I was attending Ad Tech Paris yesterday, a good way to capture on-line advertising trends. Among other interesting sessions, I was appealed by the mobile advertising one called “Mobile advertising – the long and winding road” coordinated by the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF). Speakers, see picture from left to right, were Marc-Henri Magdelenat — Screentonic, Minh Tran — Nokia Mobile Advertising, Patrick Parodi — Amobee & MEF, Richard Saggers — Vodafone and our moderator Gilles Babinet — Eyeka.
They covered a lot of ground to explain how important was mobile advertising among our marketing tactics and how unique was its approach. Not to forget for instance that permission marketing in this space is mandatory, nothing is more personal than your phone, right? Mobile Phones are the only new device that people carry all the time since watches were introduced. Some do even sleep with these! Keep in mind as well that consumers are actually paying to receive adverts so we should keep ads short and relevant. And finally, coupons on mobile phones — yes, bar codes on your phone to present to the store you’re in or close to — are far easier to use for consumers than traditional ones or even web ones, especially when coupled with your location.
Having experienced the mobile industry at Sun Microsystems myself, when marketing the Java platform, I could not agree more to the effectiveness of mobile marketing. Europe and Asia are for sure ahead of the curve about it, as mobile devices connected to the Internet are spreading fast there. The UK even have a dedicated web-zine about it called Mobile Marketing Magazine. Amazing!
But I think some key aspects were eluded during the conference. Mobile phones do have key attributes that can nurture marketing ROI:
- Authentication: we know who you are for sure,
- Payment: your Telco provider can charge you for what you buy or consume with it, opening an opportunity for Telcos to become trusted party for e-commerce,
- Impulse and web 2.0: as you carry your phone with you all the time, nothing would be more natural than to use it for an impulsive buying decision and to channel back your opinion to the brand right away.
Not to mention that within the next 3 to 5 years, mobile devices will become the primary Internet access for consumers, as Japan experienced already. The user experience will significantly improve as well, check the iPhone introduction by Steve jobs here in Marketing 2.0 to get a feel for it.
Marketing 2.0 minded marketers cannot ignore mobile marketing when planning for the next campaign. Consider it for sure in your mix, but very carefully as this could be a double edge sword.