Mobile Phone Marketing – What Is It and How Does It Work?

Mobile phone marketing is the practice of marketing or advertising products or services via mobile phones. In this form of advertising, the mobile phone acts as the medium that connects the business owner, marketer, and the end user.

Advantages of mobile marketing

The reason why business owners and marketers believe that mobile phone marketing can be very successful is simple. People hardly leave their mobile phone unattended. It is always with them. So, they are more likely to see and respond to an ad on their mobile phone than, say, an ad on TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, or websites.

Moreover, TV ads, print ads, and even online ads are very generic. They cannot be used to target a particular segment of customers. Mobile phone ads, on the other hand, can be very specific. You can send highly targeted ads to people based on their interests and preferences.

The way it works

Most companies follow the ‘opt-in’ method when it comes to text mobile marketing. Mobile users are asked if they would like to join an advertising or marketing campaign run by a particular company. They are usually given some freebies (free talk time, free mobile games, free images or posters, ringtones, and more) for opting in. When a person opts in, he is asked certain questions about his likes and dislikes. Based on this, marketers send ads that match his interests.

For example, food enthusiasts can get information about food festivals, the day’s specials at a café or a restaurant nearby, happy hours at a newly opened bar, and more in the form of text messages. Some companies even allow their opt-in subscribers to use these promotional text messages as mobile coupons, upon showing which they can get a special discount at retail outlets, restaurants, or malls in the locality.

Text mobile marketing – The best bet for marketers

When it comes to mobile marketing, business owners have plenty of choices. They can reach the end user via text messages, WAP links, banner ads on mobile websites, video ads, ads within mobile games, ads within mobile applications, and so on. None of these methods, however, are as effective as text mobile marketing.

Text messaging is a facility that is available in almost all types of mobile phones – from cheap low-end devices to expensive high-end devices. On the contrary, facilities like mobile web are available only in certain types of phones. In other words, not everyone can access a WAP link on his mobile device. Anyone, however, can read and respond to a text message. So, if a business owner wants to market his products and services to a broad spectrum of people, text message marketing is his best choice. This is why it is considered the best form of mobile phone marketing by marketers and business owners alike.

Concerns of the end user

Some people are not fond of mobile ads and consider them intrusive. They feel that by opting in to mobile marketing campaigns, they could be inviting spam messages to their inbox. Mobile marketers, however, ensure that these concerns are taken into consideration and that there is nothing to worry about.

Mobile marketers say that ads will be sent only to those who opt in to the services. The ads will match the interests of the end user. The end user can opt out of a service any time he wants. Moreover, organizations like the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) have guidelines that marketers should adhere to while creating mobile phone marketing campaigns. So, experts say that the chances of spammy or unethical marketing practices are greatly reduced.