Mobile Marketing Conference 2008

Yesterday, Oct 16, 2008, I participated at Mobile Marketing Conference, an event organized by Evensys and supported by Eventive, both of them Cristian Manafu‘s companies. The organizers tagged Mobile Marketing Conference as the first complex event dedicated to mobile marketing strategies and I have to agree with them, it was extermely interesting and it touched a lot of interesting points, some of which I will shortly summarize below.

The gap between consumer behavior and marketing spending is quite big at the moment, a lof of advertising clients spending the bulks of their budgets on TV and print advertising, simply because that’s how it was done before and it’s deep within their comfort zones. On the other side, consumers spend most of their time on the Internet and on the radio, areas that receive the smallest percentage of advertising spending.

While one of the main arguments of traditional media is that the results are actually measurable, what most clients and even agencies don’t grasp yet is that online or mobile media are actually much more measurable, targetable and profitable as well. On top of this, these media are also the most interactive ones as well.

While mobile marketing is stil in its infancy, the reasons why both marketing clients and agencies should jump on its bandwagon are quite obvious: 90% of the customers are where their mobile phone is; targetting can be done 100% effectively, 100% geographically and even 99% behaviorally (with the ability to control the moment in time and space when the message will be delivered, based on the customer’s state of mind) and there is enough information available to correctly measure results.

However, the mobile marketing is not the universal answer to client marketing neeeds. The whole idea is to create an integrated communication campaign in which to use all available media there where they are most effective, based on who the customer is, in what context he is and in what state of mind he is when he receives your message.

One of the most important issue of creating an effective communication message is to grab your customer’s attention. With mobile marketing this issue is automagically solved. We’re still startled when we hear our mobile buzzing or when we feel it vibrating. Right at that moment, you’ve got our undivided attention and it’s up to the message to push it to the next level.

One of the other advantages of mobile marketing is that research and data is easily collectable, since mobile operators have full customer data, ranging from geographical location at a specific point in time and the type of terminal that the customer is using to detailed behavioral information based on customer’s mobile buying and usage behavior.

In Romania, studies have shown that the customers are more attracted to interactive and colloquial messages rather than informative and professional (serious) messages. For them, lifestyle is extremely important and they highly relate to their peers in terms of coolness. While still reluctant to receiving mobile advertising (adults 26-35 more than youth 18-25), customers in Romania would accept it if it would bring them immediate material benefits.

Another interesting aspect of mobile marketing is its viral potential. It takes a simple action to forward an SMS/MMS to a large list of your friends if that message is funny enough that you want them to read it as well. Studies also showed that entertainment is the most sought after type of information that the mobile users are interested in.

Overall, the event was extremely interesting, I’ve learned a lot of things and I thank Manafu for the great events he’s staging in the Romanian marketing community. Kudos for Manafu also for his new communication agency that he announced yesterday as well: Prodigy.

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