Is Mobile Marketing Really the Future of Advertising?

Americans have been sold ideas since we came to North America. Handbills and pamphlets sold British colonists on fighting Great Britain and forming the United States. Newspapers became the next great advertising medium, then radio, TV, cable and the Internet.

Now, 21st century “Mad Men” are turning their advertising eyes to delivering their messages to our mobile devices.

In 2011, U.S. mobile advertising is predicted to reach $1 BILLION, a 48% increase of the amount spent in 2010. The real reason Google created Android, the leading smartphone system in the U.S., was to continue their domination of digital advertising. The search engine leader bet their money on consumers spending more online time via the mobile devices.

There is tremendous growth in mobile marketing, but there are still tremendous problems.

Ironically, mobile marketing faces the same problem online advertising originally had:


Different devices, screen sizes and operating systems mean each need a unique way to receive a mobile ad. Even if a standardized system is developed to broadcast mobile ads, no tracking organization like Nielsen or ComScore can currently measure if a mobile ad campaign is effective.

HTML5 may possibly solve the standardization problem in the future. Yet, a standardized mobile ad system may open another can of worms: DO CONSUMERS REALLY WANT MOBILE ADS?

Consumers may consider non-stop mobile ads an intrusion into their smartphone experience. When you’re paying for a service, you tend to be selective about who bothers you while you’re using it. Or mobile ads might not work because smartphone screens are just too small. Ad messages today grab your attention quickly and try to cram a lot of information into your brain. Major ad campaigns may be a waste of money on smartphones.

In a recent BNET article, these methods were spotlighted for businesses to mount an effective mobile marketing campaign:

(1) MICRO-ADVERTISING: Smartphones aren’t designed for mass messages, as it is your personal phone. Think of talking to an individual, not a crowd, and create two-second mobile ads. These could be targeted and not take up screen space.

(2) MAKE YOUR WEBSITE MOBILE FRIENDLY: Create a website experience that works for mobile visitors. Small businesses need to triple-check how your email campaign works from various cell phones. When customers order, know if they’re on a cell phone and deliver your mobile-optimized webpage.

(3) SMARTPHONE = POINT OF PURCHASE: Smartphone are used when a customer is ready to buy! Where is the store located? What kind of reviews does it have? Groupon & Foursquare work well because they understand why a mobile consumer is using their information.

(4) CREATE YOUR OWN BRAND APP: Fun and entertaining apps don’t have to have hype, and yet can create a positive brand experience. Kraft’s “iFood Assistant” app sold over 1 million copies helping its customers plan, shop & prepare meals quickly using Kraft products.

The future of mobile marketing could mean the end of mass marketing! Or, the beginning of a mobile marketing universe where advertising dollars aren’t wasted and get better results.

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Jordan Brown is a veteran Writer/Journalist/Actor based in Harlem NYC. The DC native has also called Los Angeles, Chicago, Memphis, Pittsburgh, PA, Oslo & Bergen Norway "Home." Mr. Brown spent many years as Senior Producer at ABC, worked as War Wire Editor at Fox News Channel & Business Radio Producer at Black Enterprise. Since 2005, he has been Publisher-Editor of "The FREE Jordan Brown JOBS Report" His personal mission is to help fellow creative media people find employment in these trouble times!

4 thoughts on “Is Mobile Marketing Really the Future of Advertising?

  1. kezia

    What do you think about text-based marketing? Nonprofits have been doing it for quite a while (e.g. text “HAITI” to a certain number) but for-profit companies can use a version of the same technology to build a mobile database. Text messages have nearly a 100% open rate, unlike email.

  2. Dev Bhatia

    There is no question that mobile marketing is the future of advertising. But there are so many bad (or, more politely, cost-inefficient) ideas out there, that it’s also clear that many marketers will lose a lot of money before they figure it out. Here’s what works: mobile search. At mTrax (, we’ve been buying mobile advertising for years, across literally hundreds of mobile campaigns. Nothing works for a small business better than paid mobile search, in the form of click-to-call ads on Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. I see the other comment on text-based marketing. Again, there are use cases. But if the goal is to drive calls (which it should be, on mobile), then the solution is mobile search. 

  3. Danial Ray

    Consumers are now demanding communication with their providers, on their
    terms, which in most cases, means through their connected devices.

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