Mobiles are no longer devices of the rich. They are one of the most commonly used devices today – everyone has a mobile from CEOs of multinational organizations to rickshaw drivers. According to United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2008, there were 4 billion mobile users worldwide and this market is still expanding. In the past eight years, the number of mobile subscribers has increased by appx. 25% yearly. In India alone, there are 4+ million mobile users (March 2009) and research indicates that the number will grow to 4.5 million (growth rate: 8 million new users per month) by the end of the year. The mobile customer base is much larger than the internets and while many people go weeks without checking their email; practically everyone checks their messages within minutes of their mobile beeping. Given these facts and stats, the mobile is the one of most attractive forms of marketing and advertising.
What exactly is Mobile Marketing & Advertising? Mobile Marketing is defined as marketing on or with a mobile device. It enables you to communicate and sell instantly and directly to your end-customer. Similarly, Mobile Advertising is advertising via a mobile phone or other mobile devices. It is a subset of mobile marketing. Mobile advertising ranges from simple text messages to interactive ad messages. The driving factor behind this popularity of the medium is that people carry their mobiles with them 24x7 and rarely if ever turn them off. You can gain a share of this audience using any of the following methods:
SMS: This is the most basic of mobile advertising options. You can send a simple text message with your offer. For example: 3 days/2 nights Goa Package at a 3 star property for just Rs. 8000/-.
MMS: Most mobile phones today have a MMS option. A MMS ad can contain a timed slideshow of images, text, audio and video. So instead of sending a simple text message via SMS, include an image with your text message to add value to your sales pitch or you can even add your hotel logo for branding purpose.
Web marketing: Funky screensavers, customized themes, unusual ringtones are popular amongst most mobile users. One slightly different method of attracting attention of mobile users is by posting banners on websites that are specifically cater to audiences looking meant for screensavers, themes and ringtones.
Location-based services (LBS): Location-based services are based on the unique ability of the mobile Internet device to determine its exact location by using GPS, and then to use that knowledge to perform functions, provide information, suggest activities, check out if friends are in the neighborhood, etc.
Mobile Internet: Mobile Internet is not wireless access to the internet (World Wide Web). More often than not when a traveler is looking for hotel accommodation on his mobile via the internet (www) he will have a terrible user experience (site can load, can’t locate info etc.) which leads to abandoned websites and reservations. Mobile Internet is it a duplicate of the internet; it is a separate medium altogether.
Why should you opt to market and advertise via mobile? Is it worth the effort? Here are just some of the benefits you will gain:
Wide Reach: Communicate and market to billions easily. There are 4 billion+ mobile users worldwide and this is still a rapidly growing market. By opting to market via mobile, you can drastically increase your market reach.
Instant Communication: Mobile users carry their handsets with them 24x7 and rarely if ever turn them off. By launching a mobile campaign, you can communicate with potential guests easily and instantly.
Highly Effective: Mobile Advertising is more effective than traditional promotional methods such as direct mail. Unlike emails, 99% of the time, SMS messages reach and are read by their intended audience. The average SMS response rate is 15% v/s 3.5% for traditional methods. This makes this medium much more effective than other mediums.
To summarize, the Mobile is a highly effective marketing and advertising medium that can deliver your message with higher accuracy and expand your market reach.