Are Apps The Cookies of Mobile Marketing?

The age of mobile media is here, and it’s here to stay. With more than half of all US adults owning smartphones, it is easy to see that this is not just a passing trend. With more than $10 billion worth of income from the App Store, and Google Play earning about $5 billion (estimated), it is easy to see that the mobile marketplace is rapidly expanding. So, why aren’t companies putting more of their money towards their mobile marketing campaigns? Apart from 100% of the population having a smartphone, I don’t really see any argument against it.

For one, mobile marketing is pretty much one of the best direct marketing channels. Why? Because everyone who has a smartphone can be reached, one way or another. A consumer could be reached via text message, but let’s be honest, who really reads those and takes them seriously? So, if SMS marketing is out the window as an effective channel, what is the best option? Utilization of apps. Apps are able to aggregate information about the people who are using their product. For example, I have a Android OS phone (because I’m just cool like that) and Androids use the Google Play store as their app store. Since I have a G+ account, Google already has a bunch of demographics on me, right? And, if they see that I download an app, and lots of other awesome people similar to myself download the same app, then that can be used to narrow down who sees what ad. And, as I’ve probably mentioned before, there is no AdBlock software for mobile devices (yet), so you have to see ads that come up on your screen.

So, if people are easily “tracked” via the mobile marketplace, why don’t more companies use it? For one, they might not know how to use it effectively. If marketers still have the notion that mobile devices are primarily used “on the go”, they need to reconsider their positions. In fact, a study found that 75% of mobile ads were seen at home. So, what does that mean? For one, marketers should start treating mobile marketing as something that is a direct offshoot of digital marketing as a whole, not just a new form of marketing in general. Mobile marketing is a direct descendant of digital marketing, in the sense that mobile pretty much has all of the good traits of digital, as well as a few new things (such as the utilization of apps). As our society grows more and more mobile, the use of mobile devices will continue to increase. I for one got a tablet thinking that I would start to use it instead of a laptop (that didn’t really work out), but it is still much easier to carry around as opposed to a laptop.


Sometimes, things are just too bulky to carry around. Like popcorn…

Segmentation through the use of apps is probably one of the best routes for a mobile marketer to take. As I said before, there are some demographics stored on most app stores, making it easier to see what type of people are using what apps. For example, you probably wouldn’t see an ad for Lowe’s on the Victoria’s Secret app (that’s very common sense, but you see the point I’m trying to make, right?). And yes, I did look up the Victoria’s Secret app on the Google Play store, although I’m not too sure how many ads they actually use. Anyways, the point I am trying to make is, it is much easier for a mobile marketer to place ads on certain apps that would interest the person who is using it, as opposed to just guessing what apps their target market are using.

Even though I already said that a lot of mobile ads are seen in the home, using the smartphone’s GPS is another good idea for marketers. When the users are out and about, an app could potentially use the phone’s GPS to locate the nearest store. Maybe they haven’t made a purchase in a while and send them a notification with a discount attached. That is one of beauties of mobile marketing. It can pretty much go anywhere/everywhere. And, it isn’t like the use of GPS is an invasion of privacy. In the Android app marketplace, at least, before you download a new app, it gives you a list of what features on your phone it is going to access. It’s sort of like an End User and License Agreement, where all of the information is there, but nobody really reads it. But, you could if you really wanted to.

Mobile marketing is getting huge. And, marketers are finally starting to realize the implications of it. According to one projection, mobile marketing spending should surpass desktop marketing spending by 2017. That would be a huge milestone if that were to happen. Through the use of apps, marketers will be able to target their consumers much more directly. They will be able to show them ads that are relevant to their interests, and hopefully entice them to click (or would it be tap?) on their offering. The age of mobile marketing is upon us. And, if you don’t get on the bandwagon, you’re going to be left behind.

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