You may be familiar with the term “drive to web.” It refers to any activity that drives someone to log onto a website. In marketing, this is done through a variety of media vehicles. A television ad, a radio spot, a newspaper ad, a billboard or even an airplane dragging a banner at the beach, may include a url in an effort to “drive” the targeted audience to a particular website. The internet itself is the best drive to web medium because the intended target is already on the web and simply needs to click a banner, button or link to be directed to the desired website.
I’ve been working on developing mobile marketing strategies for clients and potential clients and have recently spoken with a couple of vendors in that space who have walked me through the mobile landscape.
The mobile marketing industry is set to explode. eMarketer says mobile is today where web was ten years ago. They predict that global mobile message advertising will be a $14 billion business in 2014, up from $2.5 billion today. Strategy Analytics expects worldwide mobile advertising spending to more than double from 2008 to 2009, increasing from $1 billion to $2.4 billion.
Given the huge potential of mobile advertising, it makes sense to develop strategies to “drive to mobile,” just as we have developed strategies to “drive to web.” While all of the options used to drive to web can certainly be used to drive to mobile, there are two advantages that mobile marketing has over other types of marketing that can and should be exploited.
First, mobile marketing is the perfect opportunity to tap into micro attention spans (guilty!) and engage people wherever they are, no matter what they’re doing. If I’m driving, sitting in a stadium waiting for a sporting event or show to start, or even just eating lunch, my options to respond to a marketing message are limited. Typically, I’ll do nothing, hoping that I remember the message at a later time. With mobile marketing, stadium sitters will see a message on the jumbotron inviting them to text a word to a “short code,” a 5 or 6 number text address, and then automatically and immediately receive a coupon, enter a contest or be directed to a mobile website. The upshot for the consumer is immediate gratification, something we all love. The benefit to the advertiser is that there is no lag time between exposure to the message and the time when action is taken, a lag time that may cause the target to lose interest or forget the message entirely.
Second, mobile marketing is perhaps the mother of efficient marketing communications. Most marketers are forced to blast their messages out day after day in the hopes those messages will just happen to intersect the consumer making that infrequent decision to buy a car, find health insurance, look for a new job, search for a house, etc. Because advertisers are using a mass market approach to find a needle in a haystack, most of the marketing effort is wasted and the process is incredibly inefficient. Mobile marketing allows advertisers to push messages only to those consumers who are in that searching mindset and then (this is the cool part) provides that consumer with an advertisement that they can then carry around inside their phone indefinitely, referring to it when the buying decision is upon them. Oh, yeah.
Drive to Mobile: You heard it here first.
UPDATE: A new study from Nielsen Mobile finds that text messaging is now more popular than calling. Cell phone users report that they are sending nearly twice as many text messages per month than they are making calls.