Archive for mobile marketing

The Androids are Coming! The Androids are Coming! Should Apple Buy Robot Insurance?

Posted in Integrated Marketing Thoughts with tags , , , on October 15, 2008 by matts76

They’re coming. Androids are about to invade the U.S. Some estimates show that the numbers could top 1.5 million. Of course, I’m talking about Google’s expansion into the mobile market with the launch of its Android phone on the T-Mobile G1 platform. But this invasion may be just the beginning.

Should Apple be running for the hills and stocking up on robot insurance like we see here in this dramatic clip?  Only time will tell.

The biggest potential for marketers that could come from the invasion depends on whether Google can multiply the number of Android mobile devices.  If so, the company could establish dominance, but, more importantly, a solid framework upon which additional advertising and search could be built consistently.  This would be a major improvement over the fragmented market for mobile devices today.  This would greatly enhance the possibilities for new marketing and advertising frontiers because it’s much easier to build out something that is more widely adopted and consistent.  No other mobile device currently integrates like this.

B2B Magazine reported that the next step for Google could further rewrite mobile marketing rule books.  Beyond mobile , Google could offer additional ad-supported, and potentially free, access to information via a variety of platforms including Web and mobile.  Free offerings benefit the consumer, but, also provide marketers with additional details to build out more robust consumer profiles.   This results in much more targeted marketing that breaks through the clutter.

Ultimately, the issue becomes one of how much consumer information collected via these means is too much.  However, consumers are often willing to provide some information for a tangible benefit.  In this case, if mobile Internet access, search, targeted search results and more becomes available for free in exchange for some consumer information that is disclosed to the end consumer as it’s collected, it could be a win-win.

Mobile Marketing While Mobile?

Posted in Integrated Marketing Thoughts with tags , , , , , , on September 24, 2008 by matts76

The tragic events associated to the commuter train collision in Los Angeles that killed 25 several days ago raise questions that could be punted to marketers as to what impact, if any, new mobile marketing applications have on consumer safety. As reported by NPR in this story, the engineer of the LA passenger train was allegedly text messaging with teenage “rail buffs” just minutes before the crash, missing verbal and manual safety signals in the process.

It’s already widely debated as to the ethics of mobile and other forms of marketing because of privacy concerns, as presented via this law firm’s website. But what implications could there be if mobile marketing interaction were ultimately found to be at the core of investigations tied to accidents such as that which occurred in LA? There are already bans on cell phone use while driving in places like the nation’s capital and elsewhere. However, nothing has been implemented nationally as of yet.

In this article, the New York Times reports that some 75 billion text messages were sent in the month of June alone. The article goes on to cite that some experts feel that texting and engaging with mobile devices while performing other tasks from walking across a busy street to driving decreases IQ points by 10.

Congress is already looking to pass sweeping rail safety reforms in lieu of the recent LA accident, so, what could the future hold for mobile marketers? Similar to the restrictions placed on TV and other media where more adult content must be restricted until after 10pm, I wonder if reforms that limit the hours of the day in which mobile marketing messages can be sent are on the horizon.

With most consumers commuting and engaging in attention-critical tasks during a normal workday from, say 8:30am to 6:30pm, I’m curious to see if, eventually, mobile marketing messages may be restricted to hours before and after these timeframes. I guess it’s kind of similar to the somewhat annoying telemarketer calls that notoriously arrived during the dinner hour, if such a thing still exists in time-pressed America. I welcome any feedback, pro or con, tied to the future of text messaging, mobile marketing, and cell phone use in general while also engaging in other tasks that require attention.

Spending Marketing Green That’s Not So Green…The Esquire e-Ink Cover

Posted in Integrated Marketing Thoughts with tags , , , , , on September 24, 2008 by matts76

Several days ago, I received my 75th anniversary copy of Esquire magazine. Skimming its pages, I noticed a brief mention that some copies of the magazine included a unique e-ink version of the cover. I was curious to learn more, so, I conducted a Google search for Esquire and found that the e-Ink edition of the cover included a flashing “The 21st Century Begins Now” message that flashed on an otherwise normal looking magazine cover. For your enjoyment, here it is:

In a world of mobile marketing, technology drenched consumers are always looking for the next unique gimmick. I thought to myself that Esquire just may have figured out a unique way to merge the traditional form of print marketing with the latest innovations in technology via e-Ink. As an aside, for a complete explanation of how e-Ink works, I defer to HowStuffWorks. Give it a read if you’re interested. It’s more or less the same technology that’s behind Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s eBook reader. Kinda cool I guess.

After doing a bit more digging, I not only found that this marketing gimmick, which may or may not have sold more copies of the magazine, was not only expensive, but has also drawn criticism for not being very green. To paraphrase Gordon Gecko, and change one letter of his famous quote in the process, when it comes to today’s business and marketing practices “Green is Good.” In the case of Esquire’s 75th anniversary cover, it cost a lot of green to produce, and isn’t so eco-friendly. Treehugger.com presents an interesting story about the cover and surrounding controversy. In a nutshell, it details how expense was incurred from shipping in the components used to power the e-Ink cover from Mexico and China, how refrigerated trucks need to be used when shipping the special edition mags to preserve battery life, etc. , etc. and how how the thin batteries used in the process weren’t eco-friendly.

In fairness to Esquire, I think they did a good job of countering such not-so-green accusations with tips on how to recycle both the magazine and the digital cover. For marketers, the question is what the cost incurred for the use of technology is worth versus the payoff. With estimations in the six figure range to get the special editions of the magazine onto store shelves, would the money have been more wisely used for more widely distributed and less costly mobile marketing alternatives that may also attract new, digital native consumers to the publication?

Like any good marketing campaign, a clear call to action should be established. In this case, I was trying to determine if the special e-Ink editions were meant to create buzz because of relative scarcity, sell extra magazines at the newsstand, generate new subscriptions? It’s hard to tell. I do know that those who’ve been attempting to sell copies on Ebay for, in some cases, over 10x what the newsstand price is, have not received much interest. The bombardment of marketing messages and mass production and commoditization of products today make this type of hype short lived and questionable in effectiveness.
In this instance, the message to marketers is to make sure a call to action is clear, the intended result isn’t muddy, and an evaluation of truly innovative yet cost effective, and, at least in the current market, green, is conducted.

I am curious to see what the future holds for e-Ink innovation. Esquire could very well be ahead of the curve in the adoption of such technology to revive a declining print media market. With wider adoption, prices could drop and innovation could lead to greener e-Ink solutions as well that would make it a potential win-win. If such technology became even more interactive with, say, mobile devices, the possibilities are endless.