Mobile marketing: Friend or foe of consumers?
15 August 2012
Mobile is the largest platform on the planet. It is increasingly able to deliver more targeted, relevant and intelligent information based on where we are and what we’re doing. It’s the first thing people look at in the morning and the last thing they look at before going to sleep.
It continually swallows up whole industries and reduces the bulk we carry around. As such a transformative device, does the mobile phone have the ability to make advertising and marketing a useful part of people’s lives?
Despite an inauspicious start, mobile has become the breakthrough star. It is widely recognised as not only a successful standalone channel but also one which can successfully support print, broadcast, outdoor and radio in innovative ways.
As mobiles become more sophisticated and intelligent, they are able to know more about individual users, more so than anything we’ve ever seen before - or will likely see in the near future. Because of the intimacy of mobile, it has the potential to take advertising from being an intrusive, disruptive medium to one that is welcomed and, ideally, adds value to people’s lives.
To get to this stage comes with challenges that are being thrashed out by policy makers and the industry in general. It is widely accepted that the marketing community have to get it right first time around to keep the trust of wary consumers. Steps are being taken to give users the power to control their own data and online identity.
For example, Qualcomm, the chipmaker, recently announced a solution that allows individuals to manage their identity on their devices. By doing this, people can control the types of advertising messages they are exposed to, making it truly personalised and relevant.
The ability to pinpoint someone to just a matter of meters is extremely powerful. Imagine alerting consumers to a special offer, they turn a corner and are presented with your store? As an example of this in action, M&C Saatchi Mobile recently ran a campaign to engage active football supporters; we sourced these customers by seeing who attended the physical football grounds during home games. The best way to do this was to analyze attendee movements via their mobile device. No other platform, not even the web, can give the same insight and accuracy.
The development of the industry will be long, it won’t happen overnight, but it is happening. Agencies at the forefront of the profession are using ever more sophisticated techniques to target the right type of audience, at the right time with elements of contextual relevance.
The uniqueness about mobile advertising is that users won’t always be aware that they are being targeted, it will just seem natural.
James Hilton, chief executive, M&C Saatchi Mobile