According to media research firm Nielsen Mobile, 31% of mobile video users and 17 percent of mobile web users in the UK were expected to turn to their mobile phones for Olympic clips and updates during the 2008 games.
Predictions like this demonstrate mobile phones are increasingly becoming more than just a means of communication; they provide an entertainment and information platform and a gateway to the web.
Consumers want to interact with their favourite brands based on affinity, but also on entertainment, fun, personalization and increasingly, around productivity.
For consumers, the 2008 Olympics were a great way to interact with mobile content in potentially new ways using services such as mobile video and text content delivery; accessing the Olympic content that they wanted when it was convenient for them.
For marketers meanwhile, it was a golden opportunity to make contact with consumers who may not previously have been open to communication via their mobile, creating a dialogue of engagement based on relevance and value.
Relevance is a key component for a successful marketing campaign over mobile, contributing to a positive consumer experience and adhering to MMA recommendations on ways in which to build trust in this new medium.
As we’ve seen from the number of mobile campaigns launched by brands like Coca-Cola, Yahoo! and NBC Universal (and that’s just MMA members) at recent sporting events such as the Beijing Olympics, using topical events can be a great way of achieving this relevant and capitalising on consumer interest.
Indeed, whether attending an event or keeping track of activity from afar, mobile marketing and events are a great match. A group of people with a common purpose or interest fit perfectly with mobile’s key strengths of built in knowledge about the consumer, enabling its targeting and personalisation capabilities.
And the combination of events with mobile marketing is great for the development of the industry too, exposing larger numbers of consumers to mobile marketing who will then be more likely to participate in the future - but only if they have the right experience!
Educational opportunities such as this, when handled correctly, are key for the growth of the mobile marketing industry; building trust amongst consumers that mobile marketing is a positive way to engage.
But educating the consumer is one thing. If consumer trust is to be achieved through events such as the Olympics then it’s also about educating the brands and marketers, getting them to move away from the traditional ‘push’ or interruption based forms of marketing towards campaigns based on consumer pull, consent, personalisation, relevance and value.
Analysts at Jupiter Research predict that a quarter of European mobile phone owners will be using TV and video services on their mobiles by 2011, rising to one-third by 2013.
Combined with the expected uplift associated with a major sporting event such as the Olympics, this certainly suggests that the mobile marketing opportunity for the 2012 Olympics in London will be even greater than this year in Beijing.
The Mobile Marketing Association’s recently launched European Bluetooth Guidelines, along with existing Global Ad guidelines and Consumer Best Practices, will ensure that consumers have a positive experience while either attending the event or following the Games via their mobile device. The opportunity’s there for brands and consumers alike to win gold in 2012!
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