Take away the technical delivery issues and mobile marketing is a fairly simple form of communication, argues Gary Corbett of Opera Telecom. Do-it-yourself content creation and delivery is the only way to maximise the potential of mobile marketing. 

Mobile marketing is gaining increasing interest from organisations ranging from banks and car manufacturers to media agencies.
But dependence upon expensive third party services is significantly constraining both innovation and the development of the mobile marketing platform. At £25,000+ for a campaign, organisations simply cannot afford to develop and trial the number of campaigns required to gain an in depth understanding of the medium or hit on the winning formula for increasing revenue or boosting brand awareness.
If mobile marketing is really going to start living up to its full potential, companies need to start adopting a ‘self-service’ approach to mobile campaigns.
That way even non-specialist staff can create and administer their own SMS, MMS and IVR marketing campaigns, and organisations can really start to reap the rewards offered by the mobile platform.

Marketing potential
Every advertising agency and media company now boasts a mobile arm, including a variety of mobile campaigns as part of the overall marketing presence. From generating leads to the call centre to increase revenue or boosting brand value, including a mobile element in a campaign is becoming standard practice.
The medium offers many advantages – not least the personal contact and opportunity to directly interact with the consumer.
So why have so few mobile campaigns to date delivered either the expected uplift in revenue or brand awareness?
The problem is a lack of internal expertise, leading companies to rely on specialist mobile marketing agencies for even the simplest campaigns. Furthermore, that process is extremely expensive to set-up and manage – with campaigns costing at least £25,000 simply to run.
As a result, organisations have to make tough choices about just which mobile marketing campaigns to run with – and achieving at best one in ten success. Yet this is a brand new arena, concepts are untested and the key to success is rapid innovation and the ability to take risks through running multiple campaigns.
If companies are to make the mobile a successful component of the marketing mix they need to take control of the entire content creation and delivery process.
By using a self-service provisioning platform that can be used by anyone, organisations can rapidly introduce, test and modify a wide range of services at a fraction of the cost of third party-led campaigns.
Furthermore, by using a robust self-service platform that automates the provisioning of content across multiple handsets and networks, organisations can avoid the common mistakes of poorly implemented campaigns that reach just a fraction of the desired audience.

Campaign management
Of course, for those organisations wanting to ensure consistent cross media campaigns yet still attain the lower cost and higher innovation approach to mobile marketing, there is no reason why agencies should not adopt this self-service technology. Indeed, given the growing commitment from agencies to the mobile medium, there is a clear need for technology that can improve the quality of services delivered to meet clients’ evolving needs.
If these organisations are to exploit mobile with, for example, video calling that combines face-to-face communication with a video demonstration they need to get the basics of mobile marketing right now. And that means developing and trialling far more mobile campaigns that are undertaken today.
There is a growing awareness that mobile marketing is becoming a key part of the communications strategy but too many companies are still putting off campaigns either through lack of budget or, more often, as a result of a poor experience with a third party agency.
But organisations cannot afford to ignore this area for much longer: as the large advertising agencies move into this field, there is little doubt that within a couple of years every campaign will automatically include a mobile component.
Self-service provisioning is the logical extension of that demystification process and will ensure knowledge and expertise of how best to develop mobile marketing campaigns is developed rapidly across a variety of industries.

Opera Telecom is an international mobile services company, providing content, infrastructure, billing and campaign management. Gary Corbett, Opera Telecom’s owner, has recently been appointed CEO as the company embarks on the next stage of its development.

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