Archive for November, 2009

What’s Exciting in Mobile Marketing? – Location Based Advertising (LBA)

November 29, 2009 2 comments

In this multi-part post, we continue to take a look at three technologies in particular that will have a potentially huge impact on mobile marketing, whether used independently, or in various combinations: mobile barcodes & tagging, Location Based Advertising (LBA), and augmented reality.  This second post will focus on Location Based Advertising (LBA). 

Location Based Advertising

How does it work?

Part of a broader category of Location Based Services (LBS), mobile Location Based Advertising (LBA) takes advantage of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.  While we have traditionally thought of GPS as a navigation based aid, things have definitely evolved.  A growing number of smart phones now have GPS technology integrated into them, allowing their locations to be precisely tracked by signals sent by the GPS satellites high above the Earth. 

What capabilities does it provide to marketers?

While the science of GPS and Location Based Advertising may not be all that important to us, the capabilities they bring are definitely important.  Marketers and service providers can now make use of the geographical position of smart phones to send very specific, targeted information to their owners.  This information can come in the form of nearby stores & services,  customized ads, offers, coupons, and loyalty-based offerings.  And, as we have seen and heard so many times, the more specific, targeted, and relevant a marketing message can be, the better the results we can expect. 

Great, but does it have legs?

A quick look at the numbers says yes, LBA absolutely has legs.  First, consider the sheer number of mobile devices.  There are roughly 4.6 billion mobile phones out there globally, with an ever-increasing number of them coming with GPS capabilities.  Second is the size of the overarching Location Based Services (LBS) market.  At around 41 million users in 2008, this is expected to grow to nearly 96 million in 2009.  Finally (and perhaps most importantly), there is the revenue picture.  Gartner forecasted in June of 2009 that the global LBS revenue will more than double from just under $1 billion in 2008 to over $2.2 billion in 2009.  You can bet that Location Based Advertising will play a large role in this growth.

The reality is that our smart phones are really becoming powerful handheld computing devices that we’re depending on for a wider variety of daily uses, and are perfectly suited for LBA.  If potential privacy and security concerns can adequately be addressed, the only real question in my mind is how responsive U.S. based consumers will be to LBA and mobile advertising.  However, given that in Spain over three quarters mobile phone owners already receive ads, in France nearly two thirds do and in Japan over half do with relatively high response rates, I believe that the success of LBA in the U.S. is a near certainty.   

Want to learn more?

Admittedly, it was hard to settle on the title of Location Based Advertising (LBA) for this particular post.  While conventional wisdom places LBA within the broader category of Location Based Services (LBS), I’ve consistently been finding that terms like LBA, LBS, mobile marketing, and mobile advertising are often being used interchangably – most likely because this vast set of mobile capabilities is still in its infancy, and there is not a great deal of standardization yet.  Therefore, don’t be thrown by some of the link titles below.  Each of them can help you understand what this technology entails and how it is being used:

2009: The Year of LBS (Location-Based Services)

GPS + Mobile Marketing = Goodness

Mobile GPS Opens Doors to Content, Commerce

New Platform Offers GPS Location-Based Ads

Burger King, Subaru Trial Location-Based Mobile Advertising

Placecast Raises $5 Million for Location-Based Advertising Platform

Got feedback?

I’m always interested in hearing your questions, comments, and points of view. Please let me know what you think!

– Jim S.


What’s Exciting in Mobile Marketing? – Mobile Barcodes & Tagging

November 3, 2009 3 comments
Coachella2In one of my first blog posts, I questioned whether digital marketers were ready to keep up with the rapid adoption of mobile technologies.  After digging deeper into ‘the state of mobile’ over the last couple of months, I’ve become more convinced that we’re up to the challenge.  There is definitely a lot of exciting innovation going on in the world of mobile – particularly by companies that are creatively applying new technologies to provide dynamic marketing solutions.

In this multi-part post, we’ll begin taking a look at three technologies in particular that will have a potentially huge impact on mobile marketing, whether used independently, or in various combinations: mobile barcodes & tagging, Location Based  Advertising (LBA), and augmented reality.  This first post will focus on mobile barcodes and tagging. 


Mobile Barcodes and Tagging

How does it work?

See a code, take a picture, and let the magic happen.  The basic concept of mobile barcodes and tagging is that technology advancements now allow the cameras in our mobile phones to act as barcode readers: 

Mobile Tagging Process

This opens up the potential for applications of all types.  The GoMo News article, “Mobile Barcodes 101”, helps shed some light on this:

“The most common use of mobile barcodes is to request information or a service or content from a Web site. It might be details of a promotion, or a discount voucher via SMS or MMS, or to activate a download such as a ringtone, music track or game, or click to call an IVR or human agent, or buy a travel or concert ticket. The advertiser pays the set-up costs as well as its operator partner on a per-click, download, view, redeemed coupon, ticket sale or call, depending on the campaign.” 

Great, but does it have legs?

I think that mobile barcodes and tagging represent a great new addition to the marketer’s toolbox.  Their use is limited only by one’s imagination and creativity.  They can physically be placed in a number of different environments, including online on websites, emails, and social media platforms; and in print in magazines, newspapers, posters, and signs.  They can allow people to connect to all types of information, including websites, videos, games, tickets, and more.  And they are still in their infancy, so there’s still the novelty effect in their favor.  My take is that we will be seeing the use of mobile barcodes and tagging explode in marketing and ad campaigns over the coming months.

Want to learn more?

What exactly are mobile barcodes?  What do they look like?  How are they different from the codes we see on merchandise tags at stores? Who have been the early adopters of this technology?  How are they successfully being used here in the U.S. for marketing campaigns, and why has our adoption been slower?  And, what in the world are QR codes, BeeTaggs, and JagTags? I’ve collected a series of links below to help answer these questions and others that you may have.

Follow these links for extra info on mobile barcodes and tagging, ranging from basic definitions to powerful examples of this technology at work:

Mobile Tagging

Mobile Barcodes 101

Marketers Give Mobile Barcodes Another Go

Nike Breaks Mobile Barcode Campaign at Mountain Dew Event

Personalized 2D Barcodes Suit Marketing Campaigns

Fox Uses JagTag Mobile Barcodes to Promote X-Men DVD Release

Got feedback?

I’m trying a bit different format on this series of posts regarding “What’s exciting in mobile marketing”. Please let me know what you think!

– Jim S.