Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing will be a hot topic at CTIA, especially since it touches on all forms of mobile entertainment, mobile social networking, mobile financial services and nearly every other data service that carriers offer.

Laura Marriott, president of the Mobile Marketing Association says that the major Internet portals have recently hired employees with specific expertise in mobile advertising and made mobile marketing companies key targets in their acquisition strategies. Advertising agencies are hiring mobile experts and launching their own mobile-specific units, Marriott says. Marketers are investing more in the mobile platform and the number of campaigns has increased along with the rate of consumer participation.

One interesting development in the past year, Marriott says, is the rise of consumer packaged goods (CPGs) in mobile marketing. These companies are beginning to send SMS or WAP pushes to mobile users who opt-in for free sample offers. The CPGs then mail samples of their products to the consumers. Marriott said that the CPG trend points to a key debate for the sector: Is mobile marketing going to drive itself or will it depend on the success of mobile commerce-physical and digital shopping?

While mobile marketing campaigns are on the rise, not all marketers and agencies are convinced of the benefits of the mobile platform yet. A lot of education is still necessary. While the U.S., some part of Europe and parts of Asia are leading the sector, mobile marketing is just on the verge of becoming a global trend. Marriott notes that the CTIA I.T. show draws more of an international audience for mobile marketing than spring CTIA Show. -Brian