Last month, Mobile Marketing Watch published a brand new statistic about Smartphone penetration in the U.S.1 that got me thinking about how marketing has evolved over the years. Do any of us yearn for the days in Mad Men where marketing and advertising channels were pretty limited — can you imagine just three network television channels and no internet? With all of the conveniences that the digital age has brought us I can certainly tell you I’m not looking back. But, I am looking forward. And with Smartphones reaching 70% mobile market penetration there is a whole lot to look forward to.
First, mobile marketing is becoming more and more customizable for the consumer. With better data analytics, tracking and consumer driven preference selection, advertising and marketing efforts are becoming more targeted toward the consumers who are likely to purchase the product or service being advertised. When consumers have the ability to select preferences so mobile marketing efforts are tailored to their tastes, they are also less likely to end their participation in the promotion or campaign.
Additionally, mobile marketing is being driven by the consumer. Text messaging participation rates are skyrocketing as consumers are texting into short codes to sign up for digital loyalty programs in order to receive coupons and promotions. With a new baby in the house, my wife recently heard from a friend about a mobile coupon for baby items from a big box retailer for $20 off a purchase of $100 or more. She promptly sent a message into the short code, received the coupon and sent me on my merry way to buy diapers. And of course, like many of us, when I got to the store a few extra things flew into my cart — which is always the hope of a retailer (even though hope is not a strategy!).
The future of mobile marketing is a bright one. As campaigns and promotions become more interactive for consumers, businesses will see the effects on their bottom line. It is definitely part art and part science. The technology is there — but finding the right mobile marketing solution to create an effective overall marketing communications strategy will either differentiate businesses or cause them to lag behind. Mobile marketing activities will drive in-store traffic, create brand awareness and give businesses the competitive advantage they need to outperform their competitors.
Smartphones (and other mobile devices) are definitely not going away anytime soon. Businesses, especially retailers that do not implement a mobile marketing plan into their overall marketing communications strategy could see a similar fate of company’s like Blockbuster or Borders that were not forward thinking about the use of technology in their business strategies. For a quick look at the history of mobile marketing, take a look at the timeline below and for more information about mobile marketing and marketing communications check out www.pocketstop.com.
A Brief History of Mobile Marketing2
1876: First telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell
1973: First mobile portable handset invented (aka: Zack Morris phone)
1992: First text message sent from a computer to a mobile phone
1993: First mobile phone that both sends and receives texts introduced
2003: First commercial mobile SMS launches; short codes introduced for use with text message marketing
2005: Nike and Pontiac launch SMS campaigns
2006: Pocketstop opens its doors to provide mobile marketing solutions
2007: 2.4 billion SMS users worldwide; texting is embraced — average monthly text (218) outnumbers average monthly calls (213)
2010: Quick response (QR) codes start being used in mobile marketing; Cambridge dictionary adds “text” as a verb
2011: Mobile marketing becomes a 14 billion dollar industry
2013: Android and iOs dominate the market; mobile fingerprinting to secure payments; same day shipping through Amazon and eBay
2014: Prediction — mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage
2015: Prediction — mobile marketing will generate $400 billion in sales