BootCampDigital had the opportunity to attend the Mobile Marketing Forum in NY. Put on by the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) this is one of the leading events for those in the Mobile Marketing industry.
Some of the key trends observed during the MMF:
Mobile is becoming a key part of the marketing mix – Companies like Kodak and MGM Grand shared their experiences in Mobile. While there is still a lot of experimentation going on the reality is that more and more established brands are using mobile as a key part of their marketing. This is a trend that will grow and continue in the future.
Mobile advertising is growing – Click-through-rates on mobile ads are higher than online (although we have yet to observe how sustainable they are). Mobile advertising is beginning to show a track record of results – both on click-through and in leading to purchase.
There are still lots of barriers for mobile going mainstream – Issues with carriers and screen size are the greatest barriers facing the industry. The fragmentation of mobile is not unlike the early days of the internet – as devices and carriers continue to create standards mobile will become an easier platform for marketers to play in.
Location is the key opportunity – The opportunity to target people based on location is the biggest opportunity for marketers in mobile. MGM grand shared an example of targeting people as they drive to Las Vegas with discount codes for the hotel. They also have the opportunity to target people when they are physically in the hotel – providing discount codes and deals to keep people in the hotel longer. By knowing the location of the phone SMS campaigns can be directly targeted.
The iphone is over-hyped – The iphone gets a lot of publicity and buzz, but in reality it is a really small fragment of the total mobile market. SMS and display based ads provide broader reach and follow the “no phone left behind” policy. The iphone market is still small, yet it gets a disproportionate amount of attention from advertisers.
SMS campaigns have potential – There is a lot of potential with SMS campaigns and a number of companies have shown real success with them. The key to a good SMS campaign is to integrate it into the rest of your marketing campaign; highlight the shortcode across other forms of advertising. SMS is also highly measurable, so the results can be tracked and campaigns modified over time.
Apps face challenges – While apps get a lot of hype there are a number of challenges in launching a successful app. There are now over 50k apps in the iphone store (and growing) and discovery of apps becoming an issue. There are not a lot of brands that have had success with iphone apps.
The iPhone app store has over 50,000 applications available. Out of these 50,000 applications, just over 2% are in the business category. BUT, more and more corporate employees (led by the management at the top who are forcing IT to support the iPhone because they want one) are using iPhones.
The enterprise readiness concerns from 2007/2008 have been allayed with a host of new security features and the Push syncing introduced with the 2.1 software updates. One analyst at Forrester thinks the iPhone is as good an option if not better than Blackberry for enterprises and talks about how companies like Kraft and Oracle support the iPhone. IBM Lotus Notes, which is often billed as a much more business oriented mail/collaboration tool, now supports push syncing with the iPhone. So the basic tools are there and the audience is growing. Why are only 2% of the apps business apps?
If you are an independent developer, here is a good niche to look into. If your are a provider of software for businesses (especially software as a service apps) then you should consider extending your footprint to support mobile iPhone users.
If you already have a good business app on the blackberry, consider porting your app to the iPhone. Here’s why: 32% of Blackberry users have NEVER downloaded an application, and only 21% have downloaded more than 5. Compare that with 80% of the 30+ million Iphone/iPod touch users that have downloaded more than 5 apps.
If you need help with the the strategy and marketing around your mobile applications we are always here to help.
Gartner Research recently released Q4 and 2008 global market share reports for smartphones, both by device and by operating system. The results might surprise you. Especially when you see who is and isn’t growing.
WorldWide Device Sales
- RIM Blackberry continues extremely strong growth.
- Nokia is is sharp decline.
- HTC continues to have strong growth
WorldWide Operating System Growth
- Symbian is declining quickly due to pressure from new platforms and the decline of Nokia (which uses the Symbian OS). Share is down to 47 % from 62% in 2007.
- RIM continues to grow, now at 20% of market vs. 11% in 2007
- Android smartphones are estimated to account for 20% of all Linux OS sales, making the Android OS a relatively small global player. Linux sales are growing quickly (up 19%) primarily driven by Anroid-based smartphones sold through T-Mobile.
- Microsoft Mobile is growing driven by popularity of the Samsung Omnia and HTC touchscreen products.
One of the key issues with fragmentation in the smartphone Operating System market is that it creates issues for app developers. Currently different versions of apps need to be created for each OS - companies aren’t going to hire hundreds of programmers to program each OS. ZDNET predicts that Android and Windows Mobile are likely to get pushed out of the picture.
That doesn’t mean it’s time to count other platforms out. Andrew Lacy, chief executive of Tapulous, said he expects the Google Android, Palm Pre, Nokia, Windows Mobile and RIM BlackBerry platforms are all likely to see good growth in the coming year as smart phones replace older phones at a fast clip. But Lacy said it will become much tougher to support other programs if it means hiring a couple of hundred programmers to adapt games to run on all of the other platforms. - Venture Beat
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