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Marketing Goes Mobile

(February 2010) posted on Tue Jan 26, 2010

Smartphones offer marketers direct, personal access to customers

click an image below to view slideshow

By Andrea Southcott

It’s increasingly making business sense to consider mobile as a key element in your marketing strategy or that of your clients.

According to Chetan Sharma Consulting (, it’s predicted that, by next year, 70 percent of the world’s population will own a mobile device. And mobile Web penetration globally is already above 25 percent and rising rapidly. Devices that combine mobility and access, such as smart phones, iPods, and the Kindle book reader, create opportunities and stimulate demand for mobile media. And the availability of GPS on mobile devices opens the door to countless new location-specific applications allowing people to do things that were the stuff of science fiction just a few short years ago.

Consumers now expect easy access to a wealth of digital services, all delivered with broadband speed and available any time, anywhere. For years, marketers have talked about media convergence—now, it’s actually happening within the mobile device.

New ways to engage consumers
With mobile, marketers have access to a truly personal communications vehicle, and can reach customers and prospects with messages and offers specific to their location and interests. Let’s take a look at a few practices that are proving effective—some that are linked to print apps.

Soap maker Dove included a text-to-vote number on a billboard that showed a clean-scrubbed, average older woman. Pedestrians were asked to choose between “wrinkled” and “wonderful,” and the combined results from both text and online voting were displayed on the billboard’s live ticker.

Pontiac, meanwhile, launched a camera-phone promotion for its new G6 sedan, encouraging consumers to look for G6s on the street. Consumers who took a photo of a G6 and sent it in were entered into a drawing to win $1 million.

And shoemaker Adidas extended its sponsorship of the London Marathon by getting runners’ families and friends more engaged in the event. A Java application for the mobile Web tied together radio-frequency identification chips in runners’ shoes with timing mats on the course. Spectators could enter a runner’s unique code, via the application or online, to get the latest information on individual progress and projected finish time.

Rewarding loyalty, and more
If your client is intrigued with the possibility of integrating mobile technology into his next campaign, consider these suggestions, complete with examples: