The mobile marketing boom is only just beginning – but what a promising beginning. Geolocation and value-add services have provided endless sources of creativity for M-marketers.

New purchasing habits

“Anywhere, anytime” are the watchwords of mobile marketing strategies. Generating traffic and new purchase intentions at sales outlets or locally and building customer loyalty are among the more successful methods.

In terms of consumer benefits, the advantage of “push marketing” is that it saves them from having to hunt for the right address, the right deals, information or service: all this data is delivered right to them, depending on their location (determined thanks to their smartphone or tablet).

International companies still in the observation phase

According to a survey conducted by Forrester, 57% of the 200 international companies they questioned have either no mobile marketing strategy at all or are only just beginning, 10% have been running m-marketing operations for less than a year, and a third for more than a year. 70% claim they plan to double or triple their budget this year. The future looks bright for M-marketers!

SMS and MMS

SMS and MMS campaigns are an affordable means of mobile marketing for small independent businesses, such as restaurants, for example, and can enable consumers with GPS-enabled mobile phones to receive information on special offers in their area.  This method is also used by larger companies, such as cosmetics group Yves Rocher, for one-off events and promotions

 

QR Code vs. Flash Code

These are 2D-codes found on posters or product packaging which users photograph with their mobile, and thereby access additional services: product details, special offers, etc.

Nestlé Group recently used this tool in a hypermarket for its Maggi range, including recipes, serving suggestions, advice on other ingredients to add to shoppers’ baskets (actual not virtual), thereby maximising the benefits for both supermarket and brand.

Mobile applications

A more  ambitious alternative, mobile applications can deliver genuine value-add to both brand image and advertising strategy, thereby appealing to consumers and generating  revenue.

In 2010 L’Oréal Paris launched the Instant Beauty operation. iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad-compatible, the application could be downloaded for free from iTunes and gave users access, by scanning barcodes at points of sales, to a choice of products, consumer reviews and expert advice. L’Oréal reported 2000 downloads in 2010 and expects a further 10,000 by the end of 2011.

Another similar initiative was taken by insurance group MMA, who provided clients with a virtual safe, accessible via iPhone, to store their sensitive personal or professional documents in. MMA spent €75,000 on developing and updating the application and plan to spend a further €1 million on promotion.

The biggest growth sectors

Financial services, travel and media are the most dynamic markets.

To mention but a few examples in France, the Banque Postale’s iPhone mortgage simulator approached 30,000 downloads in 2010 and will soon be available for iPads. French railway company SNCF’s sncf-voyages app generated €30 million worth of business, and media group Lagardère offer 22 different applications giving access to information, resulting in 4.5 million downloads.

The major players get in on the m-marketing trend

Last February, Facebook launched Facebook Deals in Europe, whilst Microsoft started Bing Deals, currently in the US only. These services which post information on special offers and are accessible via all types of mobile terminals are sure to usher in a new era of M-marketing opportunities.