Posted March 19, 2007 4:42 pm by with 3 comments

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Surprise, surprise: mobile marketing is labeled “a non-starter” by Brady Gilchrist on iMedia Connection last week. I can’t disagree. For all the hype surrounding mobile marketing, there are few truly viable mobile marketing models. Brady cites the “SMS to win” and e-coupons models, but states “There is really nothing out there that has wowed consumers, just yet.”

But, he points out, there’s hope. Rather than being all doom-and-gloom about how mobile marketing has still failed to effectively materialize (like I am), Brady develops six different mobile advertising models, most of them based on future technology capabilities. His list:

  1. Instant information: “Expect that the first major retail use of mobile internet . . . will be comparative shopping. . . . Widgets, such as reminder lists, traffic cams, weather forecasts and a million other useful bits and pieces, are all sponsorable and brandable opportunities.”
  2. Something for later: Download brochures, coupons, surveys and more, with just a swipe of your phone. Sounds familiar? Check out #3.
  3. Transaction: Japan and Europe are already using swipable chips in cell phones as a form of payment.
  4. Digital Companion: “As you pass by the dry cleaners the phone beeps to remind you of stuff you dropped off; as you enter the grocery store it automatically picks up your list of things to get from the web.”
  5. Side loading: Download video to your computer, where your bandwidth is cheaper, and transfer it to your phone. On this point, Brady states “Ultimately, what needs to change is the pricing structure of the wireless carriers.”
  6. Voicebots: Think Moviefone. “Walk into a bookstore, call a number and listen to a quick review of the most interesting books recently released. . . . Walk into a grocery store and listen to a quick recorded voice with some healthy dinner ideas or a wine store with smart suggestions.”

You don’t have to wait for iPhones to saturate the market and wireless carriers to change their rates to start your mobile marketing campaign. The voicebot option can be utilized today. In Brady’s examples at least, it is best suited to companies with a brick & mortar location.

To start using “the killer app” of cell phones, voice, for mobile marketing today, I suggest keeping your normal business and customer service phone line(s) separate from the information-only voicebot so callers who want to speak to a human can. Other tips:

  • Keep it current. Change regularly, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly or seasonally—whatever’s right for your industry.
  • Brand your message. Make sure you mention the name of your store, your slogan, your website and your location.
  • Then get to the point and keep it short.
  • Put it on your website. Make sure that type of interesting, quick (often highly linkable) information is available at your website or online store.
  • I don’t know whether you’ve seen the barcodes type things they have in korea and japan. You use your mobile to take pictures of barcode which unlocks discounts or content to the users. It’s a bit like the bluetooth billboards you get in some london tube stations.

  • Jordan McCollum

    I haven’t seen them, but Brady mentioned something along those lines under point #1.

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