform for your marketing needs.
There’s room for everybody
Despite the so-called explosion of mobile phones, mobile marketing is still a relatively untapped market. While it’s true that a number of businesses across all verticals have already joined the mobile marketing bandwagon and a larger number are contemplating to make the move sooner than later, the USP of mobile marketing is that it offers a huge subscriber base and there’s room for everybody (including your business).
I personally believe that mobile is the most underutilized marketing channel. It is widely believed that 2011 will be the defining year for mobile marketing. Is your business ready for the next big mobile marketing revolution? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.