Thursday, 2 February 2012

Have you ever wondered the word “mobile” which means “movement” would be replaced by an instrument that would help people communicate with each other over long distances? Yes, I am talking about the favorite toy which has become one of the basic amenities of everybody in this fast-paced world- “THE MOBILE”. So, is mobile marketing all about marketing through mobile phones? Well, as a matter of fact, we can say that it is true to an extent in relation to the contemporary perception about the definition of mobile marketing, but a more traditional school of thought regarding mobile marketing is that it is “marketing on the move”
To be precise, the Mobile Marketing Association updated its definition of Mobile Marketing as “Mobile Marketing is a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network”.

So, it is very much evident that mobile marketing has many forms about it and undoubtedly the use of mobile phones in this mode of marketing is just one of its forms but, definitely the most effective and prominent one. The bottom-line of any mode of marketing is to draw the attention of people towards a particular product or a service. The first essential step in this regard is to make the customer aware of the existence of the product or service. In these contemporary times, when almost every person is on the move, it is also necessary for the business to be on the move. So, in this scenario, cell phone advertising serves as a boon to the business. The audience can be reached virtually twenty four hours a day and they can be reached anywhere that they take their cell phone. Hence, it is quite evident that this sort of advertising has got enormous potential in its functioning and implementation.
Initially, when the trend of mobile marketing first hit the markets it did not appeal much to the majority because they were unfamiliar to this sort of advertising and did not feel comfortable with the “inboxes” of their mobiles being flooded with the ads of various products and services advertised by various companies.
But, as time progressed people slowly started getting accustomed to this trend as they could see that they would be missing out exciting offers of totally new, refreshing, trendy products and qualitative services if they ignore the typical three or four liner ads sent in the form of an SMS or a small video sent as an MMS.
So, at the end of the day, this trend percolated into the minds of people to such an extent that they started liking it and also started to be on the look-out for their mobile updates regarding the new launches of a product, special offers, information about discount sales or a new and interesting service.
Before the advent of mobile phones, advertising was carried out on a massive manner through “TELEMARKETING”, which means advertising of various products and services through the medium of television and radio. As radio became obsolete with time, most of the telemarketing was done via television. Television reached a huge base of customers as many people glued themselves to the idiot boxes.

However, with the emergence of corporate world, people belonging to the higher strata of the society could hardly find time for television viewing .So in order to create visibility the sales persons of various companies had to visit offices to create a buzz in the corporate class and sometimes had to bear the brunt of humiliation from the officials in the light of creating disturbance at inopportune moments. To top it all, a lot of money had to be invested in carrying out promotional activities in this fashion, which most of the times did not go in line with the budget allotted for promotion of the particular product or service.
Apart from this even the advertising carried out through television made huge holes in the pockets of the company that resorted to advertising. So in my view in these turbulent and troubled times the advent of mobile phones and the subsequent emergence of “mobile marketing” turned out to be a panacea to overcome the various problems associated with advertising. Thus, we can say that the cost associated with mobile marketing is much less compared to that of telemarketing.
Technology has played its role in facilitating the popularization of mobile marketing. Location based services (LBS) that are offered by certain cell phone networks facilitate in custom advertising reach a huge base of mobile phone users who are the subscribers from a particular location. GPRS internet and the technology of QR codes facilitated the promotional campaigns of various companies through social networking and free online services.
Well, most of us could notice that the contemporary world has turned to be a repository of many individuals highly enthusiastic about games and those who are passionate regarding gaming. So, capitalizing on this mad rush for games, brands are resorting to delivering promotional messages as part of mobile games or are even going to the length of sponsoring entire games to drive consumer engagement. This is known as Ad-funded mobile game or mobile advergaming.
In a nutshell, we could elucidate many aspects in length and breadth that portray the rosy side of mobile marketing however, on the other side there are certain privacy concerns in this regard because most of the times mobile advertising is carried out without prior permission from the customers leading to privacy violations.
I personally feel that howsoever attractive and lucrative may be the features provided through mobile advertising if consumers do not have confidence about the protection of their privacy, this lack of faith from consumer’s front would prove to be a hindrance to the widespread deployment.
Therefore, at the end of the day professionals who design the implementation of mobile advertising must be capable of striking a balance be-tween consumer’s privacy and creation of buzz about their brand. The balance should be attained to such a degree that the iridescent feathers of mobile marketing must glow to such a level of radiance that they such nullify the lacunas which may arise in the wake of intrusion into customer’s privacy.

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