Out-of-Home Advertising Categories

Wireless / Mobile Marketing

Wireless and mobile marketing are the newest frontier of out of home media. The field is still developing and will continue to do so as new technologies and ideas emerge. The central idea is to target consumers within the context of their lives, primarily using their cell phones or other wireless-enabled devices.

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Image Courtesy of Vibes Media

There are four main categories currently being employed. The first is SMS, or text messaging. Because this is a standard function on all phones, it is the most common and simple to implement. This may include asking consumers to enter an SMS code as they go in a retail location. The limitation is the requirement for the consumer to act, but this can also increase their involvement.

GPS tracking is a growing field, as marketers try to utilize location data. Consumers’ locations are tracked so that they may receive an offer when they enter a specified area. This has the advantage of real-time tracking, and puts the message in the context of a consumer’s life and movements. It does require users to opt in, but if they do, much more data is available. Privacy issues may be a legal and personal concern.

When consumers enter a Wi-Fi zone, they are eligible to receive marketing messages on their device. One of the largest benefits to this method is that the Wi-Fi is useful to consumers, making them more open to accepting the mechanism. Advertising can be interactive, allowing for rich media and data collection. It requires consumers to opt in, but they are more likely to do so with the benefit of using the Wi-Fi.

Bluetooth is the most involved form of wireless advertising. It requires users to have their phones set up for Bluetooth discovery, and they have to pair their devices with every interaction. Because of this, Bluetooth is typically reserved for events of special offers where consumers are likely to engage and interact. If they do, advertisers can deliver rich interactive content.

Mobile and wireless marketing are new and still being tested, but their benefits line up with a successful marketing campaign. Targeted messages to the right person in the right place at the right time make the message relevant, so that the consumer pays attention and is engaged. Because many of these methods require opting in, the advertisement has the foundation of a prior brand experience. As technology and understanding develops, mobile and wireless marketing will continue to evolve.