Mobile Marketing Without Being Annoying

Former Yahoo Exec Talks Mobile Marketing Strategies

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WebProNews recently ran an article looking at a study, which indicated that spending on mobile advertising would reach $760 million in 2009 (20% more than last year). A spokesperson with mobile advertising firm Crisp Wireless took notice and set us up with a Q&A with Chief Revenue Officer and former member of Yahoo Search’s Strategic Alliances team, Tom Foran.

It’s looking more and more like mobile marketing will become unavoidable for businesses in the future. As competitors get on board, it’s going to be harder to ignore for a company that doesn’t want to get left in the dust. Have you tried out mobile marketing in any form? Tell us about your results.

People have their mobile devices with them 18 hours a day, as Mike Wehrs, President and CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) recently told WebProNews. "Why wouldn’t you want to be able to deliver relevant information to them?" he added. "Because if you do it well, it doesn’t become an advertisement. It becomes information that they were looking for anyway."

Tom Foran Following is the Q&A with Tom Foran.

WebProNews: Do you think mobile marketing will become unavoidable for marketers?

Tom Foran: Mobile marketing has matured to be a viable medium for many different types of marketers and brands.  The categories experiencing the most success so far are Entertainment, Automotive and Financial Services.  I believe national retailers will be the next wave, taking advantage of the increasing market share of devices supporting location-based targeting.

WPN: How far off are we from mobile marketing being essential?

TF: In 2009 we are seeing nearly all major brands embrace mobile in some fashion.  After these trailblazers have set the bar, direct response marketers will follow suit.

WPN: I’m told that your company has worked for publishers like Time, CNN Money, and USA Today. What kind of mobile campaigns have these publishers ran? Please tell me a little bit about their results.

TF: Crisp has built a reputation as a leading mobile vendor after working with major media and entertainment companies such as Time, CNN Money, and USA Today to mobilize their web content. Now we are extending these relationships to help premium publishers fully monetize this content via "beyond the banner" mobile advertising. Instead of relegating their inventory as remnant to mobile ad networks, we assist publishers in selling their mobile ad inventory through engaging rich media ad units, ad reporting, advertiser landing sites, and collaborative sales support – all to maximize their mobile revenues.

WPN: What are some do’s and don’ts of mobile advertising?

TF: Successful mobile campaigns recognize what will appeal to consumers while they are mobile. Mobile is not simply a repurposed desktop campaign; it must leverage the utility of the device (e.g. click-to-call, click-to-video, click-to-map a dealer/retail location, click-to-buy on iTunes). The biggest mistake you can make is being too cautious to give it a try. The mobile landscape is uncluttered and generating CTRs and user engagement. Now is the time to be seen on mobile.

WPN: What do you think the most effective form of mobile advertising is?

TF: In our experience so far, rich media "beyond-the-banner" advertising generates the highest levels of engagement with consumers. Our full-screen home page takeover ad, which can be served as content is loading, has seen double-digit CTRs.

Crisp NBC Sports Ad

WPN: Do you think most consumers want to be marketed to through their mobile devices?

TF: I think whenever you ask consumers if they want to be marketed to on any medium the answer will be no. However, take a look at how many people really install ad blockers online.  It is a tradeoff we become accustomed to. I think if you ask them if they would rather spend $5/mo to access the New York Times on their mobile phone or tolerate some well-targeted, well-executed, non-invasive advertising, I would bet they’d choose the advertising.

WPN: How can a marketer avoid annoying consumers when marketing to them through their mobile device?

TF: The most important factor is relevancy. If an ad is well-targeted and relevant to the consumer, they will not find it annoying. Second, we offer options like frequency-capping and ‘skip this ad’ features to ensure a positive user experience.

WPN: What are some trends you see growing in the industry in the present? The future?

TF: I see a growing seriousness around mobile advertising. This correlates into serious campaign funding and a close look at campaign metrics. The onslaught of the iPhone and other large screen devices have opened up the industry in ways nothing else could. Now, not only do advertisers have the real estate to advertise, they can do so in a much more effective manner.

WPN: If there’s anything else you’d like to say regarding the mobile advertising industry, please feel free to do so.

TF: We see premium publishers moving away from dependence upon mobile ad networks to embracing direct mobile ad sales.  Ad networks dominated the first inning of mobile advertising. Now the tide is turning, at least among premium publishers. In the future, ad networks will continue to service remnant inventory and long-tail publishers.

Wrapping Up

I would like to thank Mr. Foran for answering our questions, and providing his insight into the growing industry of mobile marketing. What are your thoughts? Do you think mobile marketing will become unavoidable for businesses? Comment here.

Mobile Marketing Without Being Annoying
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  • Randhir

    Good information on mobile marketing. We have been implementing mobile campaigns for retails stores and seems like people are looking for more than just sms marketing, mobile website with click-2-buy (mcommerce) store will add value to mobile eco chain. Beyond direct response, let customer really interact with brand and do something more usable.


  • http://www.abundantace.com/ ace

    I feel that mobile campaigns are a waste of time, money and effort. Who wants to look at flashy ads on their phone?

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    Affiliate marketing is the most well known way to make money online. Done right, you can easily make a full time living. Millions of dollars are being earned each year by affiliates who learned the ropes right in their own homes.

  • http://extremeezine.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

    One of the the features I absolutely love on my smart phone is the live search feature. Say what you are looking for and in seconds you are looking at a list of the closest businesses in your area. I wonder if eventually there will be a paid inclusion or top sponsor ads similar to the search sites? I wouldn’t be surprised to see a ppc or similar ad format hitting the mobile phone networks as things progress.

    It’s pretty exciting to watch these new trends moving forward at lightning speed. I imagine Tom Foran feels fortunate to be right there in the middle of the action.

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    Any form of marketing that attracts customers will have an appeal to businesses offline and online.

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    thanks for the info..valuable info

  • http://ewaystomakemoneyonline.com Mihai

    i think that mobile ads are the future because more and more people now have a smart phone.

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