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“M-marketing”

No, “m-marketing” isn’t really delicious marketing (yum, link bait!). It’s just one of the latest additions to the alphabet soup of all forms of Internet marketing, short for mobile marketing.

Back to our favorite mobile marketing debate: is the world really ready for mobile marketing?

The E-Commerce Times asks that question. They get one answer from Alfredo Narez, VP of Marketing for Air2Go, a mobile marketing and content provider.

I expect that 2007 will be the year that marks a giant advancement in off-deck content. Publishers, brands, enterprises, and marketers alike have started to see critical mass in the campaigns that they have put together over the last couple of years, and are ready to take advantage of the advancements in mobile technology

Google Voice Local Search Offers Free 411 Service

We already suspected Google might enter the 411 arena, when they were granted a voice recognition patent last year. With Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Tellme, it seemed even more likely that Google would one day launch a mobile voice search service.

That day is now here, with Google launching Google Voice Local Search.

As part of our ongoing effort to make the world’s information universally accessible, we’re testing a free service called Google Voice Local Search. Using this service, you get fast access to the same local information you’d find on Google Maps. But you don’t need a computer, you don’t need an Internet connection, and you don’t even need to use your cell-phone keypad. It’s voice-activated, and you can access it from any phone (mobile or landline), in any location, at any time.

Real Mobile News

When I mentioned eMarketer earlier, I said their story on social and mobile converging was just about social. So I went back to yesterday’s eMarketer to get a real story on mobile marketing.

Yesterday’s story was about a new report on mobile marketing best practices by Forrester Research. In addition to best practices, the study looks at mobile advertising penetration. Unsurprisingly, it’s low: “only 13% of interactive marketers used text messaging to reach consumers in December 2006″ and only 11% advertised on wireless application protocol websites.

So, basically, it’s the same old, same old for mobile marketing: after being hyped beyond belief for months—years—no follow up.

There was one inspiring success story in eMarketer’s story:

Are You Socially Mobile?

I was really excited to read another article from eMarketer Daily (Andy already covered today’s Australia article) on social networks going mobile.

Mostly, though, it was about social networks. But it there was a little new information:

According to a survey of over 1,400 social network members conducted by Compete, social networkers use an average of three sites, and many would visit even more.

In fact, 45% of those surveyed said they would be willing to join four or more social networking sites, with 7% saying they’d be willing to join 10 or more (job seekers?).

Interestingly, because both mobile phones and online social networks keep today’s consumers connected, they seem to be converging.

Viacom Jumps on the Bandwagon

CBS announced it was going mobile earlier this week, and now its former “corporate sibling,” Viacom, is following suit. Shows to be available streaming from Sprint include Nickelodeon’s “Spongebob Squarepants” and Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” I’m sure my sisters will be excited to watch MTV’s “The Hills” on their phones.

Other MTV, Comedy Central and VH1 content will also be available on their mobile websites as well as a new channel, GameTrailers.

Like CBS’s, their mobile video will be ad-supported, with advertisers including Pepsi and Intel. I agree with MediaPost’s Wendy Davis’s conclusion:

It’s understandable that Viacom doesn’t want to get left behind by technology, but curious that the company is wheeling and dealing in the nascent mobile video market at the same time that it’s warring with YouTube — a company that already delivers video in a format that everyone knows consumers want.

Mobile News: Google Gets LG, Yahoo Gets Virgin Mobile

Maybe 2007 will be the year that mobile finally reaches the tipping point. If the recent flurry of mobile news is any representation, it could just be the year that mobile reaches the masses.

Today we have two partnership deals to share with you.

First, LG Electronics will start shipping select LG handsets with Google apps already installed. The phones will offer one-click access to Google search via an icon on the application menu and will come with Google Maps, Gmail and Blogger.

Next up to bat, is Yahoo and their deal with Virgin Mobile USA.

Starting next month, Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger can be downloaded onto several Virgin Mobile handsets, and the applications will be preloaded on select phones in the future.

Twitter Got the Message

It’s been like a day since we’ve talked about Twitter, so I guess it’s time again. (Okay, it’s really been two weeks, but I just keep hearing so much about it that it’s hard to remember that I didn’t write those things!)

So, in our first brush with the IM/SMS-based “miniblogging” platform, Liana Evans had already covered how Twitter could become useful to business.

A few businesses caught the idea early on, such as woot.com. Woot.com’s implementation, to me, seems like the ideal way to use Twitter (or RSS feeds, for that matter) as a marketing tactic. Of course, part of this is due to the nature of woot.com’s concept: sell only one item a day, at a discount, until midnight or it sells out, whichever comes first. Thus, one update a day keeps you informed of the best deals.