Verizon's smartphone could change the mobile marketing landscape.
Verizon's launch of the Motorola Droid phone is definitely going to make the mobile world a lot more interesting. Sporting a form factor similar to the iPhone (but with a nifty slide-out keyboard), a $199 price tag, Google's Android 2.0 OS, and (probably most important) running on Verizon's network, the Droid seems like the first new smartphone with the possibility of actually giving Apple a run for its money.
Droid's new entry into the market will probably be the next big shot in the arm that mobile marketing's been looking for. Sure, the iPhone's cool and all (and seemingly ubiquitous), but Verizon has many loyal subscribers who haven't wanted to make the switch. In fact, as of Q1 2009, Verizon had 86.5 million subscribers, over 8 million more than second-place AT&T. And many of these folks have been chomping at the bit for a phone like the Droid.
With all these new potential users, it's a given that more money is going to be spent on mobile marketing in the coming years. Mobile search has been the most obvious candidate for mobile marketing spends, and pundits are now predicting mobile marketing spending in the billions by 2012. If mobile isn't a part of your marketing mix now, it probably will be in the coming years.
But what's the best way to develop a mobile marketing strategy that works? It's simple: begin by realizing that mobile is different.
Why? Because mobile marketing isn't about interrupting the consumer's media stream with advertising like most traditional ad models. Mobile users hate mobile advertising that they haven't asked for. Instead, building a successful mobile marketing model relies on realizing that mobile users are...well...mobile. They're not reading a publication. They're not browsing the Web. They're not passively watching TV. Instead, they're on the go, and reaching them with your messages means fitting in with this simple fact. It's why mobile search works as a marketing medium: just like with desktop search, consumers encountering your messages in a mobile search situation are doing so because they're actively engaged in looking for the kinds of products and services you're offering.
If you're going to develop mobile marketing that works, you have to pay attention to four simple things:
Make no mistake about it: mobile marketing is different than any other form of marketing because it's the context that matters as much as the content. As we move forward in our efforts to reach consumers with mobile marketing, developing campaigns that address these four simple questions will help you develop mobile marketing strategies that work.
Meet Sean at Search Engine Strategies, Chicago, Dec. 7-9, 2009.
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Sean Carton has recently been appointed to develop the Center for Digital Communication, Commerce, and Culture at the University of Baltimore and is chief creative officer at idfive in Baltimore. He was formerly the dean of Philadelphia University's School of Design + Media and chief experience officer at Carton Donofrio Partners, Inc.
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