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Mobile marketing refers to advertising techniques targeting audiences on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

Twenty-five years ago, few people had mobile telephones and their only function was to transmit voice. Next came games and content in black and white, then color. Mobile phone apps gave birth to what is now a huge industry. As cellular phones became smartphones with full Internet capability, they became central to the way in which the younger generations lived, many of whom have never seen the need to invest in a desktop computer.

Tablet computers came out in the late 1990s, but didn't become widely available until the 2000s. With larger screens than the typical smartphone, they became something between a smartphone and a laptop computer. Far more mobile than a desktop computer, the larger tablet computers have screens as large as the smaller laptops, but with the advantages of a touchscreen and a virtual keyboard, eliminating the need for a keyboard and trackpad.

Many former desktop users began abandoning their desktop units for tablets, so much so that, a few years back, the use of mobile screens surpassed that of the larger desktop computers. Of course, this number includes a lot of people who use both, or even all three.

Because of the growing use of smartphones and tablets, mobile advertising has become a larger business driver, and this includes more than the use of the responsive design in websites.

This use of what are essentially small-screen computers that people carry with them opens up a new market for advertisers, particularly at the local level. The smartphone that someone has in their pocket knows where they are at any given time, and this can be used to lead them to your store or business, particularly when they are in your neighborhood. The amount of real-time information gathered by a smartphone is huge, and this can lead to a marketing advantage in the ability to map this data to determine where the native mobile app is going, what they're going to do, and where they can be found in key moments.

Trends in mobile marketing include social communications, video, and programmatic advertising. At the current time, and in the near future, technologies like geolocation targeting, new user interfaces, and an increase in connected devices will add to the possibilities in mobile advertising.

Short Message Service (SMS) marketing through cellphones became popular in Europe and part of Asia in the early 2000s, in which businesses collected mobile phone numbers for the purpose of sending advertising in the form of text messages, often unwanted, to users. Given that SMS messages are usually opened within five minutes of being received, this became an effective, although annoying, advertising tool. This has led to anti-spam laws in several countries, but they differ greatly from one area to another.

Multimedia Message Service (MMS) mobile marketing can deliver a slideshow of images, text, audio, and video through smartphones.

Push notifications were introduced by Apple in 2009 with its Push Notification Service. Google replaced its Android Cloud to Messaging with Google Cloud Messaging in 2013. These involve the delivery of information from a software application to a computing device. Push notifications look like SMS messages but they are reached only by the users who have installed the app.

App-based marketing is a growing field with a lot of competition. Usually, this involves the installation of an app from a brand or a store, which is downloaded by users for various reasons, usually to simplify interactions with that brand. In return, the user is subjected to banner ads, consumer announcements, in-screen advertising, or discount offers from the store or brand.

Similarly, games that can be freely downloaded through smartphones or tablets often include in-game mobile marketing. This may include display ads or, commonly, it includes prompts for in-game purchases, which can be used to enhance gameplay.

QR codes allow mobile phone users to visit a company website by scanning a digital 2D image with the phone's built-in camera.

Through proximity marketing, advertising messages can be broadcast to mobile phone users within a specific geographical area. Location-based services are offered by some cell phone networks as a way of sending custom advertising to subscribers based on their current location.

There are other forms of mobile advertising as well, and no doubt new technologies will be developed in the near future.

The focus of this category is on mobile marketing or mobile advertising, and may include informational site or those of companies offering various mobile marketing services, as a specialty.

 

 

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