Friday, April 07, 2006

Mobile Marketing Grows Up

Mobile Marketing Grows Up

USA Today


Mobile marketing, where advertisers reach consumers via their cell phones, is emerging as a more sophisticated marketing tool as companies begin to dabble in text messaging, video, location-based services and mobile-payment schemes. In Las Vegas this week, about 40,000 people gathered for the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association Wireless trade show to unveil all the new methods now available to connect with customers. For example, under a deal between Sprint and the Luxor hotel here, when you land in Las Vegas and turn on your cell phone, the Luxor can check you in before you exit the plane. Also, during your stay, you might get mobile coupons for discounted meals, show tickets and other offers. Using the phone's GPS capabilities, the Luxor can see if you are off the hotel premises and tailor mobile promotions to lure you back. "Your phone is about you in ways that are unlike traditional mass media," says Linda Barrabee, an analyst at the Yankee Group research firm. Sprint is also working with the Las Vegas Monorail on a service permitting riders to buy tickets wirelessly. "This is a great marketing tool," says Sprint's data communications director John Styers, who expects the platform to be used at sporting venues and concerts. However, critics have reminded marketers that for any mobile marketing initiative to work, consumers must willingly opt in and feel confident they can opt out. To help prevent mobile spam, the Mobile Marketing Association is asking carriers and marketers to adopt stringent "best practices" policy. "We're going to be very careful about allowing access to our customer base," says Verizon Wireless COO Lowell McAdam.


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