Your Mobile Marketing Strategy in a World of Free WiFi

Posted by Lisa Dunn on Tue, Feb, 05, 2013

wifiThis time of year is very much about new launches, looking forward and trying to position ourselves for a productive year ahead. The Federal Communications Commission are ruffling feathers with their proposal for large scale public WiFi. They suggest that nearly every city across the country would have free high-speed wireless broadband, as well as a number of rural areas. We’re all familiar with that small rush of excitement when we see that “Free WiFi” sign in the window of a café or reception desk of a hotel, especially in a foreign country.

This, however, is on a much larger scale – walking around whole cities, knowing you’ve got high-speed WiFi wherever and whenever you want. With Google and Microsoft at loggerheads with the leading mobile providers, alliances are already being formed around the topic. Which leaves marketers in prime position to exploit the potential of a greater mobile marketing strategy.

Data Usage

Mobile messaging services have already seen great success, luring consumers away from the traditional modes of mobile communication. 3rd party applications are growing in popularity every day. Unfortunately, as much as users love their Apps, there are limitations. Data usage is still a controversial issue, and an app that eats data will loose fans fast. What’s more, while an App may not be data-heavy, users can often be wary of using large amounts of data in one action – like streaming videos for example. But introduce free, public WiFi and soon data usage concerns is a concern of the past.

With users less concerned about their data limits, your mobile marketing strategy gains new potential. Owen Hanks of YuMe outlined in his 2013 predictions for mobile marketing that he believed mobile video would come into its own this year. Especially with improvements in technology, mobile entertainment will reach new levels of popularity. Again, concerns about data would be eliminated if the user was in a free WiFi area.

The use of video in mobile marketing strategies

What’s more, Hanks has predicted he divergence of video advertisement on phones and tablets. As he points out, many mobile marketing strategies target phones and tablets at the same time at the moment, but that is set to change. Tablet-targeted video is set to become more popular again. What’s more is that most tablets only connect to the internet via WiFi, so the introduction of public WiFi could be seen to further push the growth of this medium.

Tablets are already hugely popular as e-readers, work-on-the-go tools and casual Internet browsing devices. If the wider availability of WiFi encourages people to use their tablets more, your mobile marketing strategy won’t need to focus as much on capturing their attention and getting them online because they’ll already be there.

The digital marketing industry is already poised for this potential mobile boom. Econsultancy have reported that 71% of businesses have budgeted to increase their digital marketing. Of this, content marketing and mobile marketing are among the top 5 areas that are going to be seeing increases in investment. From this it could be assumed that the strongest mobile marketing strategies will be those that focus on creating video optimized for mobile viewing.

With mobile marketing strategies already seeing success in brand recall, the potential for bigger and better campaigns is endless with initiatives like large scale public WiFi. Google are already implementing the idea, launching free WiFi for their New York neighborhood of Chelsea and putting plans in place for high-speed broadband in Kansas City.  While the exact impact of this initiative remains to be seen, it seems clear that the advent of public WiFi could grant your mobile marketing strategy a wealth of potential.

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Post by: Lisa Dunn

Tags: digital marketing, mobile marketing strategy, Wi-fi