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Mobile Marketing Trends

Mobile marketing has long been viewed by marketers as a channel with tremendous potential. However it was not until recently that it started making its presence felt. There are many reasons for this sudden burst of energy. The explosion of smartphones and release of highly sophisticated and powerful mobile devices has put mobile marketing front and center.

Consider the following 5 facts when forming your opinion –

1.   There are 4 billion cell phones in the world compared to 1 billion PCs.

2.   20% of the U.S. households are “mobile-only”.

3.  More than 130 billion SMSs are sent from cell phones every month.

4.  Young users (between the ages of 18-29) consider their mobile phone as the most important device owned by them.

5.  Several different analysts have found that revenue from mobile marketing and advertising is going to leap from a couple of hundred million dollars in 2008 to $3 to $5 Billion by 2012.

Earlier mobile marketers mainly used SMS for marketing, although that still plays a central role, the fact that increasing number of mobile phone subscribers are now connecting to the Internet through their mobile devices has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. So let’s check the crystal ball to see what developments we might get to see in the field of mobile marketing in 2010.

Text message marketing will grow exponentially

For years text messages have been the only tool used for mobile phone marketing. It has been especially used by businesses that cater to the younger generation including things like trendy clothing stores and fast food establishments. But until now it has not made its presence felt in mainstream USA. However things are going to change soon, in-fact they are changing right now.

Text message marketing can be compared to email marketing, the crucial difference being that emails can be detailed efforts containing graphics and links along with text, but text messages are limited to about 160 characters of text. It may sound boring, but consider the practical implications, text messages are short, they can be understood by most people even if they are not technology savvy, and the biggest advantage is that receivers invariably read them (according to different researchers between 90-97% of text messages are read by the receivers). So why does it seem that mobile marketing is not used in mainstream advertising as much as it should be?

It has been reported that the number of text messages that the average American sends and receives is nearly twice that of calls. The economic recession has driven Americans to look for discounts, mobile coupons are very popular, and convenient. These coupons are being delivered by various companies through the innovative platform of mobile apps.

Mobile apps are targeted at smartphone users, they basically work like this ; a business like a store or restaurant, releases an app which subscribers can install in their phone. They then will  automatically receive coupons, announments, and other information on their phones as they are released by the company. Of course like all proper marketing methods they can choose to op out at any time.

Texting has proven itself; the average response rate is seven times higher than that of emails. Texting has even proved to have a better reach than Twitter which is growing at an explosive rate. Texting has been  used for a variety of purposes including coupons, promotions, voting, sweepstakes, alerts, and trivia. It can be used by any size business be it a mom-n-pop store, a restaurant or a used bookseller,  this amazing marketing tool is highly affordable with minimum charges some as low as $10 to $15 a month.

Big name retailers will take mobile marketing to the next level

Big name retailers like Wal-Mart, Sears, J.C. Penney, Best Buy and Target have been experimenting with mobile marketing for some years now. This year most of them plan to take it to the next level and introduce elaborate mobile marketing schemes. These will include smartphone apps, mobile sites and of course texting. Major fast food chains like Pizza Hut, Burger King and Taco Bell among others plan to introduce apps that will give customers an easier way to order their meals. Other big sellers will be introducing apps which give customers the ability to shop on their ecommerce websites, including activities like reading reviews and ordering products.

Some interesting features that many companies have been testing for future use include bar coded coupons, pay-by-phone facility and integrating marketing messages with real time information.

Localized smartphone apps

We’ve had these already, apps that provide information about local deals and businesses after figuring out the location of the user, with the help of the phone’s GPS. Businesses can use these applications by feeding their profiles in the app’s database. These apps have unlimited posabilities..  For an example an iPhone called Sekai Camera shows interactive symbols or tags on your phone when you point the phones camera at something. It can return detailed information about an object in the real world. Point at a product in a store and get a price comparison. Point at a bus stop get the bus schedule. A videoon Youtube shows a person using this app walking threw a mall turn it on and see names of stores, details of what they sell, specials they are running, walk inside a store, point at an item on the shelf and get detailed information about that item such as description, price, etc… You can even leave messages for others who you know that walk in your footsteps, they use a search tool called “Airfilter” that stores a person’s information, then you record and save your message at the “airspot information center”, ready for download, when the person you know gets there the message is available to them. An example of this would be, let’s say you want to let your friend Bob know about a Blu Ray player special at your favorite electronic super store. Bob can walk in the store and use the “Airfilter” to download the info you sent him and guide him to the Blu Ray player. When he walks by the item, he can hear the message you left for that item. All this by simply pointing the phones camera towards something, how cool is that? Don’t believe me? Check out the video SekaiCameraDemoVideo of TechCrunch50 on YouTube. Or click this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgTwSXK_5dg

Welcome to the future of mobile marketing and the merging of the virtual world with the real world!

Your website needs to be mobile ready and able, if it is not, you need to call my staff and start your mobile plan today! Set your trend, don’t follow the trends!

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About Audra Hajj

For the last 12 years CEO of Turboecart, Audra Hajj has been helping her clients successfully grow their ecommerce businesses as well as their bottom lines through her creative and energetic approach. What makes Audra unique is her ability to create a total online road map for her clients, mapping out short, medium, and long range goals and then closely monitors to ensure success.

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