Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Mobile Applications - Why the Fuss?

Mobile Advertising …to extract commercial value you need to ensure that you have 3 fundamental elements prevalent;

1) Reach: Number of users/subscribers
2) Interaction: The time of simply creating clever push advertising is coming to an end
3) Measurement: What are we without knowing how popular our site is, how many posts we have had etc..

With the increasing number of applications being developed for mobile I find it intriguing that large companies are spending LOTS of money backing applications with little or no substance.
Take 'Eyeballs Mobile' for instance - Backed by Huge Group, I mean come on !? Who in their right mind justifies paying money for an application that adds absolutely no value to the user? Someone there should get their butts kicked for that blunder!

Firstly, any application running in the background on a mobile device reduces your already limited battery life to that just short of an hour of operating time.

Secondly why on earth would anyone want to watch an advert on a phone when they make or receive a call - similarly when you send or receive a text message... hello?

Mibli - what a website! Seriously - it's pimped - but again the user has to download an APPLICATION to the phone which reduces your battery time to nothing. The principles behind this one though are a lot smarter than eyeballs and I can see there may have been a commercial proposition that made sense at the time.

Nimbuzz - an IM platform that integrates all the various chat sites to your phone. Awesome - but again reduces your battery life from fully charged in inexistent within minutes.

There are a plethora of examples I could continue to list but my point is made...!

In my humble opinion there is really one option that makes sense, both commercially and viable for use on a handset and that is; Multi Media Messaging wrapped with a hyperlink to cleverly designed Mobi-Site.
Mobi-Sites are accurate representations of what is happening in the online space... users login to a site by preferential choice, you can do anything on these sites including IM and you can link to all the preferred social networking environments from one point of contact - still maintaining the balance of economical spend on a handset as well as economical use of the battery.

MMS based advertising is measurable and quantifiable and one does not need to spend millions by sending out messaging to a massive base. Take the following comparative example;

Traditional Marketing (print)

Mobile Marketing (MMS)

No of Targeted Customers

100,000 – 200,000


Price of Set up

R10,000 (give or take)

R5,000 (give or take)

Price of Campaign

R50,000 (give or take)


Percentage read

0.5% - 2% (500 – 2000)

30% - 40% (6000 -8000)

Reporting Period



Percentage call to action

1% - 2% (5 – 40)

3% - 25% (180 - 2000)

Viral Effect


2 – 12 times

The rate of response, for one is unheard of in the advertising space, and by comparison the spend fully justifies why one should be using mobile as opposed to traditional means.

The call to action response is also unheard of – as an advertiser, is it not better to spend less and achieve more?

Then you have an element that is unique to both mobile and internet – The Viral Effect!

And lastly the campaign is fully measurable with almost real-time reporting on the activity within the campaign.

One can view;

The number of people that have opened your message,

The number of people that have accessed your mobi-site - as well as – those that interact on your site, giving you the opportunity to get to know your customer

The actual response on the call to action.

I challenge you to show me a medium that has the same ability!

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