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Marketing in a Wireless Wonderland: Why On-the-Go Gamers are a Marketer’s Dream

Written on
Apr 17, 2006 
Author
Michael Chang  |

At this year’s largest wireless convention CTIA in Las Vegas, a watershed moment occurred for mobile marketing. Carriers acknowledged the advertising revenue value and rightly so expressed their desire to find ways to make more money from it as data has become commoditized.

Carriers also know that thanks to organizations like the Mobile Marketing Association and their rules of conduct, the neighborhood beyond their controlled user environment is becoming a safer place to play.

That’s right, these carriers who previously protected their consumers like a teenage daughter have come to realize that their daughter wants to explore the world, beyond the walls currently provided and participate in promotions, opt-in advertising, and targeted notifications.

Kids these days. You’ve got to let them explore the world, or they’ll run away with some new MVNO that treats them like an adult.

Now the question remains for brands and marketers. Of all the various ways to skin a cat and market a product, which of these new methods will work best?

Voice:
Well it is darn hard to market to someone over voice. Although that’s not stopping companies like Phonebites who has a technology for consumers to inject sound effects of people like the Jerky Boys into live conversations.

SMS:
SMS, which stands for short message service has been the gold standard in simplicity and adoption. However to a marketer it’s as robust as print ad done in dot matrix and as exciting as that Interpol fax that streams with clues when playing Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Based on the technology available, SMS has lived long and prospered. In fact most consumers “text message” more than any other mobile service allowing pure mobile agencies like M-Qube or ipsh! to bring together consumers with brands like McDonalds and the Discovery Channel.

WAP:
WAP or Wireless Application Protocol is trying to re-emerge into the foray like Sen Joe Biden’s bid for the 2008 Presidency. Of course both faltered in their first attempts WAP in 2001 and Biden in 1988 but the jury is still out on their future popularity.

WAP is back. Yeah sure, but do consumers want to read tiny banner ads on their phone screens which are roughly 1/36th the size of their PC screen? That remains to be seen. Additionally when people use their tiny web browsers on their phone, they are mostly on-the go and looking for some key information like using Google to search for a restaurant number or checking how the NASDAQ faired meaning a less compelling time and opportunity for marketers.

Branded ringtones:
This is a great opportunity for marketers. Consumers want to personalize their phone, and marketers want consumers to hear their jingle all the time. In the case of Dodge, consumers actually bought ringtones through their carrier powered by Modtones. Other brands are giving them away like Axe Booty Tones.





Michael Chang is founder and VP of marketing for Greystripe, the world's first mobile advertising network for games and applications. Michael was most recently an Associate at Incubic Venture Capital and was responsible for reviewing potential investments in Internet and software companies. He has an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and five years of engineering and marketing product management with SAN pioneer Gadzoox Networks, where he was responsible for Microsoft partnership strategy and was the project manager for the COMPAQ Fibre Channel Hub, which generated revenues of over $65 million.

Reader Comments.

You need to fix the URL for Axe Booty Tones. Currently you have it pointed to a domain squatter, who just so happened to register that domain today (must be a reader). Nice 1 squatter! Hope you lost money!

Posted by Curtis | 2:01 pm on April 18, 2006.

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