Mobile marketing madness

Posted on March 9, 2011



I had fun at the recent Mobile Camp Boston 2011. I’ve been hearing that marketing via mobile devices is the wave of the future, so I want to learn all about this.

Here’s what I learned about mobile marketing:

1. QR codes are dead.

I knew I was out of my element when the first words out of the speaker’s mouth were “QR codes are dead,” and the entire audience nodded in agreement. I kept listening intently, hoping to figure out what the heck he was talking about.

The answer is simple, it’s those little black and white squares you see everywhere. It’s a two-dimensional bar code and users with a camera phone equipped with the correct application can scan the image of the QR Code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the phone’s browser. QR stands for quick response and was developed by Denso-Wave, a Toyota subsidiary.

Still confused? See the thumbnail picture above for an example of a QR code.

2. I must have an iPhone. 🙂

Okay, so maybe this isn’t a lesson learned, but I’m getting more and more convinced that I really need an iPhone.

3. Successful mobile applications solve users’ problems.

What about the very popular app, Angry Birds? I guess the problem that’s solved here is one of relieving boredom.

4. Engaging content will draw people in.

Here are a few ways to engage your customers: 

  • love – think Apple
  • unique partnerships – think mashups
  • addictive – think Angry Birds
  • technology – bar code scan, eg QR codes
  • network effect – Twitter
  • brand power – think Nike.

5. Ads can be used to help monetize free applications.

However, you should be careful of deep targeting. There is a pending lwawsuit about user information being used without permission. Banner ads don’t work; people ignore them. Ads need to be engaging.

I still don’t understand how mobile marketing can be successful. I, for one, am not interested in seeing advertisements on my mobile device, no matter how clever. Even if the ad promises a discount or something, I dont’ care. I must be an anomaly.

What do you think about mobile marketing?

Photo courtesy of inju’s Photostream under Creative Commons Licensing.