Get up to speed on mobile marketing

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A few months ago, John du Pre Gauntt, senior analyst at eMarketer, noted that, “Some US universities have courses in mobile marketing right now. Mobile is at a point where online was 10 years ago.”

This begs the obvious question: Are you prepared for the new era of mobile marketing? The answer is probably no. Most marketers are not ready for mobile. Those interested in moving more spend to mobile are primarily concerned about reach and an economic environment that is forcing all brands and marketers to cutback.

In a troubled economy why not take advantage of the glut of mobile inventory? The increasing volume of inventory is actually pushing mobile advertising rates down. Last year, the price of mobile CPMs ranged from $40 to $50; earlier this year, they came in at $20 to $25.

But now, as more brands establish themselves on the mobile Web, and device applications and social media apps proliferate, the glut in inventory has lowered CPMs to an average $15.

At these rates can you really afford to ignore mobile advertising? If saving dollars while becoming the office budgetary hero in the coolest new industry segment is not enough to sway you, I'll give you two more really good reasons: teens and sports enthusiasts. If you represent a major brand, it is likely one or both are your key demographics.

Did you know your favorite couch potato single-handedly makes the case for mobile? Sports fans love following games on their mobile phones. This highly sought after market is willing to spend in return for premium content. And if you are a parent of a teen, you probably already know that more than half of 18- to 24-year-olds use mobile phones as their primary means of communication.

Nearly 70% of 15- to 17-year-olds use text messaging as their primary means of communication. Because 15- to 17-year-olds are more likely to respond to advertising that is of interest to them, mobile is a great medium for teen branding and lead generation.

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