Mobile Marketing Can Change the World

John Hope-Johnstone

Although the title of this blog may seem grandiose, mobile marketing is changing the world one little step at a time.

In many respects, third world countries are leading the way with; mobile banking, mobile payments and mobile use in general. The reason is simple, land lines are rare, costly and unreliable.

In India it has revolutionized agrarian production by allowing field laborers who had rarely if ever entered their banks which are many miles away, to be paid electronically and through mobile banking see the money in their account, and in some instances be able to pay bills via the phone. This has increased farm productivity and workers motivation.

In the village of Karanehalli, a cluster of simple homes around an intersection of two dirt roads about 40 miles from India’s high-tech capital of Bangalore, Farmer K.T. Srinivasa doesn’t have a toilet for his home or a tractor for his field. But when a red and white cellular tower sprouted in his village, he splurged on a cellphone.

While the way his family threshes rice — crushing it with a massive stone roller — hasn’t changed for generations, his phone has changed the way he farms. He uses it to decide when to plant and harvest by calling other farmers, to get the best prices for his rice, coconuts and jasmine by calling wholesalers, and to save hours of time waiting on the road for deliveries and pickups that rarely come on time.

By 2012 we will be looking at our smart phones as our wallets, where payments to bricks and mortar stores, or wherever you are shopping will be made without having to swipe a credit card, just by codes on your smart phone.

Today, mobile coupons are beginning to catch on in the US. The Mobile Marketing Association strongly suggests that this must be an “opt in” arrangement and I agree. Depending on the phone plan, providers may charge coupon recipients for texts. Likewise, many cell phone users have placed themselves on a no-call list. Hence, opt-in is vital.

Permission based texting often uses the phone’s GPS  unit or a mobile “check in” from a location based marketing platform such as FourSquare, Yelp or GoWalla to locate the individual and then a coupon text is sent with a suggested offering, near by or at the present location.  A number or code is placed in the text. In other countries’ the use of a QR (quick response) code scanned by the coupon provider as part of the redeeming process, is fully in use.

Mobile coupons can also be delivered directly to your cell phone when you respond to a location based opt-in prompt that is part of a Bluetooth or WiFi broadcast, or is embedded in a billboard or display, as a QE code or infrared beam. The consumer will opt-in often by texting a keyword to a short code after being shown the option through other forms of marketing.

I was quite delighted while visiting Las Vegas to step off the plane turn on my phone and get a permission based welcome text from my Casino offering me a discount at one of their nicer restaurants for that evening. I had opted in when completed my reservation at the casino.

An excellent book to read on this subject, (no I didn’t write it sadly) is “Mobile Marketing, Finding Your Customers No Matter Where they Are” by Cindy Krum

Thank you for the read. I hope this tickles you to learn more about the upcoming revolution in mobile marketing. Please leave a comment and more information about mobile marketing.



  1. […] and I agree. Depending on the phone plan, providers may charge coupon recipients for … mobile coupon marketing – Google Blog Search This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged Blog, BUZZ, Change, marketing, […]

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