Mobile Marketing Solutions: Marketing to Mobile Phones

Although mobile marketing is in its relative infancy compared to other forms of communication, the Los Angeles Times cites a recent study that found advertising via mobile devices has more than doubled in two years. This shift in the focal point of advertising dollars is driven by the rapid increase in the use of mobile devices. In fact, people are almost more likely to use a mobile device than they are to use a laptop or desktop computer. Society has become much more mobile and advertising, in order to continue to be effective, has to change as well. Specific guidelines have been created for mobile marketers to enhance the advertising experience in a mobile environment. Here are some of those guidelines.

1. Advertisements should be created in a variety of formats, including graphic and text. Smart phones and pad devices can generally handle most graphic leads but internet providers still place caps on the amount of data a user is allotted each month. Graphics-heavy advertisements can quickly drain the users available data allocation. Instead, lighter graphics combined with alternate text versions should be made available for the users choice of data usage.

2. Advertisements to mobile devices should be indicated as such. A common advertising practice is to use the word "Ad:" to preempt an advertisement. This removes all question to the user as to the intent of the advertisement, affording them the opportunity to make an informed decision as to whether to engage.

3. SMS Advertising units for mobile devices should be in one of two different formats. The first, or initial ad supplements other, non-advertising, information. This is usually accomplished via a small advertisement above or below a non-advertising SMS message. This type of advertising can be purchased from companies that specialize in sending SMS messages on behalf of other companies. In contrast, the second type of SMS ad is strictly advertising in its purest form. This kind of advertising is often the response to opt-in responses from mobile users.

4. Mobile marketing should ideally be done using media adaptation. This is accomplished through software that can identify the capabilities of a user's device and choose the appropriate version of an advertisement to be sent. While this sounds complicated, it literally occurs in just a second or two and makes for a customized user interface. The characteristics that are identified by the software include screen resolution, message size constraints and supported media. This feature also decreases the risk of sending a user a graphic message that has been made so small as to be illegible.

5. Advertising to mobile users via video should be administered by using moderate to slower moving video, avoiding sudden scene changes that can be lost in the smaller mobile environment. Videos should also be as bright or light as possible, given the relatively small resolution on mobile screens that can render a dark video impossible to view. Text that is placed on video should have sufficient contrast to allow it to be read on a small screen and the text should also be large enough to be read without magnification.