Rabu, 01 Mei 2013

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing can be classified into two types based on the technology involved. The more traditional form involves marketing on the move like moving billboards and road shows. The second type refers to marketing on a mobile phone like cell phone. Since the onset of millennium, mobile marketing though cell phone has become very popular. Short message service popularly known as SMS has made marketing by this method a lot easier.

There were some problems in the beginning as unwanted information was being sent to the people. Most of the SMS that were passed around was spam and it received negative media response in all parts of the world. This was because a sector of the advertisers bought list of mobile users and began sending them unsolicited messages. They were later stopped due to strict security measures and laws passed. Marketing industry recognized the potential of mobile marketing and utilized it to the full extent. The mobile service providers coded guidelines and laws. It then became a legal advertising channel. The Mobile Marketing Association and Interactive Advertising Bureau also have laid down guidelines for the proper functioning of mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing has become popular in Asia and Europe as it is a novel idea and in Europe alone hundreds of millions of pounds have been investing in SMS advertising. Now SMS has become the most famous part of mobile marketing. Because of the popularity of short codes, SMSing has become a lot easier. This has created a new approach to reach out to potential customers. Now mobile short codes are looked upon as mobile domain name, by many of the brands around the world, when the customers message the brand at any occasion.

In America, the first SMS short code campaign was started in 2002. SMS containing short codes are easier to send a message with complete information. Short codes are usually numbers that are assigned to mobile operators of a particular location, which they use for brand campaigning and other purposes. They are very small, like they contain only four to five words. These numbers are always under scrutiny by the service provider and each and every message is monitored to see that they do not go against the original service description.

Like opt-in emails, customers have to opt for SMSes. This is the biggest criterion, which the advertiser has to follow in order to send a promotional SMS. Some of the mobile operators ask for double opt-in form from the receiver. At the same time opting out is made easy for the customer. When the customer wishes to terminate receiving messages, they have to send STOP word by SMS. All these guidelines have been laid by the Mobile Marketing Association consumer best practice guidelines and it's a compulsion to follow those by all the marketers who wish to do mobile marketing in America.

Now, service providers have started to provide the option of sending SMS to email addresses. Other than this, other services provided are mobile games, mobile tones etc., which are used for promotional purposes. This has lead to the invention of MMS or Multi-media Message Service, through which short promotional videos and animations can be send. Bluetooth is another good technology. It started in 2003, and many companies in Europe have found it useful. When a message is send via Bluetooth, the receiver should accept request from the sender. So, sending messages by this method is legitimate. The message transfer speed is high and is also a free service as it is a radio-based technology.

The method of sending SMS advertisement to mobile phone users based on their geographical location is known as Location based service. The customer is tracked via a GPS chip which is built-in the phone. Radiolocation signals from the nearest cell phone towers are used for this purpose.

Mobile marketing follows a very safe marketing strategy, as it is customer opted. The short message sent through this method is known as mobile originated or MO message. If the advertisement is done through a call, the call is known as mobile terminated or MT message. As there is a phenomenal increase in the number of mobile phone users, this kind of marketing is a sure hit.



Marketing through E-mail and Issues Surrounding it

Email marketing is one of the forms of direct marketing, which is done via Internet. Emails are sent to potential customers to boost the business, and gain the trust of the customer by disclosing relevant information and help them to make good shopping decisions. It also enhances the relationship with a current customer, by repeating business with them. In simple words the procedure of sending emails to customers is known as email marketing.

The major advantage of email marketing is that it doesn't consume a lot of time, is minimal resource consuming and is also cost-efficient. Within a short period, a large audience can be targeted. Features such as Subscriptions, bounced messages, web bugs, and click through help enables businesses to track potential customers. Since the customers can be directly reached, feedbacks can be collected with ease. In terms of cost also it is not as expensive as newsletters. Reports have proven that this is the next best marketing technique after search marketing. It is effective in tracking the returns on investments.

Email marketing is a modernized version of mail marketing. The advantage over direct mail marketing is that it takes less time to reach a customer than mailing. Like people check their mailboxes daily, inbox is also checked by majority of the Internet users on a daily basis. Over the period of time, lots of helpful tools and web services have been developed. List host is web service that provides lots of options to the marketers like managing huge emails and email address database. If the budget is more, list managers can be hired who can be given charge of opt-in-email newsletters and managing databases. Software is also available in the market that does this job too.

When the customer fills the form for the first time, there are check boxes to be ticked which reflects their interests. Depending on these choices, an advertiser sends information to them, this is known as opt-in-email advertising, because the customer has opted to receive emails and marketing like this isn't illegal. The content of the email can be elaborate, but it shouldn't be too long as people are really busy for that. The call to action, also known as effective words, in the email should be chosen with care. It's not necessary that the content should revolve around only one item; related product's information can also be included. This is known as cross selling. By using email blasting or sending an email to multiple customers at a time can save a lots of time and will also increase the efficiency.

The dark side of email marketing is spamming or also known as bulking. Some companies collect email addresses of people illegally and send irrelevant mails to them, which can be very annoying. Some hackers design an email like an advertisement, but when clicked on downloads adware and viruses that can destroy a computer, which makes it even more dangerous. To make matters worse, the Direct Marketing Association of America has petitioned to make spamming legal. Some prohibitions are also placed on providers who help out business organizations to manage their email marketing by giving them already prepared email templates.

Most of the mailing websites have added the facility of separating spam from genuine email by creating separate folders for both and this is known as spam filtering. But in case of large number of spam mails, a useful mail can go into that folder and can go unnoticed and gets deleted with the rest of the spam mails. This kind of mail is known as false positives. But the chances of this happening are rare. There are many laws against spamming like United States' Can-Spam act, Europe's privacy and electronic communications regulations. According to these laws, the companies should get their return address authenticated, false physical addresses should not be included and a one click unsubscribe link should be place in the email. The lesser penalty involves companies sending spam to be blacklisted and on a larger scale, they can be heavily fined.