I’ve recently just begun to spend a little bit of time thinking about marketing and advertising on mobile phones. With my background in online/e-mail direct marketing, I can easily see the potential power of direct marketing opportunities that the mobile phone platform offers. Obviously, members of groups like the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) see the promise as well. It seems to me, however, that most of the mobile marketing to date has been the utilization of white-labeled storefronts for brands to extend into images, ringtones, and games. Or MMS/SMS opt-in promotions. Will we ever see banner-ads or text-ads, akin to those online, enabled by advertising networks embedded into applications or even onto the deck itself? In five years will I open up my flip-phone and see an ad before I answer my call?
It seems to me that the difference between online and mobile marketing is that the consumers fundamentally view media consumption on these channels as different. Consumers expect everything online to be “free,” and thus tolerate an amount of intrusiveness from advertising. On the other hand, consumers are conscious of and willing to pay for their phones’ service and the content that goes with it. An inappropriate or ill-timed advertisement could overly disgruntle a user away from either the carrier or the marketer. The hurdle promote on a mobile phone seems like a high one which deserves careful attention of those who are pursuing these avenues. But if approached correctly, it seems like quite an opportunity. Because of this working hypothesis, I’m going to continue to spend more time here; again, it’s something that I’ve just started to think about.