The Wireless World (782 words)
By Bill Robinson
You cannot be involved in business today, much less technology, without being bombarded with talk of "wireless marketing" or "location-based services."
Indeed, someday our cell phones (or whatever mobile devices win the day) will "know" where we are, thus generating the opportunity for marketers to directly engage us as consumers at the precise moment of our closest proximity. Walking by a shoe store? Your mobile device will alert you to a 10-percent discount on boots that day only.
Is this direct marketers' Holy Grail or what? I say it's "or what." I'll grow to resent such marketing ploys, just as banner ads are routinely ridiculed by the Web-savvy. Indeed, 46 percent of wireless-device users say if given a choice they wouldn't accept ads, even if compensated to do so, according to a recent study reported in Newsweek.
I think direct marketers must drastically alter the approach if they want to achieve any response rate higher than 1 percent or 1.5 percent, considered above average in the direct mail world. In fact, anything less than 30 percent should be considered a failure in wireless marketing.
Coming to a Tiny Screen Near You
On those mobile screens, there's so much less space to communicate your message. Forget a complicated come-on; I doubt anyone will pay attention for any extended period to marketing messages displayed on their cell phones. This is another key indicator that marketers will have to execute a different strategy—the same old tactics can't work without a contrary strategy being employed.
Some studies show that the younger generation is not paying attention to our brands anymore. They're creating their own brands, such as Stussy and No Fear. Marketers considering the wireless consumer should be sure there's a mass migration to the new brand in the offline world as well as the online one. Brand credibility won't transcend otherwise.