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Monday, September 15, 2014

Advertising with smartphones

Mobile advertising information
Augmented reality via smartphones helps generate interest
Smartphones double as mobile computers in several ways making any mobile Internet connection via a smartphone a marketing opportunity. According to Nielsen, 65% of U.S. households own smartphones.  Android operating systems dominate the U.S. market with over 80% of market shipments in Q2, 2014 per IDC.

The trend toward more sophisticated mobile apps with greater functionality adds to the utility of smartphones as marketing tools. Not having some form of mobile platform locks out access to a growing market. This is of particular relevance to companies that rely heavily on the same demographics that also comprise the greatest share of the smartphone market.


Gaining access to the smartphone market gives mobile marketers increased net exposure time to products and services, and raises the prospect of gaining a return on investment via monetization of mobile applications, hardware and advertising. When more individuals use smartphones instead of more traditional computing hardware to access the internet or applications, it increases the potential marketing opportunity for information technology service providers, advertisers, businesses public relations, and software developers. For example, according to Marketing Profs LLC, 14 million Americans used quick response or QR Codes to learn more about something in just one month in 2011.


The opportunities to market via smartphones are extensive, and limited only by what the designers cannot conceive within the hardware capacity of the phones and the computing capacity of the operating systems, which is substantial. Direct Marketing News says these changes to gain market share are not being taken advantage of as much as they could be. For example, many retailers do not have online purchasing options, websites with smartphone accessibility, or business specific smartphone applications. Additional examples of underutilized smartphone marketing mechanisms include free product or service sampling, online coupons, promotional content and real time social media interaction.


There are also obstacles to smartphone marketing; in particular, smartphones such as the iPhone are still primarily communication tools rather than computing devices. Furthermore, in light of this, the need for functional utility and enhanced communication ability provides the key to mobile marketing per iMedia Connection. This means mobile marketers are tasked with the challenge of creating a different kind of marketing that is communication based rather than content based as is more the case with desktop and laptop computing. Marketers must also be aware of product trends such as which operating system platforms to focus on, currently iOS and Android have the largest market share in the United States per 925 LLC.


The smartphone mobile marketing campaign is agile, flexible and understands its target market in addition to being able to gain that markets interest, trust and loyalty. The 2012 winners of the Global Mobile Awards illustrate how this can be done. For instance, Rovio Entertainment Ltd's  game “Angry Birds” was a winner of this award. This is a mobile phone application that entertains, occupies, and enhances the smartphone user's life in some way. Smartphones enable innovative use of smartphone technology to market at lower cost and with increased efficiency with the help of mobile metrics. However, they also mean the bar has been raised for marketing campaigns to reach their optimal

Image: Aboheshem; "Icodar Slide 1";  CC BY-SA 3.0