PRWeek's sister publication, DMNews, reported this week on research from the Mobile Marketing Association, which found that while mobile marketing represents a mere 1.8% of 2009 marketing expenditures, the average mobile marketing budget is increasing 26% per year.
There are a wide array of new gadgets and platforms that could serve as hosts to future mobile marketing campaigns, including Palm's new smart phone the Pre or the next iteration of the iPhone. Coupled with the devotion that consumers have to their mobile devices, there's no limit to the prospects for outreach in this space.
PR has dabbled in the mobile marketing space, but it is still a tactic that the industry has not fully embraced. One of the primary dilemmas with mobile marketing has been the level of intrusion that it poses to consumers. However, PR pros are the most adept at navigating the opt-in communications world that we currently inhabit. Moreover, engaging consumers with messaging that is useful, fun, or educational, rather than spam, is the baseline for practicing PR today.
As such, the growth in mobile marketing presents an opportunity for the industry to truly plant its flag and establish on-the-go relationships with stakeholders. That means investing the time and energy to create best practices for targeting audiences, measuring the effectiveness of a campaign, and determining how a campaign transfers to mobile from other screens or the offline world. Especially in an uncertain economy, PR practitioners must be diligent in their efforts to claim ownership of this growing channel and the stream of revenue it can generate.