Mobile marketing is a new gold mine. Everybody is an expert on it and is giving advices on how to use it, but from what I am seeing not every advice is right and many are given from a partial experience. Let me try to add my brick to this wall as understanding the basic concepts is key in the development of a successful mobile strategy.
Above all, mobile is a powerful tool for marketing but it needs to be integrated in the overall strategy, when so happens it boosts and enhances the performance of traditional media including Internet. Besides, mobile is also a new media by itself and in turn it can be divided in 4 subchannels which need to be taken into account when designing a mobile strategy.
1st channel is INTERACTIVE COMMUNICATION
This is today the most used and succesful one. It is about getting the permission to communicate with the handset of the users (normally by receiving a specific SMS to a short number Premium or not) and establishing a two-way interaction with them.This communication can be through SMS, MMS, voice, WAP Push, 2D codes,etc.. The revelance and personalization of the message is key as its frequence and ease of use (for responses), this is why a powerful continuous segmentation of the database is so important. It is normally used for information,promotions, launches, driving people to web/wap sites, points of sale and events, sweepstakes, alerts, contests and entertaining interaction. The MMA (http://www.mmaglobal.com/) has defined a Code of conduct and best practices on how to use mobile marketing forInteractive Communication.
2nd channel is CONTENT
It is mainly mobile incentives like games, music, ringtones, video, TV and ad-hoc applications. Here, mobile advertising is gaining in importance with sponsored content and in-content ads like advertgaming or ads in video/mobile TV. Content can be downloaded via Wap push or even bluetooth or streamed. This is more used for brand awareness and associating brand with entertainment.
3rd channel is COMMUNITY
It's engaging user interaction among their social network and enabling user generated content. Although there are some mobile only communities, most of the current uses of this channel have to do with using mobile as a new, ubiquous, impulsive and easy way to existing digital communities. It enables the engagement of users with their peers through the brand.
4th channel is MOBILE INTERNET
It is about creating mobiles sites where users can access information about their interests, the brand and its products and their reward and loyalty schemes. Here users can also search and buy products and benefit from all kind of value added services provided by the brand. It goes without saying that mobile advertising has a fabulous potential in this channel in the same way it is on the Internet. Besides, there is another huge opportunity in bringing people to the brand mobile site using ad-servers in other sites (the reported CTR is from 3 to 7%).
All these channels are normally not used alone but a combination of them is generally used in mobile marketing campaigns.