Is Mobile a Medium or Merely a Strategy?

Mobile.  It is one of today’s most formidable and successful marketing tools.  Mobile is innovative, it is evolving rapidly, and it holds a wealth of potential for future development and success.  However, as one of the world’s leading advertising markets, it holds a certain degree of ambiguity when it comes to defining it.  That is to say, is mobile a medium, or is it merely a strategy?

Well, let us try to break it down a bit before trying to answer.  First, what are the respective definitions for the terms ‘medium’ and ‘strategy’?

  • A ‘medium’ can be defined as “a publication or broadcast that carries advertising” or “a channel or system of communication, information, or entertainment.”

If there is anything that these two definitions tell us, it is that there is a good reason why defining mobile has been difficult.  Both definitions seem to neatly correspond to the nature of mobile as a marketing tool.

I myself use both terms when discussing mobile commerce, however, I often break down my use of the terms based upon certain elements.  I personally see mobile marketing as a medium.  Like Television, Radio, Signage, Print, Internet and so on, Mobile is an independent channel through which advertising campaigns can be undertaken.  I believe the term ‘strategy’ refers mostly to the specific and unique thinking, planning, and resources attributed with an advertising campaign.  In the case of mobile, marketers will develop a strategy with mobile as the medium, and therefore, the strategy is a mobile strategy.

If we continue further with the conceptions of mobile marketing and its integration with other advertising forms, the idea of mobile as a ‘medium’ in my mind is made even stronger.  ‘Mobile’ is termed ‘mobile’ because of the devices in which campaigns are executed. Cell phones, Smartphones, Blackberrys, Tablets, the list goes on, but what all of these devices clearly trigger in the mind is a sense of mobility.  It is my belief that this mobility defines the medium as ‘mobile,’ and as this medium is ‘mobile,’ marketers have to establish strategies specifically in order to achieve the desired outcomes from this medium.

Of course, defining Mobile as a ‘medium’ or a ‘strategy’ is far more than toying with semantics.  I propose that to define mobile as merely a ‘strategy’ would seriously demean its legitimacy as an advertising agent.  Mobile is one of today’s most dominant, successful and global advertising solutions.  It is constantly adapting and evolving to suit customer demands and is revolutionising the world of commerce.  Somehow, I do not believe a ‘strategy’ could be credited for this.  Mobile advertising is a medium, through which communications, entertainment, information, video, photos, social networking and so much more can be relayed. It is a medium that has brought the world of commerce into a new era, and a medium that continues to push the imagination of the mobile marketing world.

This article was written by Alex Speirs of TXT2GET, a leading mobile marketing company. TXT2GET supply affordable SMS keywords to advertising that typically increase ad response by 2-3x. SMS keywords also bring measurability & accountability to advertising, because you can see the exact time and date that responses come in.

Click on this link to get free advice on how mobile marketing can improve your business’ advertising.

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