The numbers are astounding: 270 million people in North America are mobile phone subscribers. About 30 million of these individuals are smartphone users of platforms such as the popular iPhone that incorporate sophisticated web browsing technology.
Why Mobile Marketing Stalled in the Past
Unfortunately, advertisers still are not seeing the numbers projected for mobile search marketing. There are a number of barriers that have prevented a mobile search advertising explosion, such as:
Too Many Platforms
Currently, there are too many mobile operating platforms to make mobile search marketing a cost-effective option. Marketers who want to penetrate the mobile search marketing sector must plan advertising for a variety of mobile operating systems and mobile web browsers. The cost for programming in all the markup languages has been prohibitive.
Lack of Measurement
Advertising works best when marketers can gather and analyze measurement data. However, the mobile search marketing industry has not provided sufficient measurement tools to help marketers plan and monitor advertising strategies.
With numbers still smaller than projected, advertising companies are having trouble selling advertising space on mobile platforms. With traditional media still king, it is difficult to convince marketers to try mobile search marketing.
Lack of Users
Although there are hundreds of millions of mobile phone subscribers, there is an estimated 86 percent of mobile users who do not log on to the internet on their phones.
How 2010 will be Different for Mobile Marketing
With these challenges to mobile search marketing, how will 2010 be a banner year for advertisers? There are some significant changes and strategies that will help mobile search advertising capitalize on the mobile market.
Neilson research shows that mobile web usage has been growing at about 2 percent per month. With these numbers, it is expected that mobile web usage will grow to at least one-half of mobile phone subscribers. Keeping pace with this acceleration, advertisers will likely see more opportunity for mobile phone marketing in 2010.
Mobile Retail Search
According to a Deloitte holiday survey, mobile phone users are using mobile devices for local searches. 55 percent use their mobile phone to find store locations, 45 percent research prices on mobile web, 40 percent want to find product information, and 32 percent are looking for coupons and discounts. This is big news for local retail businesses to get on the mobile search marketing train.
Mobile GPS technology has progressed to the point where mobile web marketing can be pinpointed to a user’s location. This means people on the go can receive coupon offerings from nearby retail stores, invitations to events, and time-sensitive deals.
As the demand for new mobile technology grows, so will the use and popularity of mobile browsing. In 2010, expect to see much bigger numbers in mobile search advertising and marketing strategies. Keep in mind that mobile marketing does not necessarily mean banner advertisements on mobile web browsers. Even “low tech” text messaging campaigns can drive profits to your door. If you are considering a jump into the mobile advertising arena, 2010 may be the year for you.