In a blog entry I posted earlier this week, I noted that more companies will move beyond the experimentation phase in social media marketing and make a serious effort to monetize this channel in 2011. The same holds true for mobile marketing. Advertisers will spend between $1–2 billion marketing to consumers via mobile devices this year. In Mobile Outlook 2011, analysts at Mobile Marketer consider the opportunities and challenges facing vendors and marketers in this growing channel.
Here are some of the top concerns for the mobile ecosystem as articulated Mickey Alan Khan, Editor in Chief, and other staffers at Mobile Marketer:
- EBay currently rules as one of the most successful mobile retailers. However, Amazon is close on its heels. More consumers may well be using their phones to price compare while they’re shopping in a bricks and mortar store. This behavior is likely to increase downward pressure on prices and practically ensure that the largest retailers will survive.
- The new availability of iPhones on the Verizon network will shift consumer loyalties. But AT&T will fight back with promotional upgrades. And nobody should discount the Android operating system in this market. Marketers will need to ensure that their campaigns succeed on popular mobile operating systems, optimize them for best viewing results, and target demographic groups linked to specific handsets.
- Agencies may begin to bundle mobile buys with online buys. A typical mobile buy for a client may include banners, rich media, search, SMS, voice and sponsorships.
- Publishers looking to profit from online content sales may have stretched themselves too thin. The audience willing to pay for content may be too small to generate a profit as publishers simultaneously offer print, online and mobile versions. The industry will see further cutbacks and some publications ceasing print editions entirely. Mobile stands to gain in this case.
- Facebook may need to make big changes to succeed in the mobile world. The Like feature is currently free for brands that are using it. And Facebook’s banner ads work well for traditional online users. But Khan argues that “it is hard to see a networking audience buy from a store on Facebook.” The company will have to come up with a way to monetize its mobile presence as its user base increasingly interacts on mobile devices.
By 2012, nearly half of mobile phone subscribers will have access to the Internet and applications. As consumer behavior changes to take advantage of this new technology, marketers need to be ready or they’ll lose business to competitors who already have a mobile presence.[Source: Khan, Mickey Alam. Mobile Outlook 2011. Mobilemarketer.com. 12 Jan. 2011. Web. 26 Jan 2011]