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Mobile Marketing: From Concept to Practice

  |  October 9, 2010   |  Comments   |  

Are you still using conventional media planning methods to manage new digital media?

Creating a successful mobile campaign requires effectively selecting and integrating numerous components.

In this column, let's examine how to use mobile to reach target audiences and how this medium may be used as an interactive device that could add a new dimension for existing media to generate a cross media impact. Let's also consider integration and interaction design.

For several years, agencies and brands have talked about mobile as a new medium to reach target audiences. From mobile messaging to mobile Internet, we now have thousands of new mobile applications available for download on various mobile phone operating systems in topics ranging from business to entertainment. From our perspective, however, only a relatively small number of brands have tapped into mobile marketing.

Sometimes the problem is that mobile is precisely so new; even though there are more than 277 million mobile Internet users in China alone, there are always new tools and functions coming out.

Brands are definitely interested in mobile marketing, but where should they start?

We should begin by tackling the oldest problem in the advertising world – how do we reach our target audiences and maximise return of ad spend?

In the age of Internet marketing, do any brands require Web publishers to serve different ad creatives to a PC user or to a Mac user? Or try to sell a limited edition of Dior mascara to a female user who is using a limited edition of Sony Vaio Gold version laptop to access Businessweek.com?

Thanks to increased mobile media usage and technological developments, brands can implement targeting similar to the examples listed above.

Unlike PCs, digital out-of-home ads, or other forms of new media, mobile marketing involves a plethora of distinct device types, particularly in a country like China, where mobile Internet users use over 5,000 different phone models ranging from the iPhone, Android devices, BlackBerry, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, or other local brands that no one has heard of outside China or even within local distribution regions inside China. These phones range in price from U.S.$50 to more than U.S.$1,000 and have a wide range of functions.

Therefore, if you are marketing for BMW, you would know who should see your ads on their mobile phones or perhaps due to device limitations, who may not even see those ads. Mobile provides brands with increased visibility on where the ad dollars are going and provides marketers with increased control in limiting spend to relevant users.


First, you might need to change your concept of media planning when using mobile as a channel.

In the traditional media planning process, planners must indirectly evaluate each medium among numerous parameters via survey data or other statistical methods such as content, user base, user profile, etc., and then decide which website to use and the respective channels of the website. For example, Dior will place its mascara ads on fashion sites or BMW on business sites. When a given media only provides a limited amount of direct visibility on users, media planners are only able to indirectly target these users via assumptions about different media sites and content.

However, with mobile Internet advertising, you are able to target directly to the device and its related user profiles. That means you might be able to identify users of expensive business phones and target them directly across a large set of sites and content.

While banners are still banners and there is nothing terribly new about the creatives themselves, the whole planning concept of when and where to place banners is totally different. Mobile marketing allows us to implement a whole new level of targeting.

So, are you still using old-school methods such as a media plan with lots of fixed 'spots' on various sites to manage new digital media?

In the next column, we will describe a number of intelligent technologies that not only help brands reach target audiences, but also help manage and optimise campaign return on investments.

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Joshua  Maa

Joshua Maa is founder and CEO of Madhouse, China's largest and most intelligent mobile ad network, with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. Joshua is founding member and board director of Mobile Marketing Association, Asia-Pacific region, and co-chair of Global Mobile Advertising Committee. The committee developed mobile advertising guidelines that have been widely applied by most global mobile advertising players. Before founding Madhouse, Joshua Maa was EVP at TOM Online, where he managed the wireless business and operations, plus the international business evelopment teams. He ahelped TOM become the largest wireless value-added service provider by revenue in China in 2005. Before TOM Online, Joshua was founding CEO of Rock Mobile Corp., greater China's leading mobile music entertainment service provider. Joshua has over 18 years of managerial experience in greater China?s new media, entertainment, and consumer marketing industries.

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