Welcome to my blog

Welcome and thank you for visiting my blog....

This is where I will pen my thoughts on Enterprise Mobility and other wireless technologies based on my learning’s/ experience over the course of my IT career.

The wireless world has been a very exciting place to be over the last few years. We have seen the introduction of ground breaking products and technologies have reached a never-before-seen level of maturity. The rate of enterprise adaptation to wireless technology is only accelerating day by day.

This is a personal blog and will focus on my thoughts and perspectives on wireless technology. Please feel free to share your opinions and viewpoints so that it can be discussed and debated. Though I would like to, I won't be able to post to this blog each day. Will try my best to write whenever I get time.

I hope that you will return often to this blog. Thanks again.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mobile Location Based Advertising and Marketing showing up

by Purushottam Darshankar
The use of advert and marketing based on user preference and location is already here and is considered to be one of the most promising mobile business opportunities. “Mobile Advertising” can be defined as any promotional or advertisement material pushed on to mobile phone. “Mobile Marketing” can be defined as any use of the mobile channel for delivery of marketing communications. Mobile Marketing is often used to broadly encompass everything from mobile advertising to promotion of mobile related content such as mobile personalization and entertainment items like ring tones, graphics, games etc.

There are couple of reasons why many experts consider Mobile Advertising as an encouraging branch of mobile business. The first and far most being the high penetration rate of mobile phones. People carry their mobile device along most of the day so mobile advertisement can reach target audience almost anytime, anywhere as against ads in newspaper or commercials on television can reach people only in certain situation and within certain time span. More importantly, each marketing message is private to that audience. This means that advertiser can take risks with their messages that are simply not possible in mass-market communication.

The technology required for location based advertising is now available as subscribers are increasingly using LBS applications on their handset such as mapping and navigation solution. Spread of mobile advertising and marketing has created an exciting revenue opportunity and this exponential growth is expected to reach to $13 billion by 2011.(Source: eMarketer , Jan 2007). The mobile advertising eco system which involves advertiser, content provider, carrier and consumer needs to be fostered so that everyone in the value chain benefits relative to their contribution. As we have seen time and time again, if the ecosystem is healthy, segment thrives otherwise it is relegated to slow growth or the interest dissipates altogether. There needs to be a good balance of power between the stakeholders. As a result the mobile advertising is at its infancy in India and is mostly into SMS advertising, but things are changing at rapid pace and are moving towards MMS and WAP push campaigns.

The mobile ecosystem keeps shifting as activities performed by stakeholders are changing with emergence of new ways of advertising. Currently, the mobile advertising chain consists of main segments - advertisers/campaign Sponsors (like American Express, P&G, GE, Toyota, etc.),marketing agencies ( like Ogilvy, Universal, Carat, Mindshare, etc.), enablers( like ThirdScreenMedia, Admob, MobiTV, Enpocket, Rhythm NewMedia, Medio, ActionEngine, ScreenTonic, Google, Yahoo, Tellme, MSN, Infospace, etc.), content provider( like CNN, Disney, Yahoo, YouTube, ESPN, Mixxer, Intercasting, etc.), aggregators( like mBlox, Infospace, WSC, etc.), carriers( like Sprint Nextel, NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone, Verizon, Cingular, Virgin, Clearwire, etc.) and consumers like you and me.

Different forms of location based advertising are available that varies from simple SMS based advertising to branded mobile web site. The mobile web offers variety of banner ads with links to take users to different mobile sites. The common short codes and SMS are currently driving the mobile advertising which could be effectively used for Text-to-win campaigns, product promotion, subscription, coupons, polls, surveys, donations etc.

The other form of mobile marketing is on–package marketing, the imprinting of short codes and keywords directly on packaged goods. Consumers text these keywords to short codes to receive rebates, enter contests or simply interact with the brand. SMS messages have had a successful history of generating high response rates. Simply include a keyword and short code on your product’s package, and consumers’ SMS messages will pour in. Timing of campaign with a well publicized event or holiday will see exceptional results.

Mobile coupons are the cool, new alternative to clipping and collecting the traditional variety. Sent directly to opted–in phones, mobile coupons provide both the consumer and the brand overwhelming convenience. With mobile coupons, brands are able to target consumers by individual preferences and locations, thus producing a greater return on investment. And unlike direct mail, mobile coupon campaigns can be created, implemented and dispatched within an hour, reducing the usual production time and costs. One great use of mobile coupons is to promote store openings. Advertise your short code and keyword on local billboards, radio shows and television stations and then watch as new customers rush with cell phones in hand to redeem their mobile coupons. Couple this with SMS messages containing store locations, new product or service information or even employment opportunities, and you will have a steady stream of business.

Incorporating the mobile advertising without degrading the usability of service is key factor for its success. Most of the subscribers do not want to pay for this service unless they see some value in the message they are going to receive. Getting the permission before sending someone a mobile message is a legal requirement in Europe/US and even in India. The user preferences are important so that marketing offer can be carefully targeted to its audience, bringing in better profits. Also, location information feed from the carrier operator helps advertiser to deliver location based promotions to target audience at right time enhancing the response rates.
Many on-device applications enable subscribers to make personalized request for information. A server-side advertising insertion engine can be used to return advertisements that key off specific words, categories, or location to give context and relevance to the messages being presented to the subscriber. The countries like Japan are exploring advanced methods to build user specific probability model to predict his or her behavior and deliver the right contents. User preferences based on customer profile that capture everything from age and gender to web-surfing habits and social networks aided with their current location is the differentiator that separates mobile advertising from other traditional media and advertisers, operators and manufacturers can all get involved to provide profitable LBA services.