Mobile phone advertising, design and consumer insights

On Friday, I had posted about how mobile phones will become the next breakthrough as a new media. Due to the convergence of media technologies combined with the popularity of the mobile phone, it will and can displace the internet as the new media.  Today, I will examine the emergence of mobile phone advertising, design and consumer insights.  

How has mobile phone advertising rose to prominence?  This was from a workshop conducted by Space 150 to discuss the future of mobile phone advertising.   As discussed on Friday, the iPhone or any Android-powered devices due to their user-friendly design enable the phone to become a tool of multitude of devices (e.g. internet, mp3 and video player, email, calculators, alarm clock, etc.) at ones disposal.  As a result, there is a higher percentage of iPhone users that have engaged with internet tools (streaming music/video, social networking sites, etc.) versus other mobile phone users on the currently slow mobile network.  

What are the current forms of advertising that exists?  SMS text messages, videos, pictures and now games.  Why isn’t mobile advertising widely embraced?  It is because it is subjected to potential privacy and political issues. If this form of advertising faces these barriers, why should an advertiser/marketer invest in this form?  First mover advantage benefits can be reaped.  Mistakes that are made today may not be as detrimental versus if they are made tomorrow due to today’s lesser amount of competition.  In addition, an ROI model can be developed to measure future successes.  

How can mobile phones be designed to become more user friendly?  With the increasing number of choices for mobile phones available for sale at the carriers, is there much differentiation among the varying phones? In this case, less is more.  Keep the phone simple: larger screens; larger buttons; streamlined features, easy scroll-ability and navigation.

Due to the popularity of the portability of the mobile phone, as well as the inherent personal nature of this device, consumer insights have never been much easier to obtain.  The user groups for mobile phones are broken down into the following groups:  busy moms (heavy callers), baby boomers (heavy callers), connected teens (heavy callers, text messaging and mobile phone applications), business users (heavy email and mobile web users) and early adopters (heavy text messaging, apps, email and mobile web users).  The Space 150 presentation delves into a further breakdown of the various groups with respect to their lifestyle, needs, drivers, primary use of the phone, the technology of the phone, and other communication tools that they engage in.

The methods that these varying groups engage their phones with the outside world can be as diverse as from coupons to contests, from interacting with social networks to engaging in interactive media from the content providers. 

Main mobile connection principles include: 1) Function first; 2) Keep it simple; 3) Integrate; 4) Leverage the platform; and 5) Be a leader.

I agree with the importance in designing mobile phones that center around the consumer’s needs, wants, and habits.  It is imperative that both marketers and advertisers understand the market psychographics and demographics.  It is clear that undoubtedly different groups use the mobile phone differently.  

I do not agree with engaging in a one-size fit all type of solution towards mobile phone advertising. Different products/services have different needs and marketing strategies need to be adapted accordingly.  For example, to increase brand awareness, being able to give a product/service free in exchange for advertising might be effective.  The permissive nature of this advertising bodes well for the advertiser, the telecommunications carrier and the user.  A major problem that the presentation addressed was the inherent nature of high number of ad impressions that result in low action rates, which translates to purchases.  Also, if a product/service was free in exchange for ad views, how does this improve brand equity?  

I feel that luxury goods/services cannot follow the mold of offering free products/service in exchange for ad views.  As I had alluded to on Friday, consumers need to be engaged and become advocates of the brand for this type of ad campaign to succeed.  For common goods/services or discount items, then any type of ad campaign that maximizes brand awareness is key.

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One response to “Mobile phone advertising, design and consumer insights

  1. Pingback: Mobile Phones in people’s lives « Ideas make the world go round

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