Nothing stays the same. Everything changes. The market changes too: while it retains the same principles, the realization of those principles changes.Mobile marketing is simply the next step. Those who take that step will progress. Those who don’t will be left behind.
Understanding mobile marketing begins with the question: what is it? In truth, it is nothing more than the use of mobile devices to peddle products, and with the increasing amount of devices available, the revenue is growing. It would not be overstating the case to say that this is something of a gold mine.Mobile devices outnumber televisions worldwide at a rate of 3 to 1; they outnumber PCs at a rate of 5 to 1.
This is a maturing market. The percentages of people who receive ads via their phones is growing. And, following the law of large numbers, the morepeople who have access to the ads, the greater the percentage will be of people who will click through these ads. In Japan, for instance, mobile ad revenues are over $900 million.
Mobile ads are slated to have a growth rate of 43% worldwide, growing from a billion euro thing in 2008 to over 8.7 billioneuros in 2016. The US market will not be left out of this. Mobile ad revenues for 2008 hit $160 million, and are on track to reach $3.1 billion by 2013 .
Some say it could even reach as high as $5 billion by 2011. The exact amount of profit is not the point, though. The point is that in the U.S., as well as the rest of the world, the revenue of this form of advertising is going up, and will continue to do so for some time.
The newest platforms for this kind of advertising are the smartphones. They are a natural fit. They have more computing power than normal ‘feature’ phones. This increased computing power allows users to download more complex applications, referred to as apps in previous entries. These advancements are probably the primary driving force behind the strong sales that smartphones are seeing in the U.S. As of the end of February this year, over 45 million people in the U.S. own a Smartphone, and it is currently the fastest growing segment of the market (Informationweek.com).
These apps make a huge difference for users. Smartphones are part of a growing open source culture, where users are capable of programming their phones for themselves.
What this means is that users are capable of tailoring their experiences. This appears to be an obstacle, but the truth is that this presents a real opportunity to reach consumers. Since the consumers are customizing their experiences on their phones, they are announcing to potential advertisers exactly what kinds of ads it would take to sell them.
That is the real potential of apps. Apps are designed for certain non-computer related tasks. These can vary wildly, anything from video games to word processing to industrial automation, even e-readers. The specific kind of app that is dealt with in this article is referred to as a mobile app. It is exactly what it sounds like an app that is designed for use on a mobile device.
Many of these devices come with apps already installed, but as was mentioned earlier, the devices are open source enough that a given device rarely keeps just the packaged apps. Another key thing to remember is that a given app will only work for one platform. An app designed for the iOS will work for an iPad or an iPhone, but will not work on a phone that uses Android as its platform.
Now that ads and apps have been clarified, we have a new question: what difference do these make to a business?
And as for the apps? The apps represent the fact that more and more users are engaging the Internet through mobile technology. This despite the factthat much of the advertising on the Internet simply is not tailored for mobile users. Much of the advertising that goes on online is still catering to PC users. These ‘traditionalists’ are not utilizing apps. As such, a business that does will be able to get a jump on them.
This jump cannot be understated. Apps are new technology. More than that, they represent a new kind of media, a kind that interfaces well with the newsocial media. Competing along this avenue means that a business can reach customers without having to face off directly against the larger establishedcompanies.
That is why you should do it. But far be it for this article to be complete without giving you some steps to get started.
You must begin by figuring out which device it is that you want to market through. Remember: apps are device specific. Whichever device you choose gives you a different demographic to market to, and once you pick that market you will not be able to go to another without developing an entirely new app.
This app that you build must have sharing capabilities. You want your customer’s decisions to be available to as many people as possible, to establish linesof interest within a customer’s social network.
In short, the key to engaging in mobile marketing is to develop an app that allows you to engage a community and that allows the community to engage inturn with you.