In a report put out by the UN International Telecommunications Union agency, as of 2009 there were just over 4.6 billion mobile phone subscribers across the world. With more than 50% of the global population having access to a mobile device, it is no wonder that mobile marketing has become a burgeoning strategy for many businesses, NGO’s, and governmental organizations. There are still governmental restrictions on what sorts of ads may be proliferated throughout the mobile networks, and remaining barriers against a perceived invasion of privacy, but the future of this form of marketing looks bright.
In every generation, it is the 14 to 24 age group that is most effectively targeted by advertising strategies harnessing the technology of the day. Accessing the youth of today is a potential $80 billion endeavor, with over 70% of teens owning a cellular device. However, the proliferation of cell phone usage extends to all segments of society, and thus presents an enormous potential customer base. Mobile marketing must be approached in a way that does not alienate its target audience by invading their sense of privacy; ones text message exchanges are seen as private and intimate. This is why advertising campaigns must present information to customers via mobile devices but to an extent where it does not invade their lives in an overreaching fashion. The solution to this particular privacy issue is gaining permission for direct text marketing from the individual before offering further information and special offers. Unlike other sources of advertising like TV or print media, cellular device marketing targets only those who welcome this information, making it a more efficient and welcomed marketing scheme.
The potential of information spread throughout mobile networks is best represented by how non-profit organizations have harnessed text message donations. For example, when the earthquake hit Haiti, over 13% of Americans used text messaging to send relief money to the area. It stands to reason that if there is a demand for a product, those consumers will desire quick and effective sources of information about that product. Utilizing mobile devices for mobile marketing is one of the most instantaneous ways to provide consumers with this information directly. In the world of commerce, respecting and responding to the consumer’s desire for convenience is the key; if a person can choose between a service that has provided information directly to them and a service which they have to expend further energy to seek out, most consumers would opt for the former.
Other than targeted marketing benefits and convenience, mobile marketing also has the distinct benefit of being less wasteful than other forms of marketing. For those consumers who base their business choices based partly on environmental awareness, they will appreciate the zero waste advertisement that it offers. An additional benefit to this, unlike paper advertisements, the information is easily stored on ones phone for quick and easy access on the go. This is of particular use when companies offer coupons or deals via text or on a mobile access website; this means that consumers do not have to worry about losing a physical item in order to get deals. The effectiveness of mobile coupons is evidenced by a redemption rate of 15-40%, as compared to 2% from print coupons. The personalized and instantaneous nature of this marketing speaks to the changing face of technology and society; a majority of cell phone users have their devices on them at all times, and are thus always just a click away from accessing any goods and services they wish. The key for any business is to have this information at the ready, so as not to lose a competitive edge.
Mobile marketing offers a great source of customer feedback; the immediate nature of direct mobile market strategies is that instant feedback is commonplace. Knowing how ones consumer base is responding to information on services or products is vital to expanding ones client base and revenue streams; efficiency is the key. Only with rapid response times can any service provider know how to alter their goods and services to target the wants and needs of their consumer base. It is effective in maximizing profits, and with text marketing, it is that much easier to predict consumer behavior. There are many aspects to mobile device marketing that are of benefit to anybody looking to increase the prominence of their goods or services.
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