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Driven by a widespread understanding of the Internet's capabilities, the power of electronic commerce, and advances in wireless technologies and devices, mobile commerce (m-commerce) is rapidly approaching the business forefront.
Mobile commerce is defined in the academic literature in the areas of management information systems, management, finance, accounting, as well as marketing. Each area has its own distinctive point of view as to what constitutes mobile commerce. Some definitions overlap, others are unique to the nature of the business unit, and many are ad hoc. For instance, Management Information Systems looks at mobile commerce from the perspective of the technologies involved, finance and accounting look to develop the financial advantages of mobile commerce, and marketing views things from the standpoint of customer promotion, transactions and service. Given these different perspectives, it is important to identify a general definition of mobile commerce that can be used by the entire organization as a whole, while still being applicable from each departmental standpoint.
When defining mobile commerce in a marketing context, it is important to focus both from the perspectives of the firm and the customer in order to understand the value and benefit that each will gain from engaging in mobile commerce transactions. Mobile commerce should be described in terms of its distinguishable elements from other marketing channels used by the consumer, and its inimitable abilities to uniquely foster customer growth for the firm. Mobile commerce is unique in that, unlike other marketing channels, it is location and time independent.
With all things considered, we offer a definition of mobile commerce that is based in a marketing framework, with its unique dimensions: mobile commerce refers to the ability to offer value through virtual transactions that allow for location-specificity and time-sensitivity, as well the ability build personalized relationships with the customer. Mobile commerce applications fall into three main categories: transaction management, digital content delivery, and telemetry services.
With a brief outlook into mobile commerce, we now proceed to get an understanding about mobile marketing which will enable us to make a smooth transition into understanding the features, perception and prospective aspects of mobile advertising and how organizations and marketers can utilize mobile marketing to better serve the consumers and be beneficial to the organizations as well.
Introduction to Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing is advertising or marketing related messages sent to a mobile phone. The emphasis of the marketing communication is via short message services (SMS) but can also include emails accessed by mobile phones and multi-media messaging services (MMS).
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In context of m-business and m-commerce, m-marketing is defined as the application of marketing to the mobile environment of mobile phones, smart phones and personal digital assistants (PDA).
There are many ways how marketers can use m-marketing to attract customers, it can be through m-coupons, m-advertisement, m-search, m-shopping, and due to the evolution of m-marketing a reverse trend in marketing is coming. That is instead of marketers approaching customers, customers approach the marketers with their needs or query. The new technology, also called as MMB-Mobile Marketing Board, uses a hybrid network and an m-commerce computer application to display interactive messages on computer-mediated billboards. Mobile consumers can initiate communication with marketers through the new technology, underscoring the notion of reverse marketing. The benefits of mobile marketing include, but not limited to interactive marketing, convenient for marketers and customers, save money and time, and offering entertaining experience. The limitations include, but not limited to, legal issues associated with mobile marketing, technological issues such as bandwidth problem and lack of technical standardization.
If people provide permission to receive m-marketing then the intention to participate improves markedly. This basically implies that consumer wants to be in control of the type and volume of information they receive. So to be effective in m-marketing companies should carefully choose the people whom they send message. Moreover message that are short and quick to read are more positively received by consumer and marketer get more responses on such messages.
Many marketers have been worried if they should use the m-marketing to attract customers. In our research we have found several articles and survey that prove that m-marketing is not as negatively perceived by customers as it seems. So if Mobile Marketing is more focused, personalized and permission to contact customer has been obtained, it is likely to be very effective marketing tool.
Thus, the necessity for mobile marketing to be more focused and personalized leads us to our main focus of this paper which is mobile advertising. Advertising is definitely a key aspect of marketing through which marketers and organizations can very effectively position their product in the market and appeal to their targeted customer base creatively and competitively than their competitors. Thus, it is very important to have knowledge about mobile advertising and its affect on product knowledge and consumers' perception towards the product and the advertisement itself.