‘Mobile marketing’ is a dynamic and cutting-edge channel of communication for marketing messages. Before evaluating whether there is a future for mobile marketing, it would be sensible to analyse the current literature in this area.
To begin with, this paper will look into the growth of the mobile phone globally and how the term ‘mobile marketing’ has developed. From here, it is important to get an in-depth understanding of how consumers’ attitudes contribute to their view of branding and how this affects marketing activity. Thereafter, the theories on effective short messaging service (SMS) marketing and the ‘theory of reasoned action’ will be introduced . Finally, the concept of permission-based marketing, relationship marketing and branding via the mobile phone will be discussed.
The key issue is whether or not mobile marketing presents marketers with golden opportunities to reach their target audience; the danger is consumers will find SMS campaigns an invasion of personal space, discarding all types of marketing messages received in such a way.
1.0 Global Mobile Phone Growth
The global penetration of mobile phones rose significantly from 79.1% to 87.2%, between 2004 and 2007 (MobileYouth 2005) . With such a high percentage of the world’s population owning a mobile phone, marketers have the power to communicate offers directly to the target audience whenever and wherever they may be, offering much more personalised services. Opportunities in wireless marketing and advertising have therefore risen a great deal due to higher penetration (Tsang et al.,2004); Pavlou and Stewart (2000) reiterate this point, stating the advancement of mobile technologies has made interactions between consumer and advertiser increasingly rapid and easy. More than 1 billion mobile phones were sold globally in 2006, a 25% year-on-year increase. This equates to 15% of the world’s population buying a new mobile phone in 2006; in addition, the global market was expected to grow by a further 12% in 2007 (Blackden, 2007).
What is Mobile Marketing?
Mobile Marketing Association (http://www.mmaglobal.com) defines mobile advertising as: ‘A form of advertising that is communicated to the user via a handset. This type of advertising is most commonly seen as a mobile web banner, mobile web poster or full screen interstitial, which appears while a requested web page is loading. Other forms of this type of advertising are short message service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS) adverts.’
The value of mobile communication is already high, but it continues to rise for a number of reasons. Firstly, mobile marketing is a form of ‘close’ communication; the mobile phone is already a big part of people’s lives across developed countries, but it is rapidly reaching a similar status all around the world. Secondly, mobile marketing is targeted and timely – more so than other methods of marketing communications, especially when your audience has ‘opted in’ (World Advertising Research Centre, 2006). In addition to being an easy way of interacting with consumers, this also helps to increase the relevance of advertising messages.
Haghirian and Madlberger (2003:02) define mobile marketing as: “The usage of interactive wireless media to transmit advertising messages to consumers in the form of time and location sensitive, personalised information with the overall goal to promote goods and services.”
Wireless marketing is an extremely promising direct-marketing channel due to the internet’s interactive and quick response capabilities (Tsang et al. 2004). Many direct response and brand building advertisements have been used for time-sensitive communication (Barwise and Strong 2002). However, though predictions of future industry growth are enormous, many are unconvinced due to concerns over consumers’ acceptance and the effectiveness of the medium...
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