1062_1Many people look at technical changes with askance or often even reject it from the beginning. So, to no surprise, there aren't really good discussions out there on why it's worth to use the mobile channel for marketing measures.

Maybe one reason is the fact that mobile marketing is already around for more than 10 years and pro-mobile discussions should have been getting around a long time ago? Or perhaps it is assumed that everybody simply already knows all benefits mobile marketing has to offer? But if this would be the case, shouldn't there be better, more creative and innovative mobile campaigns all over the place? The current hype around mobile easily misleads to neglect basics with regards to content, but only those who understand the advantages and the innovative nature of the medium can use mobile marketing in an all-encompassing way. 

Mobile marketing offers a bundle of unique opportunities

In recent years, an enormous amount of articles, studies and best practices on various facets of mobile marketing have been published, which emphasize usually in the introductory paragraphs the benefits of the medium. However, a little bit more fundamental research wouldn't hurt, according to Tomi T. Ahonen. The popular author, consultant, and motivational speaker claims that most experts focus exclusively on the aspect of the device as being the most personal medium in the world. Unfortunately, their approaches often fall too short by mistaking the "most personal medium" with "personally-tailored advertising channel", although the importance of an "opt in" is always pointed out. Tomi T. Ahonen, however, opens up other perspectives by giving us his seven aspects on make the medium and hence mobile marketing unique:

1.Mobile is generally the first personal mass media;
2.It is the only medium that is always carried around;
3.It is always on;
4.No other medium has a built-in payment function;
5.Only mobile phones are always available at the "point of creative inspiration";
6.With no other medium a target group can be determined as accurately;
7.Only mobile devices can also measure the social context of media consumption.

It's not practicable to go into all aspects, but it would be debatable whether the points 1, 6 and 7 had earlier already been fulfilled by the Internet and of course point 4 is less relevant for mobile marketing.
The actual new features of mobile phones and mobile marketing are the points 2, 3 and 5, as mobile devices are carried around and are turned on always and everywhere. Hence, characteristics such as measurability, social context and personality receive an additional qualitative dimension, which didn't exist in this form before, although they are not completely new.

With all innovations the medium provides for mobile marketing purposes, its original function could actually be the decisive one, namely the purpose of serving as a communication tool. From the cell phone to its forerunners the fixed line or even telegraph, its usage is for communication in particular.

The end of the beginning of mobile marketing as we know it today will be achieved when taking a closer look again at the truly unique features of the medium and use it more for its dedicated purpose: Always on and always with you, means to some extent not necessarily that mobile marketing does happen only on the cell phone. In the future it will be more effective only in conjunction with other media. And sooner or later the term mobile marketing will completely lose significance - as it will be more than that.


By Daniela La Marca