Panelists Talk Soaring Mobile Platform

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CHICAGO -- Mobile marketing is on the go, say participants at an ad:tech Chicago panel July 25 titled "Mobile Marketing Ecosystem: Framing the Market and the Value Chain."

Panelists Cam Balzer, director of search strategy at Performics; Peter Fuller, managing partner at i-Jump; and Courtney Jane Acuff, associate director at Denuo, discussed the emerging space of the mobile marketing platform.

"One of the most powerful things about mobile marketing is that you can reach the consumer anyplace, anytime," Mr. Fuller said. "No other medium gives you that power."

Mr. Fuller and Ms. Acuff offered facts and figures on the rise of mobile communication. In the second half of 2005, 48.7 billion text messages were sent in the United States. Panelists described all forms of mobile communications including text, wireless Web, multimedia MMS, wireless banner ads and video.

Examples of successful mobile campaigns include Starbucks' text messaging trivia game, which let the coffee retailer communicate with customers in a fun way.

Because mobile messaging campaigns face the obstacle of dealing with carriers -- Cingular, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon -- most companies work with agencies or directly with aggregators to ensure delivery.

Most text-generated campaigns are for youth-oriented products like Sprite and American Idol and for Hollywood movies. But marketers should not limit the audience for mobile marketing to young people.

"You have to train your consumer," Ms. Acuff said. "Everybody has a phone, so the potential is there."

Mobile campaigns also can be a revenue source.

"You can actually make money on texting campaigns by providing a service which subscribers sign up for," Mr. Fuller said. "For example, for $1.99 consumers can receive weather predictions. If you provide a service that consumers want, then you will have loyal customers."

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