Will 2007 be the year that Mobile Marketing goes mainstream? It appears so.
On Wednesday, Media Technology Futures highlighted a few interesting developments:
In Europe, mobile phone operators are taking the lead with the likes of Vodafone partnering with Google (to pair Internet searches with link-based advertising) and Yahoo (to develop banner ads and short videos). Yahoo is displaying ads on WAP sites accessible to subscribers with advanced mobile phones in 19 countries. The mobile customer will see the ads when they hit Yahoo's home page on their phones. By clicking on the ad, the phone will dial the company directly or send more information. Companies that are working with Yahoo include P&G, Intel and Pepsi in countries like the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Brazil and India.
A company in the Netherlands, HotSMS , is currently delivering a free, ad-sponsored SMS offer.
In the U.S. Sugar Mama is offering prepaid customers additional minutes as long as they watch online ads, answer questions by SMS or fill out surveys about products and services. Xero Mobile is targeting the college market (true gabbers, as we all know) with subsidized talk time in exchange for viewing advertising.
Meanwhile, Hearst Magazines, the publisher of many popular magazines, is rapidly expanding its mobile offerings, recognizing that the time has come to reach their readers in new, innovative ways:
New mobile sites for Seventeen, Cosmo Girl, and Cosmopolitan are now available in the magazines section of Verizon Wireless' Mobile Web 2.0 service. Sites for Esquire, Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Popular Mechanics, and Redbook are on the way, along with additional carrier deals.
What spurred the move?
But as consumers and advertisers migrate away from print, Hearst is making a bigger push to beef up mobile. "The new mobile sites for all of our magazines will have richer, more interactive content and will be tied more closely to the magazine's editorial content, in addition to being free to any consumer," said one company spokeswoman.
Just what sort of shift are we looking at? Is it a minor one? Or are we witnessing the first rumblings of a complete realignment of the mediascape? Ask CBS:
UNDERSCORING ITS AMBITIONS FOR THE so-called third screen, CBS on Wednesday announced the creation of CBS Mobile as a new division within CBS Interactive.
Among its mobile ventures to date, CBS has struck content deals with wireless partners including MediaFlo, a division of Qualcomm, Verizon's V-Cast service, Amp'd Mobile and Cingular. It has also introduced video breaking news alerts for CBS News and text-message voting for shows including the Emmy Awards, among other mobile plays.