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2010 the Year Mobile finally came to Store Front

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I think as we look back on 2010 we will all recognize that Mobile Advertising is now becoming part of our daily life. With Google and Apple both entering the year making multi-million dollar acquisitions it was only a matter of time before mobile really took off.  Whether it’s via smart phone, netbook or tablet, people are starting to expect it. This reminds me a lot of back in 2007 when Apple introduced the iPhone to consumers and it had a touch screen on it that had some amazing capability. You could flick pages, resize pictures, rearrange the screen and of course play games much differently than before. It was not long before people started to expect a touch interface on every device they came in contact with and today 55% of all smart phones come with a touch screen interface. Of course the millions of tablets selling this holiday season are all multi-touch capable otherwise they would be about as popular as a Microsoft Zune under the Christmas tree and these tablets will do nothing but increase the rapid adoption of Mobile Advertising.

What is becoming one of the hottest forms of Mobile Advertising? It would be interactive in store advertising. A perfect example of this would be Constellations Wines holiday marketing campaign that utilized Augme Technologies AdLife platform.  One feature of this marketing campaign allowed in store shoppers, via smart phone, to scan a selected bottle of wine using QR codes. The smart phone is then directed to a mobile site that assisted them with party planning, food recommendations and sales promotions. There also is a direct path to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to share the findings with friends and perhaps remind them of your party date. Data is also collected real time to evaluate ad effectiveness, customer engagement and sales. Obviously the cross licensing opportunities with other companies that make cheese, crackers, meats etc… are limitless.  The key is the opportunity for real time customer engagement at the point of sale and this is invaluable for retail companies. No longer are they wondering if a product is selling and why. Plus the interaction was initiated by the consumer which means follow through sales are likely to be a very high percentage. Up selling them on additional items is a retailers dream come true.

What other areas is mobile advertising quickly becoming a part of everyday life? This would be the local advertising that can target consumers based on location. Being able to send an ad when a person is close to your location to entice them in to you establishment is huge.  Perhaps you have loaded into your smart phone the fact you need a certain type of cat food to pick up. As you go by Petsmart or Petco you happen to get a coupon with 10% off that brand for today. How many people will stop and pick it up? Probably a good number. But what if you could see the real time metrics and increased that to 12% off and suddenly that brand of cat food was flying off the shelf? A very powerful tool for retailers to say the least.

So with this just being the real start of the Mobile Advertising revolution what is coming in 2011?  Obviously the number of Smart Phones only continues to accelerate.

Research group IDC expects global smart phone shipments of 270 million in 2010, a 55 percent increase from last year.

Tablets will soon become a much more standard shopping item. As strange as it might sound I expect shopping carts to have a place to snap your tablet in place and use it to navigate around the store with it right in front of you. Opportunities for sales items and discounts will be plenty. Having your shopping list input before arrival will allow it to steer you directly to the right aisle. Opportunity for additional items will be brought to your attention based on past purchases and targeted likes and dislikes. When you hit a certain dollar amount you may get a free latte offer from the in store Starbucks. Checking out and getting coupons values will just be syncing up your tablet or smart phone with the register.  Paying will be a bump or click away from your smart device. All the super stores, Walmart, Target, Kmart are moving towards this model and what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg. This is the future of shopping and just one part of the Mobile Advertising revolution we will all be part of.

Disclosure: I am long AUGT.OB.