We have been in the text message business for a while. But before our unique SMS application TextBoard was built, we offered many common web marketing services, including web site design, development, SEO, PPC and all the fun acronyms that are used to promote a business online. We, like other knowledgeable marketers, were successful in offering these services because they generated honest, tangible results for clients. Our in-depth understanding of the technology enabled us to harness its benefits for our clients in order to create optimal marketing plans.
Unfortunately, while OIR and other marketers were working to improve the ever-evolving relationship between technology and advertising, a disturbing trend of “commodity advertising” began to rise up. In an attempt to take quick advantage of technological capabilities, “commodity advertisers” began offering low-cost marketing services to draw in the largest number of clients possible. Unsurprisingly, the marketing services that came with low-cost plans also came with little quality and little or none of the preparation needed to create well-executed marketing campaigns.
While an open marketplace is healthy for our economy, this particular phenomenon created a snowball effect until business owners, who—after wasting money on low-cost, low-quality, low-results marketing—eventually got sharp and realized that results matter more than cost.
Mobile advertising is an emerging industry, and we are starting to see the same “commodity advertiser” trend creeping up on the legitimate and established advertisers that are doing the hard work every day trying to create successful, effective mobile marketing campaigns. The mobile marketer’s job is to educate the client on the benefits of mobile marketing and its efficacy. More importantly, we provide valuable expertise to guide clients through the entire process and make sure their money is put to best use.
For every step legitimate advertisers take the industry forward, fly-by-night mobile marketers take the industry backward by offering pricing discounted so deeply that there is no way to provide the necessary marketing services to complement the SMS service. Business owners who are inexperienced with mobile marketing may be enticed by the low price and not realize that detailed strategizing is essential for any ROI. After all, what does it matter how much money you save if it is all wasted? Companies eventually realize this, but usually too late, after their mobile campaign has already miserably failed.
This is a big problem for an emerging technology like mobile. Once a business owner gets burned by a poorly-conceived, cheap marketing campaign, he or she is unlikely to try again. Some may not realize that qualified professionals representing full-service marketing firms can use mobile to do wonders for advertising their product. The idea that mobile advertising is a cheap, ineffective product solidifies quickly.
Mobile marketing is in such an early phase of its life that introducing such a dramatic level of cost- and quality-cutting doesn’t create a positive outlook for the mobile industry over the next few years. The cost of advertising should directly reflect the results and value that is returned. It’s understandable that business owners need to maximize profits and save money in every sector they can, but if a medium like SMS provides amazing results when properly executed, they really should not risk going bottom dollar. Mobile advertising has such a tremendous potential for both the consumer and the brand that putting so much on the line with a fly-by-night service provider is something the smart business owner should not chance.