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Mobile A Key Part of the Direct Marketers Toolbox

David Murphy

Nick Fuller, Chair of the DMAs Mobile Marketing Council, explains why direct marketers need to get mobile sooner rather than later


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Mobile
may still be seen as a marginal medium, but many direct marketers are
considering how rather than whether to use it. Now, at the beginning of
2007, is a good time to consider why.
Change in the permission
landscape is at the heart of this.  The transition from opt-out to
opt-in is very much underway. Initially a new media initiative, it is
now moving across traditional DM recent threats by the Environment
Secretary to apply opt-in to all DM is just the most dramatic example.
Since mobile is probably the most personal of all media channels, it
stands to reason that for those consumers who invite marketers to
communicate with them via the channel messages will be welcome.
Indeed,
responsiveness is already a compelling reason. Clients regularly report
that, where text is added alongside phone and web response devices,
upwards of 30% of respondents choose the text route. Mobile advertising
is also achieving response rates 10 times those of online banner
advertising (and though we all accept that there is a novelty angle
here, the fact remains that mobile advertising is in its infancy so
that many advanced models, services and targeting yet to come will
almost certainly bolster performance if their permission and cost
angles are right). 


Flexibility
Flexibility is another maybe the best
reason. The biggest issue most marketers face with mobile is
understanding what it can do. Starting with the idea of replicating
mass direct mail is all wrong but even a relatively cursory look at
some of the proven applications out there can soon reveal the real
opportunities. Every day, marketers are running direct response
fulfilment (brochures, call back); content (through paid alerts or
mobile magazines); CRM-based mobile ticketing/couponing programmes
that  deliver customer advantages; and sales promotion programmes in
which mobile is the lead (or only) response device. All of these play
to the always with you and always on strength of the medium.
One
thing is for sure the days when marketers sat around and decided how
best to communicate with consumers are gone. The power is increasingly
in consumers hands. Direct marketers adoption of all things digital
is well and truly underway, so marketers challenge now is to find
mobiles niche.


Nick Fuller is speaking at a half-day Interactive Mobile
Marketing Workshop in Bristol on Tuesday 20 February. The event is
being staged by DMA West, in conjunction with the Institute of Direct
Marketing. To book a place, phone 020 614 0277, send an email to events@theidm.com
with your name, company name and address, job title, email address,
plus telephone, fax and mobile numbers. For additional event booking
information, call 020 8614 0277.