The year of the mobile? It’s coming, you’ll see.
In what’s meant to be an interactive social setting, people nowadays often spend more time with their heads down checking something on their mobile, rather than being involved in a face-to-face conversation. Mobile penetration is around 200 percent in countries such as the UAE, and some reports say that by the end of 2010 there were more than 250 million mobile users in the Arab world.
Despite this, mobile marketing is yet to capture a bigger chunk of marketers’ ad dollars. Most media agencies still favour the tried and tested marketing channels. Even though most of them fully agree that mobile advertising provides an untapped communications platform – a targeted way with which to communicate with the mass market.
The main source of reluctance is often that this medium is not yet mature and its success not yet proven. While the medium may not yet have peaked as high as other traditional marketing channels, the argument that mobile marketing is not yet a proven channel is simply no longer valid. As the writer William Gibson said: “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” The list of success stories is already very long, and it keeps growing – every day.
What is the best approach? Move ahead or wait and see? The companies that start positioning themselves in this market are building competitive advantages. A Gartner research report predicts that more users will access the internet via mobile devices than PCs in 2013.
At that point, “Gartner predicts a global installed base of 1.82 billion phones able to connect to the internet, compared with 1.78 billion PCs”. So should we be market leaders with our marketing strategies, or should we fall behind as market followers and adopters? Should we be the first to explore innovative marketing strategies, or copy what our rivals are doing?
Mobile is personal, it reaches users where users are (and often when they have spare time), mobile response rates are typically five times those of comparable web campaigns, and several tools exist that gives advertisers transparent control of both cost and return on investment.
Moreover, the cost of experimenting is low compared to most traditional media. This is attractive to sceptics – they very often come back for more after experiencing firsthand what mobile marketing can do for them in terms of customer response rates and ROI.
Marketing only works when the marketer is able to connect with the customer. Your customers are moving to mobile. Mobile is very much here to stay. Are you?