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Mobile Marketing Potential Moves into Action

Long ago, when I was first exposed to the mobile phone service provider business model, I recall that my "Aha! moment" was when it occurred to me that these phone numbers will actually be associated with a person, instead of a place -- which had been the case with landline phone services.

Back then, I didn't fully comprehend the potential of this distinction to marketers. Likewise, when I became aware that, due to a public-safety policy requirement, mobile service providers would be able to identify the location of a mobile phone -- the benefit to marketers wasn't immediately obvious to me. Imagine being able to combine personal relevance, with real-time proximity, plus contextual significance, and you'll have the essence.

Fast-forward to today, and not only do I see what's plainly obvious, I'm puzzled by the lack of market development that harnesses these key inherent attributes of the mobile sector value proposition. Why, you ask? Well, apparently, most mobile service providers still haven't grasped the vast untapped potential for a growth opportunity that's in their very midst.

In concert with the recent CTIA show, Redknee announced three key principles of mobile marketing. The principles are intended to be a guide for mobile operators preparing to capitalize on mobile marketing opportunities.

Industry reports indicate that spending on mobile advertising is expected to grow from approximately $1.5 billion in 2006 to over $13.9 billion in 2011. The anywhere-anytime factor of the mobile handset is inherently direct and personal, and gives mobile marketing an advantage over traditional marketing mediums.

Mobile advertising campaigns will directly complement digital campaigns for TV and the Internet, expanding their reach and effectiveness. Both mobile operators and media companies see the new revenue streams beyond the 'customer pays' model. A positive subscriber mobile marketing experience is based on permissive attributes such as personal needs and interests, privacy preferences, and situational context.

"Providing customers with control over their individual profiles and services is critical to customer satisfaction with mobile services," said Peter Mottishaw, senior analyst at OSS Observer. "Customer expectations of online self-service have increased dramatically with the experience of Internet services. The introduction of mobile marketing increases the importance of delivering on these expectations. Mobile advertising has great potential for service providers, but must be relevant and targeted for customers to accept it. Service providers can only achieve this by enabling full personalization and control of the advertising experience."

To ensure that operators maximize subscriber engagement with mobile marketing, Redknee has set out three key principles of mobile marketing, based on actual experience:

Know Your Subscriber -- Key to successful mobile marketing is ensuring that subscribers are permissively approached in the right way (relevance) and at the right time (context). Operators now have the opportunity to utilize analytics and business intelligence available about their subscribers, such as service history and personal preference, to allow behavioral and micro-segmentation for mobile marketing.

Be Relevant -- In addition to being approached at the right place and at the right time, subscribers are more receptive when they receive personalized information based on their immediate circumstances (location, presence). A subscriber's physical proximity (at work, at home, at travel, at leisure) allows for customized and compelling marketing outreach that captures their attention, interest, desire and action.

Interactive Loyalty -- Operators have significant value to offer both subscribers and third party merchants by intelligently brokering them together. The operator's ability to easily segment subscriber groups based on their preferences and interests allows third-parties to more efficiently target and promote services and offerings. Advertisers benefit from targeted marketing due to lower campaign cost and a higher relevancy ratio, thereby increasing sales.

Lucas Skoczkowski, CEO at Redknee commented, "Redknee's monetization and personalization solutions are already deployed in tier-one networks and can be combined to allow operators to segment, profile, rate and distribute interactive mobile marketing campaigns."

I had the pleasure of chatting with Jeff Popoff, Redknee's VP of Marketing, about their experience with enabling service providers to act upon this untapped opportunity. He shared a white paper entitled "Segmentation - Serving New Customers" which is a very insightful 13-page primer on this topic. Frankly, I consider it required reading for mobile marketers.

Jeff also explained the actionable pieces of the Redknee solution that's already in use at mobile service providers in the most nascent of the emerging markets, and the most saturated of the developed markets around the globe. Truly, segmentation and associated personalization can be applied in so many different ways, when you understand how to move from mere potential to real action.

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