co Mobile Marketing's Growth Potential |

Mobile marketing is starting to pick up speed. No one is sure just yet how mobile marketing will play out in the end. Text messaging is the current trend, but as more businesses get in on the mobile action, I see the trends changing. Google is starting to offer pay-per-click advertising for mobile advertisers and some local advertising directories like Superpages have been offering pay-per-call for some time now. Personally, I see the pay-per-action game getting more popular, but there are different forms that it could take with regard to mobile marketing. Let’s take a look at a few.

  • Text (SMS) MessagingText messaging is simply sending out SMS messages to cell phone users. This form of advertising is the equivalent of e-mail marketing, but currently there is a lot of spam. People are just sending text messages left and right. As mobile marketing grows, the sophistication of text messages will also grow and sooner or later mobile phone users will demand a solution to mobile spam. Best practices will begin to develop and I believe we’ll start seeing text messaging newsletters, or e-zines. But for now, you can send out short but sweet offers to your mobile customers to drive them to your store. It’s a beautiful option.
  • Pay Per Click – Pay per click advertising is currently the most popular form of online advertising. Google has a dominant position here and likely will for years to come. Since many mobile phones comes with browsers, pay per click advertising will provide advertisers a way to reach mobile customers easily and inexpensively – at first. As more mobile phones come browser enabled, the demand for pay per click will rise and the cost of the ads will go up. This will likely overtake text messages in popularity when the majority of mobile phone users have browsers.
  • Pay Per Call – This model requires mobile phone users to click an add to make a phone call. Google may develop this technology later, after its pay per click for mobile takes off. But for now, I only know of Superpages and a few smaller companies offering this option. It is a powerful option and whether or not it becomes more popular will depend a lot on the demand of mobile users.
  • Pay Per Video – This mode of advertising hasn’t been developed yet (that I know of), but it has potential. What needs to happen is mobile demand for the medium of video, which hasn’t happened on a wide scale yet. But it could.
  • Pay Per Text – Text messaging currently is not a pay per action model. Since you can send out text messages from phone to phone for nothing more than the cost of the service from your mobile provider (which is very inexpensive), but if text messaging providers start offering the service to non-mobile users then there could be a market for the medium. The cost will likely be by bulk texting so advertisers would pay per thousand messages sent, or something like that.
  • Pay Per Impression – Google recently rolled out a pay per impression option on its pay per click advertising platform, Google AdWords. It is possible that they could later offer the same option on mobile pay per click.
  • Mobile Banner Advertising – Banner advertising has been around awhile. It is mostly used for branding as most people don’t click on the ads anyway. But mobile phone users could very well be the next market as browsers for mobile phones become more in demand.

When it comes to mobile marketing, the field is wide open. We’ve come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. I see mobile marketing for small businesses growing in popularity. It’s already a fast growing product.

Caroline Melberg
Small Business Mavericks
Small Business Mavericks Blog