THE WIRELESS ADVERTISING FUTURE: NEW APPLIACTIONS WITH POSSIBILITIES
As time goes on, we’re certain to see the mobile advertising market soar. So far, consumer response to mobile advertising has been very positive, giving more and more businesses reason to search for ways to increase business via the mobile revolution.
The creation of content and applications for the mobile user is a growing and changing business. Today there are many applications that we can expect to expand over time to become great advertising venues. And, of course, even as we’re writing this book, developers are creating new applications that we don’t even know about. As an advertiser, it pays to keep abreast of the newest hot mobile applications. Following are some applications that we see as having great potential for advertisers in the future. These are the ones to watch.
While today’s mobile advertising centers around ads placed on websites that are accessed through the mobile browser or via text messaging, you can be certain that will change. It’s also certain that wireless carriers will have difficulty continuing to add services and content without either using advertising monies to fund it or raising subscriber rates. In our current economy, cell phone companies as well as wireless users will certainly find advertising more palatable than rate increases.
In the near future, expect to see the ability to access various services via the wireless phone device itself, without going directly through the browser. Such services will almost certainly be advertiser sponsored.
Advertisers could negotiate directly with cell phone carriers to have their services included as an option right on the main menu of the phone. This type of advertising can prove very lucrative to the advertisers and to the wireless carriers as well. Informa Telecoms and Media, a market research firm, estimates that advertisers will spend more than $11 billion by 2011 on mobile marketing. As a “middle man” wireless operators could potentially take up to 50% of this revenue by negotiating contracts with content providers.
In spite of the obvious financial possibilities, wireless carriers are considering how to approach this type of service very carefully. You see, while wireless users are happy about being able to choose to trade the viewing of advertisements for free content or services, they are overwhelmingly not open to advertisements coming to them unsolicited via their cell phones. After all, they are paying for service – they should not have to view unsolicited advertising. So, while it’s certain that we will eventually see some form of advertising content available on wireless devices without the use of the browser or text messaging, it’s unclear how it will be presented.
Twitter is one of the hottest mobile applications around. Twitter is basically a social updating and networking site. Twitter’s basic premise is that it allows people to keep up with each other by regularly exchanging the answer to one basic question, “What are you doing?”
Twitter users connect with friends and make friends, exchanging updates often frequently throughout the day. Twitter is designed to be a business and personal tool, noting that status updates are not only fun and social, but can be helpful too. For example, you can use Twitter to let your boss know you’re running late in the morning or use it to let your friends know that a group is meeting at your favorite bar in an hour for a drink.
Twitter users create their own Twitter page, where they post their most recent updates. Each Twitter update is limited to 140 characters, so it’s designed to keep the experience simple, rather than creating another blog. Once you’ve discovered which of your friends are Twitter users, you can follow them via the too, which means that each of their updates appears on your Twitter page whenever you visit. If they’re following you, they’ll see your updates too. You can access Twitter via your desktop and mobile web browser for viewing content. However, you can also post your own Twitter updates via your mobile phone’s text messaging service, making it simple to keep your friends informed.
Twitter may seem insignificant, but it’s actually one of the most popular and fastest growing applications of all time. Once initiated, many people find that they love keeping up with the tiny happenings of their closest friends.
Twitter is a free service, and despite its popularity, has not generated much revenue. Advertising services are just beginning on Twitter, primarily through a new company called Twittad. Today, users can sell re-skins on their home pages to advertisers. So far, takers have been pretty insignificant. Since most users of Twitter rarely visit their friends’ home pages, advertising this way is not very productive. The basic premise behind Twitter is that you see the updates of the friends that you have chosen to follow on your own page – not by having to visit each friend’s page individually.
In spite of the fact that this first attempt at advertising on Twitter has been slow, we’re convinced that, in the near future, advertising on Twitter, in some form, will be extremely popular.
ShoZu is an open technology that works with content sites and partner feeds. ShoZu uses data replication technology to allow data transfers to happen invisibly, without interrupting the user’s phone conversation or forcing them to open a browser. ShoZu brings you content from their partner sites or allows you to transfer information from your phone without streaming, buffering or waiting for content to be moved.
ShoZu partners with many websites for content delivery and exchange. For example, using ShoZu, you can transfer that picture you just took with your camera phone directly to your online photo album on Flickr™ with a single click. Downloading audio and video is simpler and faster than ever. ShoZu’s services also include ShoCasts, a service that delivers content to your phone automatically.
ShoZu is not an application that will appeal to all businesses for advertising. But, for the company that specializes in media and content, partnering with ShoZu could be one of the best ways to get your media out to consumers.
Today, Google Maps is one of the most popular mobile applications available, and advertisers currently can place ads on the Google Maps page. But, it is believed that we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with GPS enabled devices on mobile phones. For example, there is currently a program called NextBus, which literally tells you when the next bus is arriving. By entering the bus route you’re interested in taking, Nextbus can give you up to the minute arrival and departure information as tracked by a GPS device. In the future there are likely to be many more applications using GPS technology and many advertising opportunities created by these applications.