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Getting Smart about Smartphones and Mobile Marketing

Posted on: January 8th, 2010 by: Tom Groff

Let me start with a WARNING: This post may go a little heavier than usual on tech gadget talk. But I figure we’d all be wise to familiarize ourselves with the latest lingo. Here’s why.

As 2010 gets rolling, mobile advertising—the digital kind, not the billboards-on-trucks kind—is shaping up to be one of the few growth areas for marketing spending.

What’s driving the growth? The burgeoning 3G smartphone market, as evidenced by the battle heating up between Apple and Google. You’ve got your iPhones and your Droids and your Google Nexus Ones. And then there are the “tablets” everyone was hyping at CES 2010.

These new devices—faster loading, with higher-resolution screens and advanced capabilities—are quickly transforming and expanding the applications of mobile advertising. People who need their Internet now can have constant access to the web in its full glory like never before.

And more importantly for this blog, marketers have more opportunities to reach adopters of smartphone technology in ever more targeted ways. Location-based advertising that syncs with new phones’ GPS capabilities holds particularly strong potential.

However, the need is still there to accommodate the limited capabilities of earlier generations of web phones (such as the older Blackberry products that proliferate in many corporate environments). Witness the growth of Mobile Facebook, a typical mobile site that strips nearly all graphic content in the name of faster loads for mobile phones. It also remains critical to cater to some extent to these phones’ limitations in email campaigns.

But with the far-more-capable iPhones and Android-based devices making strong inroads in the market, we may soon reach a point where designing down to lowest-common-denominator mobile phones is no longer necessary.

In any case, marketing and advertising aimed at mobile devices is a dynamic realm definitely worth keeping an eye on in 2010.

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