Tuesday, March 19, 2013


What do you do if you are a pizza parlour and the neighborhood where you are supposed to deliver your pizzas has people from over 200 nationalities who speak equally varied number of languages? Dubai based Red Tomato found a way to solve this problem – with the help of a fridge magnet. This magnet is connected with the bluetooth of the user’s mobile phone. He just presses the button, selects his choice of pizza online and orders it. Now it no more mattered which language you spoke; you always got the pizza you wanted. Deliveries increased by about 500%!

In 2011 IPL used the mobile phone to spread awareness about the cricket series. It used the SMS2.0 service. All those who used this app to send text messages were shown a banner ad of the series. While their message was being sent the banner ad became full screen where the user could see options like check the score, read more, download ringtones etc. The company received more than 16 lakh impressions and more than 35,000 ringtone downloads!

Lego has found a way to be relevant to the young generation and has found a way to compete with video games for market share. All you required was the special edition box of the Lego blocks, and the mobile app ‘The Life of George’ downloaded on your smartphone. The mobile app beams images which you have to make with your blocks within a time period specified by the app. With every successful attempt you move up levels. There are no estimates available of the sales figures, but it generated 294 million page impressions!

In Stockholm McDonald’s created a digital billboard on which passers-by were invited to play table tennis using their phone’s touch screen. So it was you and your mobile versus the interactive billboard. If you lasted for 30 seconds you won yourself free goodies from the nearest McDonald’s outlet. An electronic coupon was delivered on your mobile phone which could be redeemed at the nearest McDonald’s outlet, directions to which were also sent along with the coupon. 460 people played in 5 hours and 400 of them actually went and cashed their coupons resulting in increased footfall.

Talking of free goodies, now you can send a free Coke to anybody in any part of the world along with a message. Coca-Cola has installed special vending machines which can be accessed through your mobile phone. At the touch of a button a Coke bottle is delivered to who ever you want to deliver – even a complete stranger – along with a personal message. Using your phone you can even see who got your Coke and what was his reaction!

The one thing common between all these examples is the use of mobile phones for increasing customer engagement. It is the gadget of the future, and is fast becoming the most effective way for brands to reach out to their customers.


Google is a very happy company this year. Its stock prices have been increasing constantly. Over the past year its stock has increased by 30%. One of the main reasons was its ability to successfully monetize its mobile user base. The company’s mobile ad division is today its second largest division. Mobile revenues have doubled from 2011 to 2012. It is precisely because of this that Facebook’s IPO fizzled last year. Just before the highly anticipated initial public offering it revealed that it was not making any significant revenue from its mobile website, in spite of more than half its 900 million members using the service on their mobiles. This year Facebook’s revenues from ads on mobile devices touched $305 million. Today, the company claims to be a ‘mobile-first advertising company’, according to its Product Director of ads Gokul Rajaram.

In the beginning of last year e-commerce website eBay estimated that it would make $10 billion in mobile revenues. By the end of 2012 the company had touched $13 billion. This year it is sure to touch $20 billion. According to its Senior Director for mobile commerce Olivier Ropars, business is all about ‘connected commerce’. It is the ability to shop anytime, anywhere and a mobile is the perfect device for that. According to him, one third of all eBay transactions are ‘touched’ by the mobile. No wonder eBay invested in mobile apps and today its mobile apps have seen a download of 120 million.


A few days back the South African Tourism issued a tender to find a UK agency to manage its website and digital creative for the next three years. This is a new trend that is emerging as clients are slowly but surely venturing into the online space and experimenting with new ways of promoting their goods and services. This is a trend that is worth observing as billings of advertising agencies are dropping every year. According to “Campaign Magazine”, a survey done by Nielson revealed an overall decline in billings of the top 100 creative agencies and the top 50 media agencies in the year 2012. The largest media agency, WPP owned MediaCom too posted a billing of £1.1 billion this year which is huge. However, considering the fact that this figure is 9.2% lower than 2011 once again highlights the fact that traditional advertising is changing.

Interestingly, last year (2012) the elite Cannes Lions advertising festival introduced a new category for awards called “Best Mobile Advertisements”.

Late Steve Jobs too is responsible for the increase in mobile advertising. He made big screens fashionable, and today all smartphones have oversized screens. This gives advertisers space to place their advertisements with minimum annoyance to the user. Moreover, thanks to the advancement in ‘Analytics’ there are now softwares that give you exact details about the performance of your mobile advertisements. What in turn it means is that for the first time marketers have a clear idea of whether their advertisement is effective or not, if its reaching the right customers etc.

If Apple showed the world the benefits of a large mobile phone screen then Samsung has shown marketers how to make good use of it. The new Samsung Galaxy S4 launched a few days back has an interesting feature called the ‘smart pause’. Utilizing the phone’s facial recognition software, videos will pause whenever a viewer looks away. What it would mean to marketers is, it would give them an idea of how engaging their content is. If its relevant the most viewers would not look away, it’s as simple as that. Of course, the feature has yet to prove itself, but the point here is everybody is looking at the mobile for the next big leap. Mobile marketing, be it through mobile ads or mobile videos, is going to grow.

Mobile marketing is soon going to become the most practical way of marketing your goods or services. The possibilities are almost limitless. There are mobile apps, mobile web, digital advertising and a plethora of other channels available to marketers to help them create marketing campaigns. If you are a marketer you need to seriously start planning around this. The only thing stopping you will be your creativity.

The number of mobile phone owners is increasing exponentially, the number of people owning smartphones is increasing (according to a recent statistic, 1.038 billion smartphones are in use, which in simple words means that 1 in every 6.7 people on the planet use one), the availability of WiFi is increasing. The number of people using the mobile to browse the web is increasing very fast as compared to desktop browsing, which revealed an interesting phenomena that 67% of mobile web users are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly website and an almost equal number said they would shift to a competitor’s website if it was mobile friendly (a survey by Moovweb showed that almost 52% of the retailers surveyed did not have a mobile friendly website). That just makes perfect business sense to think mobile. Every smart marketer is today thinking beyond traditional media and shifting to mobile and social. It’s time you did the same.


  1. Great article. I would however also love to hear how small sized companies can leverage on the mobile marketing trend to spread the word for their products and services. Or do you think only the giants can make full use of this new trend to scale greater heights?

  2. yes excellent RAJITA CHAUDHURI,,,thanks for this useful article

  3. Your contents is really forcing out your readers to give the nice remarks.

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