Getting to know mobile networks: The basics

The basic premise of mobile marketing is that you’re engaging the consumer
over mobile networks. There are three basic mobile networks:
✓ Mobile carrier network: The mobile carrier network (also referred to as
the operator network) consists of a series of radio towers (so-called cell
towers) that transmit and receive radio signals that talk with a mobile
device. All kinds of technologies and acronyms go into making all this
work: CMDA, TDMA, GSM, LTE, EDGE, and so on, but you really don’t
need to know anything about these. You’ll also hear terms like 2G, 3G,
and 4G, with the higher numbers referring to faster data speeds over
the network. A 4G network is pretty close to broadband Internet speeds
over mobile carrier networks (for example, its speed enables things like
real-time, interactive video conferencing and social media). Again, you
don’t need to know much about this, other than to understand that 4G is
just starting to get released in the United States and only about 30%–40%
of consumers use 3G now. Most consumers are on 2G. This means that
a lot of 2G text messaging goes on with very little 4G real-time video
streaming. This makes more sense when you read the rest of this book
and understand all that you can do with mobile marketing.
✓ Wi-Fi and WiMAX: Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity, more commonly referred
to as a wireless local area network, is a wireless network powered by
a small terminal connected to an Internet connection. You see them
most often in homes, coffee shops, airports — actually, you see and
hear about them all over the place. WiMAX is a Wi-Fi network on steroids. A WiMAX network is a Wi-Fi network that is broadcast over miles
rather than a few hundred feet like Wi-Fi. Why should you care about
this? Most new phones, that is, smartphones and connected devices,
by definition can connect to Wi-Fi and WiMAX networks to access the
Internet. In fact, if you try to download really large files, like applications
or videos, on devices like the iPhone, the mobile carrier may require you
to either switch to a Wi-Fi network or connect to a personal computer to
download the content because they’d prefer to restrict these larger data
files from being downloaded over the carrier network. A huge amount
of mobile marketing (ad serving, application downloading, and mobile
Internet browsing) happens over these networks.
✓ Local frequency: Finally, a number of low frequency channels can
be used to exchange data and interact with the mobile device, like
Bluetooth, radio frequency identification (RFID), and Near Field
Communication (NFC). Bluetooth is a low-bandwidth radio spectrum
that has a reach of about 1 to 109 yards, depending on the power of the
device. RFID and NFC systems are similar in concept to Bluetooth in that
they’re both short-range communication systems, but they have unique
identification and commerce capabilities.
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16 Part I: Getting Up to Speed on Mobile Marketing
Getting Your Bearings on the Three
Forms of Mobile Marketing
Here are three basic approaches you should consider when integrating
mobile marketing into your marketing strategy (you can read more about
actually creating your strategy in Chapter 2):
✓ Direct mobile marketing
✓ Mobile-enabled traditional and digital media marketing
✓ Mobile-enabled products and services
The next sections give you an overview of all three approaches so you can
decide which approach is going to fit your business best.
Direct mobile marketing
One of the really special things about mobile marketing is that it provides
you with the opportunity to interact directly with a person — not a household address, or a post office, or a television network — because mobile
devices are personal to a single person.
Direct mobile marketing involves sending messages directly to a consumer or
receiving messages directly from a consumer. The mobile channel provides
you with two basic forms of direct mobile messages to engage your customer, and there’s really no middle man:
✓ Marketer-initiated communication: This occurs when the marketer
starts the engagement with the consumer — for example, sends a
message, places a call, or pushes an application alert. It is sometimes
referred to as push marketing.
✓ Consumer-initiated communication: This occurs when the consumer
starts the engagement with the marketer — for example, visits a mobile
Web site, places a call, downloads an application, and so on. It is sometimes referred to as pull marketing.
Mobile marketing is an extremely effective direct marketing practice.
Marketers consistently see response rates of 8–14% to their initiated communication (compared to less than 1% for most direct marketing channels).
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Chapter 1: Unveiling the Possibilities of Mobile Marketing 17
With all forms of direct mobile marketing, you must first get a consumer’s
explicit permission prior to sending him a text message, making a call, or initiating a communication. Because you need permission, you can’t engage in
direct mobile marketing without combining your campaigns with other forms
of marketing to gain the permission in the first place. You can read about gaining permission in Chapters 3 and 4.
Mobile-enabled traditional and
digital media marketing
Mobile-enabled traditional and digital media mobile marketing refers to the
practice of mobile-enhancing your traditional and new-media programs (TV,
radio, print, outdoor media, Internet, e-mail, voice, and so on) and inviting
individual members of your audience to pull out a phone or connected device
and respond to your mobile call to action, as shown in Figure 1-3.
Figure 1-3:
should be
into your
Packaging TV
Radio Point of sale
On television, for example, your call to action may ask viewers to text a keyword to a short code to cast a vote. Or, you may ask them to fill out a form on
the Web or mobile Internet, including their mobile phone number, to participate in the program. See Chapter 2 for more on adding mobile marketing to
your traditional marketing strategy

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