Mobile marketing does not mean mobile advertising

Ebay recently decided to stop advertising inside its own apps claiming that “they didn’t need the money” and that it was “spoiling the user experience”. Now there’s a brand that are ahead of the game and realise that the short term benefit of quick revenues could outweigh the long term benefits of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

Many brands and media agencies seem to think that a mobile marketing strategy just involves advertising. I have news from them, it’s unlikely that it actually includes much if any mobile advertising. Mobile is more sophisticated than that.

The surge in mobile spend is largely put down to advertising on facebook and google display platforms but good mobile marketing goes beyond mere advertising and if facebook want to really maximise their mobile revenues they will need to do more than just sell adverts to achieve that and interact with brands.

Coca Cola recently created a really cool campaign for Coca Cola for example that involved users sending a Coca Cola as a present via Google Maps on their mobile. “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” (advert and song based on their iconic 70’s song/advert “I’d like to teach the world to sing”) underscored the message of “send a free coca cola now”.

Google created an Android and iPhone app in which people could actually send people free Cokes (from specially made and strategically located vending machines) from their phone. Users could send a personalized message along with the Coke—using Google Translate to convey the message in the recipient’s language.

Advertising played a part in this initiative through the magic of technology and vending machines consumers connected with strangers across the world through a video/text message exchange. Ad servers communicated with vending machines in real-time establishing a unique connection between real world and virtual world. Where one person could send another person in another country a Coke via specially designed vending machines.

Cute, nimble and promotes both Coke and Google products in a very mobile savvy and social friendly way. It demonstrated the power of apps, advertising, social and interaction and multi layered mobile focused marketing all in one go!

The future of mobile marketing is geo-fencing and location based targeting in ways that have only be dreamed off by marketers up to this point. No one carries anything with them all the time that can be used to interact with apart from a mobile device. That’s the opportunity.

Don’t send an intrusive text, send a push message through an app a user has downloaded voluntarily. They are much more powerful. People like don’t ads on their phone but they don’t mind messages personalised to the app they have downloaded of it benefits them.

Don’t run promotions through coupons and off line devices use NFC for one touch ease. Think of the consumers. QR codes are great but even they pale into insignificance compared with the potential of NFC. One tap and one touch is simplicity itself.  Even iphones through special NFC enabled stickers can be NFC powered so there is no excuse not to use the device to interact with consumers.

What many CMO’s don’t realise is that mobile can be at the centrepiece of a brand’s entire marketing strategy and consumer interaction. That’s the opportunity in 2013.