A Month in Mobile Marketing

Well here we are, time for another mobile update. It’s only been a month, but as you know new developments on the mobile front seem to happen at break-neck speed sometimes – this past month was no exception. In fact I tend to think that some of the news around the mobile web this month is as exciting as it comes. So let’s get right into it.

IBM Lotus Expeditor 6.1.2
IBM has released a new version of their Lotus Expeditor software which aims to bring interactive Web 2.0 features, like social media and mash-up capabilities, to mobile devices. Not only will this help to enhance the mobile user experience by making it quicker and easier to navigate the mobile web with your smart phone, but it will also enable mobile application developers to create applications that combine information from multiple sources.

StoreXperience
Mobile marketing comes to the brick and mortar storefront. I’ve often felt that there aren’t enough companies thinking about the mobile marketing in a practical enough sense. If we can learn anything from the mobile marketing that has been going on in places like Japan, it’s that mobile marketing doesn’t have to be a channel solely for reaching people “out there” – wherever that is. Why can’t we market through mobile channels to the customers right in our local community, or right in our stores for that matter? StoreXperience aims to change this with a pilot program for their interactive mobile e-tail platform called Easy Shopping.

Easy Shopping could be the platform that brings the future of mobile marketing into the present. Allowing consumers to quickly and easily find product information, customer reviews and even on the spot discounts and purchase incentives – all from their cell phone and while they’re already in your store.

What if they aren’t already in the store you ask? What if they’re exposed to a product through an advertisement out on the street, in a store window, in a magazine or at a bus stop? In addition to the same useful information available to the in-store customer, a user searching for information on a specific product can also compare retailers by price and location, relative to where they are right at that moment.

I won’t go into too much detail as to how it all works – that could be an entire post in itself, and maybe it should be – but take a look at the company’s scenarios and I think you’ll agree that Easy Shopping is an innovative mobile marketing opportunity that truly improves the customer experience. It makes me want to update my cell phone.

Google & the 700MHz Auction
Well I couldn’t get through a mobile update this month without mentioning the 700MHz auction – you know, the spectrum that will become available to mobile networks as television moves over to digital signals in 2009. Leading up to this auction most of the talk, and all of the speculation, was centered on Google making a move to enter this space – after all, the search engine pledged to bid a minimum of $4.6 Billion for a portion of this spectrum almost a year before the auction.

Well, whether the auction got too rich for their blood (blocks selling for between $6 & $9 Billion each), or they never really had an interest in entering this space at all, Google didn’t come away with any of the spectrum. That’s not to say they didn’t get exactly what they wanted though. The FCC embraced Google’s idea to open this spectrum to third party devices ensuring that the Google backed Android platform will have a home when it’s released even if none of the major carriers decide to offer it. From the very start Google has made no secret that this was one of their main objectives. I tend to think they have to be pretty happy about accomplishing this – and without spending billions of dollars in the process.

So I know I’ve skipped some mobile marketing items this month – I always do – please feel free to comment if I left out any of your favorite mobile moments.