CTIA attendees have mixed emotions regarding mobile marketing
ORLANDO, FL ? International CTIA attendees had mixed emotions regarding the current state of mobile marketing, with some saying the market is still fragmented and hard to navigate, and others bullish about its growth.
Mobile Marketer's Dan Butcher and Rimma Kats talked to several attendees at the show and asked their take on the current state of mobile marketing.
Sandy Martin, Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based director of mobile initiatives for Mobitrove
I see a lot of remnant space being filled very cheaply, and opportunities to reach consumers being missed, because publishers aren?t aware of the volume of users that are in local markets.
Everyone has something to gain by reaching those consumers, but it seems like the only businesses going after those local markets are the national advertisers. They must be doing exceptionally well, because it is a high-end audience that they don?t have to pay much for right now.
I?d really like to see local publishers identifry and create local markets inside their communities so that they can get some value out of that inventory, create something that local people want to see. There is value to be made by bringing those local audiences together.
Alex Hall, president of the Americas at TigerSpike, New York
In general terms, we?ve reached a point where there are quite a lot of successful tactical mobile campaigns.
However, the majority of brands have been pretty unsuccessful at integrating their approach, and they are most certainly not thinking about mobile from the outset in the campaign-planning process. A lot of that is organizational in the marketing teams on the brand side. It partly stems from tradition, but it is partly because there isn?t a mandate from the top saying this is critical, this is going to be the first screen.
I do think the publishing and media world tends to lead the way in mobile technology. New content is being developed for the portable personal media device first and foremost and then expanding from there.
In addition, content that is being created with TV and more traditional media platforms in mind is starting to be viewed on mobile devices as well, especially in the sporting world.
That will have to change the way that marketing organizations start to think and organize themselves
Chetan Sharma, founder and president of Chetan Sharma Consulting, Issaquah, WA
Looking back, the last three years, there has been tremendous progress with the number of brands that are active in the space and the amount of investment in mobile marketing.
The number of acquisitions in the space demonstrate that it is real, and the size of the brand spend on mobile campaigns shows that it is healthy. Some still ask why is it not here yet? Well, mobile marketing is here, and it has been for some time.
People always want more, and there are issues to address?there is more work to do to overcome the fragmentation of the various channels within mobile marketing.
From a brand perspective, it is a complicated ecosystem, and many are intimidated by mobile. We need to provide enough simplicity to encourage them to participate?simplicity of the buying process and launching and managing campaigns in real time, as well as integrating the mobile campaign experience with traditional and online advertising that they?re used to.
There is SMS, video, apps, browser-based solutions?those must consolidate to offer more full-service mobile firms that brands can leverage.
The bigger players show that the industry has matured quite a bit?for example, Google and Microsoft are heavily involved in the space and are turning out good numbers in terms of revenue.
The biggest impact is broadband capability, with network speed increasing and latency reducing with LTE, which has a direct impact on user experience. When the mobile user experience is better, consumers are more likely to engage with brands? mobile advertising.
We are seeing more activity in the mobile commerce space, from traditional players to startups. Everyone wants a piece of the pie.
If you tie commerce to mobile advertising, that is the Holy Grail?tying mobile ads into a transaction. There is work to be done there, but lots of progress has been made.
Tablets are a force?they are emerging as a new marketing and advertising platform, which is exciting for brands, because you can do much more on a tablet. It is a relaxing lean-back experience for consumers so they can engage for a longer duration of time.
Bhavin Shah, vice president of marketing and business development at Polaris Wireless, Mountain View, CA
We are now getting to a point where the mobile marketing industry is starting to come together. There was a lot of fragmentation before.
That trend is driven by the consolidation of carriers, LTE 4G technology and rapid adoption of smartphones. As more people get empowered with smartphones, they are a perfect platform for marketers to reach out to them from a mobile marketing, couponing and advertising perspective.
The availability of high indoor location accuracy and vertical location?floor-level location?will enhance the value of targeted mobile marketing opportunities.
We see this as a perfect inflection point for mobile marketing to take off.
Al Kalman, founder/CEO of MakeMyAppNow, Washington
The mobile marketing industry is fragmented. It is too tough to do easy things. Apps are too expensive. SMS short codes are too expensive?it is $12,000 a year for a vanity short code, which is ridiculous.
As an industry, we have to be more user-friendly to the outside world, not just the techy types here at CTIA.
Peter Clough, director of sales at appMobi, Lancaster, PA
People are really more educated this year than they were last year.
Timothy Kay, chief technology officer at boopsie, Palo Alto, CA
There is a lot of buzz around mobile marketing and we are going to see big things happen this year.
Neil Strother, mobile practice director at ABI Research, Kirkland, WA
It is definitely growing, but it still has a lot of growing up to do. It is probably in the toddler stage, but that toddler is growing quickly.
Michael Edget, vice president of marketing, Johns Creek, GA
Mobile marketing has delayed for a while, but it is pushing now.
Matthew Valleskey, director of marketing for mobile services at Neustar, Reston, VA
There is more and more interest everyday about mobile marketing, especially with retailers. They are starting to realize it is something they need.
Janelle Lewis, marketing manager of mobile services at Sybase
Mobile marketing is going to take on a new mix. It us going to get more dynamic with coupons and loyalty programs.
Shahzia Banth, marketing manager at Sybase
Brands are going to look at mobile marketing more closely and also how they can use it as a revenue source.
Eric Boduch, CEO of Smash, Pittsburgh, PA
I think that there should be a lot happening in the next few years. We are definitely seeing a ton of things done with SMS right now.
Paul Cegielski, director of marketing for mBlox, Sunnyvale, CA
Right now, the state of mobile marketing is tremendous.
Nader Nejat, CEO of Omega Mobile, Emeryville, CA
Mobile marketing has come a long way. There is a lot of education as well.
Eric Harber, president/CEO of Hipcricket, Seattle
Mobile marketing has never been in a better place.
You look around the exhibit hall and you have hundreds if not thousands of examples of products and services that were designed to engage consumers.
For this show, we?re on the lookout for additional ways to bring our clients engagement methods utilizing our platform across SMS, QR codes, MMS, the mobile Web, apps, social-mobile interaction, or the next big thing.
Jon Ziskind, CEO of ZOS, Santa Barbara, CA
We often don?t realize we?re witnessing a technological revolution until after it?s passed. So look quick. We?re just about to reach the tipping point in the world of mobile marketing.
Sure, today ZOS, along with a few other companies, can deliver a coupon or marketing message as the user approaches an establishment - or even as they walk around inside the building.
The quandary, however, has long been in the following areas - application, user experience and security.
Watch for several paradigm shifts in location marketing that we at ZOS believe will move the niche check-in to the mass market. And the applications are endless!
The first shift is the check-in and the second is the automation.
The check-in applications like Foursqaure and Facebook allow the user to check-into their location. From there, they can receive the local coupon or deal.
The other is automation. This is where the industry is going. Imagine not having to take any action and receiving the deals just based on where you are, who you are and the fact you have opted into this at an earlier point.
Now the hard part - user experience and security.
Brands that want to reach their customers and build upon the relationship they have grown over the years have to build an application but building an application, which gets a user to download it, is pretty hard. Making it sticky is even more difficult.
The other main question - is the user comfortable knowing that their location is being utilized? It?s quite like just a few years ago, when we all started using our credit card online or when we started posting photos on Facebook.
Today, we buy almost everything online and are happy to share, if not over-share, our lives with photos everywhere.
So, it's a matter of the consumer understanding and feeling comfortable with the process. Once we are there, not only advertising will be automated, but when you pull into your driveway, the garage door will open and when you make a credit card transaction, your location will be authenticated.
So the indicators are to watch closely how AT&T ShopAlerts goes, watch how competitors are going to position themselves against Groupon, Facebook and Foursquare with automation.
Like I said, it?s an exciting world ahead and ZOS is excited to crack the 10-year-old mystery in the industry - how to deliver content over all smart phone operating systems and with unprecedented, pinpoint accuracy.