In case you haven't heard around the blogosphere (like here and here and here), today is Mobile Tuesday. Kudos to Mobigosee, the company behind this event for their great PR. I hope the results of the campaign are as successful. Given the current economy, they are launching with fewer advertisers than hoped, including McDonalds, Finish Line and Red Tag.Over 18,000 people have signed up, mostly through sites that promote Black Friday deals. That is good because I visited all three of these companies' online sites and didn't see a thing about it. Some went so far as to promote their social media initiatives like McDonald's podcasts, Red Tag's blog, or finding Finish Line on Facebook or MySpace. I became a fan but still don't see any mention of how to opt-in for coupons or mobile alerts. Other retailers such as Gap and Sears have also created mobile campaigns. Gap put together an iPhone app that allows you to put together outfits, generate a wish list, and find nearby stores. Ok, that is cool. But I'm a frequent Gap shopper, Gap card holder, Gap online shopper, and iPhone user who frequently visits the App Store, but this is the first I've heard of it. Why? Why are these companies investing in mobile if they don't integrate it into their marketing mix. As a marketer, it drives me crazy when I see companies doing really cool things in mobile, but not promoting it. Even if it is a test, how can you effectively test a medium if you put it out there but don't tell anyone? We have a really great case study about a recent mobile site launch that has done an excellent job promoting its mobile presence and it has resulted in one of the most, if not the most, successful mobile launches ever. Stay tuned for details.
With more celebrity news now available on mobile, no one launched a mobile site more exuberantly then Perez himself when the self-appointed "Queen of all Media" introduced his mobile website via video. The video even surpassed the Paris Hilton interview video in early viewership. The Perez Hilton mobile web site, found at http://m.perezhilton.com and soon to be redirected from http://www.perezhilton.com, offers fans all the latest gossip, pictures, and later, video. Since Hollywood addicts are never far from their iPhone, Blackberry, or smart phone, what better way to stay on top of the latest and raunchiest gossip. In February 2008, eMarketer identified perezhilton.com as one of the top 5 websites for college aged women, beating out MySpace! PerezHilton.com averages 250 million impressions and 12 million unique readers per month, according to Google Analytics. Now all these readers have one more place to get the latest news.
On the same day I read an article on Businessweek.com about how mobile advertising will suffer during this economic downturn, I also saw an article on MobileMarketer hinting that consumer spending on mobile could be recession proof. So which will it be? The fact is, the mobile phone is a critical part of our culture, with 20 million U.S. households, or 17 percent of wireless subscribers, now replacing their landline with mobile and texting actually surpassing voice calls in recent months. While the kneejerk reaction in poor economic times is to cut marketing budgets, especially for line items that are difficult to measure and quantify, I question if that is really the right move. Yes, it is a self-serving statement but look at the facts:
- The mobile phone is the only marketing medium that consumers have with them all day (60% of mobile subscribers) – making it an ideal medium for relevant advertising.
- The mobile advertising landscape is uncluttered. Unlike online sites, nearly one-third of mobile web landing pages don’t have any advertising and half of the ads that are served are house ads (Nielsen Mobile.) This represents a huge advantage for early advertisers to dominate the page and build brand and message awareness.
- Mobile is NOT just for youth. For example, on The Weather Channel Mobile, the fifth most trafficked mobile website in July 2008 (Nielsen Mobile), 69 percent of their visitors are in the 25-54 age group. It is a viable channel to reach other powerful buying groups outside of millenials, such as supermoms and executives.
- Mobile advertising is effective. In a recent brand study by Dynamic Logic, 23.9 percent of respondents said mobile ads had a positive effect on brand awareness. The Weather Channel Mobile recently presented a mobile advertising case study showing a mobile campaign by Hampton Hotels increased purchase intent by 37%.
The bottom line is; leading brands should dedicate a line item for mobile in 2009. When the economy begins to flourish and others jump on the mobile bandwagon, these leaders will already have used this early period to establish their brands in this space.
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