Mobile marketing and mobile advertising: two sides of the same coin?

Mobile marketing and mobile advertising: two sides of the same coin?

To many of us, mobile marketing and mobile advertising are synonymous. However, the difference is as clear and defined as the difference between a General Practitioner and a specialist medical professional.

Let’s take a look at the concept of mobile marketing and how it relates to Mobile advertising and start with a brief quote from the Mobile Marketing Association: “Mobile Advertising in a broad sense can be defined as any paid message communicated by mobile media with the intent to influence the attitudes, intentions and behavior of those addressed by the commercial messages.”. It’s perhaps interesting to note that this definition was coined as far back as 2004! It is even more interesting that the concept still needs to be sold, or at least properly explained, when a formal definition of mobile advertising has existed for at least a decade.

In general terms, mobile advertising most often refers to the use of mobile channels as a medium to deliver advertising messages to mobile devices.

It is usually divided into two main categories; push and pull advertising. When it comes to push advertising, one must be mindful of the relevant legislation. Push advertising may only be unsolicited when it is delivered by text message to users within the context of an existing customer relationship (e.g Please call me service). It may also be solicited where users agree to have certain services or promotions pushed to them at certain times (e.g. sponsored sports score alerts, Opt in databases etc).

Pull advertising, on the other hand, is defined as advertising that is attached to content or services that users request or “pull” to themselves. For instance, when a customer requests the local weather, a game, ringtone or other content from the service provider, or network operator the content of the response, including any related advertising, is pull advertising.

Now let’s take a quick look at mobile marketing. This concept sees the mobile device as an integrated part of the Marketing channel as it is generally used in conjunction with more traditional media such as print, and television in a dynamic or structured campaign. It is flexible and can work in both the push and pull models, depending on how a particular campaign is structured.

Because the overarching concept of mobile marketing is relatively new the value chain is still being determined globally. Unfortunately, traditional advertising players such as media agencies are not presently aware of how to effectively use the mobile channel, other than through very basic SMS-based competitions. This last point underscores the vital importance of players interested in mobile marketing and mobile advertising partnering with a specialist organisation that can serve the role of trusted advisor.



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