Mobile Marketing: Trend Report from CTIA
He adds that “because people aren’t going to browse a lot of Web sites on their phones, I actually think that mobile advertising is going to become really important. Because it’s going to be optimized for the cell phone in ways that normal Web advertising is not. The ability to put a tiny mobile banner ad on the search results page and then allow [people] to click through to a brief synopsis of what you do and then, in an easy way, to contact you is going to be key. You can optimize your search engine results so your listing comes in at the top of a list for ‘pizza,’ but your pizza Web site is probably not easily viewable on a cell phone. That means the mobile banner ad or text ad is going to be that much more important, because it’s probably going to go to a page that is optimized for the cell phone.”
Trend #2: The battle over mobile payment is heating up.
“Someone [at the show] described this as the ‘industry knife fight’ over mobile payments,” Safdar laughs.
There are a couple of different parties in this fight, he notes. The wireless carriers still are in it, asking for 40 percent and 45 percent of every payment, which he says marketers are not happy about. Then there are the e-commerce companies, such as VeriSign and PayPal, who are proposing that you set up an electronic “wallet.” PayPal is the company to beat in that space, says Safdar. It has the largest share of the market, he explains, but it’s not enough to enable major mobile commerce yet.
A new player has announced it will be on the scene within the next year: VISA and handset companies, like Kyocera. He explains that the two firms—and others likely will follow—are starting to embed RFID chips in phones, which will enable proximity payment like a mobile SpeedPass. “That really has nothing to do with a phone,” Safdar laughs. “It’s literally an RFID chip stuck to a phone, which is the same as if I stuck it to my shoe and then waved my shoe at the point-of-sale terminal. But [payment solutions firms] clearly are not happy with the carriers’ lock-down on mobile commerce and have decided to try their own route.”