My pal Barbara has a real hot button issues: text messages from advertisers. To say that she hates getting “Did you know . . .?” messages from Apple on her iPhone is an understatement. On the other hand, Barbara also hates puppies, chocolate, and, for reasons she can’t explain, Canada. While I don’t agree on puppies, chocolate or Canada, I can understand where she is coming from on text messages. A number of times, my phone alerted me to a text. I got all excited, thinking my guy was sending me Lexts (love + text) only to discover that Apple has a new product release.
That very text would thrill David, Barbara’s husband. A self-confessed Apple addict, he would rush to the website and buy said product without hesitation. Later, that night, as he lay in bed, David would silently thank whatever technological god he worships for mobile marketing.
As the founder, CEO/Managing Consultant for Strategic Growth Concepts, Linda has over 20 years Corporate and Entrepreneurial experience in Marketing, Operations, Strategic Planning and Staffing. I asked her to share some of her experience and knowledge on mobile marketing with Audacious Ink.
On your site, Strategic Marketing Concepts [link], you talk about how today’s marketer has a lot of tools to draw from, be it a text messaging campaign to a blog, or something more traditional. What do you think the most unrecognized or overlooked of these tools are, and in what capacity do you suggest using them?
I believe blogs are under-utilized and highly effective. While those that are very familiar with online marketing might think that “everyone” knows about and uses blogs, the average marketer is really just now becoming aware of the possibilities of what can be done online – especially those that have been utilizing traditional marketing strategies for many years.
Blogs have the capability of allowing “the advertiser” to say whatever they want to say, as often as they want, and to take up as much space as they want. And the perception of blog content in most cases is that it is written by “experts” so it provides a high perceived credibility. That kind of advertising is golden! Add to that the fact that it can often be done for FREE and you have the makings of the best possible form of promoting your company!
Do you think mobile marketing is an effective tool best used for specific target audiences, for example, the hispanic market?
Research has shown that the Hispanic market is highly reactive to mobile advertising; the U.S. Hispanic population is younger than the population at large; they are extremely “family and friend-oriented”, they like to stay in close touch; and they keep pace with non-hispanics in their purchase and use of electronic devices. For these reasons, they have been known to be very responsive to mobile advertising.
Do you think the days of text messaging campaigns are running their course? People I’ve talked to seem to view them as more of a nuisance than a benefit. If so, what do you see as the replacement or, if you think it still has some kick to it, how do you see it evolving?
I do not think that text messaging has “run its course.” I think it will continue to evolve and become very frequently used. The wireless industry is evolving; very soon text messaging will likely be included in the standard cost of your service instead of as an added charge as it currently is for most people who have it. Because mobile advertising has proven to-date to be highly effective for those few advertisers who have effectively utilized it, more resources will continue to be dedicated to it and the advertising campaigns will become more sophisticated.
Right now the technology exists that an advertiser like Subway for example, can track a customer by the GPS in your phone and send you a text coupon if you happen to be standing within “x” distance of one of their stores – even further, it can be done during specific hours. What this means is, if they want to build up traffic during non-heavy traffic periods, they can send you a mobile coupon so enticing (some even have capability of sending pictures) that it makes you hungry enough to enter the store – a sort of “subliminal” message – when you’re right there to take advantage of it.
I read on your site that 59% of businesses are not using online marketing. I was stunned. Does the high percentage surprise you and with the economy being as it is, do you see a rapid conversion of those companies embracing the web?
It doesn’t surprise me at all. While there certainly is a large percentage of marketer’s who have embraced online technology and are finding every possible way to use it effectively, there is still a very large segment of marketer’s who have not yet been exposed to it in any meaningful way – and therefore have no idea of the benefits it can provide.
I’ll use myself as an example, in the not so distant past I had an employer who knew nothing about social media and online advertising but had “heard about it” and decided it was critical for us to do immediately. Because this employer couldn’t validate their reasons for me, but rather “had a feeling,” I discounted his opinion and convinced him there was no validity to the benefits of online media and since we were on a tight budget we couldn’t afford to experiment. After leaving that employer, I found myself in a situation where I became exposed to online marketing, social networking, etc. and the more I learned, the more I embraced it. Now, I am a strong proponent and preach the benefit anywhere I can! But I have to be truthful and admit – I went to it “kicking and screaming.”
I believe there are a large percentage of highly-experienced traditional marketer’s who are just like I was. That being the case, we’re going to have to find ways to help them become exposed to it and learn about it in a meaningful way. Once we find the right way of making that happen, those percentages will change very quickly.
I’m with you on that. I am one of those marketers. Years ago, I was with a company and my PR person wanted to do something with MySpace. I was appalled and let her know in no uncertain terms that we were not going down that road. Ever. Live and learn!
Which brings me to my final question: any guess as to what the next big trend is in marketing? I’ve been thinking about this myself, and of course, my answer is, who knows? We probably can’t begin to guess. I still like to ask, though. What’s beyond Twitter?
I believe that our cell phones are going to become our main form of communication and contact; I believe that the mobile industry that is currently controlled by the carriers will become much more manufacturer dominated and that the focus will become handsets (phones) and content (the applications/software) that you use on the phone. I believe it will for many people even take the place of their computer. I believe that people will start buying memory cards for phones that contain various programs (just like we currently buy software CDs for our computers) and that those memory cards will also contain some advertising as well. I also believe that phone advertising will become standard, and that if you agree to receiving “x” amount of ads per month that you will be able to receive reduced rates on your monthly phone bills because those bills will be supplemented by the advertisers.
I think you are dead-on about the computer being replaced by the phone. My iPhone is often my main source of all things computer these days. Thank you, Linda, for answering all my questions! You’ve been provocative and insightful!
Please check out Linda’s blog.