Is Mobile a Medium or Merely a Strategy?

by Alex Speirs | 9th June 2011

[I:http://www.seo-coaching.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/AlexSpeirs13.jpg]Since its introduction to the marketing world, Mobile has pushed the envelope in technological and marketing approaches. It has created a sophisticated and tailored approach to customer engagement, broken past the restrictions of ‘prime-time’ advertising, and has become one of the most promising investments for entrepreneurs and corporations alike. There is still some debate however, as to the true nature of Mobile. Is Mobile a medium, or is it merely a strategy?

Well, let us try to break it down a bit before trying to answer. First, what are the respective definitions for the terms “medium” and “strategy”?

* A “medium” can be defined as “a publication or broadcast that carries advertising” or “a channel or system of communication, information, or entertainment.”

A ‘Strategy’ can be defined as “A process through which, desired outcomes, objectives and goals can be achieved, consciously and systematically, over time.”

If we look at the definitions at hand, then it is safe to say that there are definitely strategies taking place within mobile, and more especially, strategies designed specifically for mobile. In saying this though, I believe there is room to stress that the strategies are designed for mobile.

I myself use both terms when discussing mobile commerce, however, I often break down my use of the terms based upon certain elements. I personally see mobile marketing as a medium. Like Television, Radio, Signage, Print, Internet and so on, Mobile is an independent channel through which advertising campaigns can be undertaken. I believe the term “strategy” refers mostly to the specific and unique thinking, planning, and resources attributed with an advertising campaign. In the case of mobile, marketers will develop a strategy with mobile as the medium, and therefore, the strategy is a mobile strategy. “Mobile” is termed “mobile” because of the devices in which campaigns are executed. Cell phones, Smartphones, Blackberrys, Tablets, the list goes on, but what all of these devices clearly trigger in the mind is a sense of mobility. It is my belief that this mobility defines the medium as “mobile,” and as this medium is “mobile,” marketers have to establish strategies specifically in order to achieve the desired outcomes from this medium.

‘Mobile’ in the sense of the device through which this whole argument is centred around, in itself seems to define the nature of the beast. What we touch on here, is the idea of Mobile as a pre-existing entity. Mobile was designed as a device for communications in its origins. Since then, Mobile strategies have been undertaken with Mobile as the ‘medium.’ It is ‘Mobile’ as a device, and as a means for the transmission of news, communications, and information. ‘Strategy’ comes in to play when marketers determine how they can most effectively transmit these, through the mobile medium.

This article was written by Alex Speirs of TXT2GET, a leading mobile marketing company. TXT2GET supply affordable SMS keywords that typically increase advertising response by 2-3x. SMS keywords also bring measurability & accountability to advertising, because you can see the exact time and date that responses come in. Click on the link to get advice on how mobile marketing can improve your business’ advertising.

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