At this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Consumer Electronics Association announced it expects mobile phone unit sales in 2009 to grow some 31 percent in North America, with global unit sales reaching approximately 1.2 billion.
The announcement validates the mobile market as a wellspring of untapped potential, but it also poses the challenge of how to effectively engage audiences increasingly selective about how, when, and where they buy.
Consider this: It's all but impossible to watch television, surf the Internet, or use your mobile phone without experiencing some sort of brand interaction. Brands are everywhere, from the shows we watch to the clothes we wear to the Web sites we visit.
Consumers are more accessible now than at any other time in history: From broadcast to email to mobile phones, there are ever-increasing numbers of channels for brands to reach customers through, but to what effect?
Brand saturation doesn't equate to brand affinity. "Information overload" is no longer just a catchy phrase—it is a reality in today's world of mass communications.
Making the Most of Mobile
So how do brands differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace without alienating consumers and blowing their marketing budget?
In this down economy, marketing spends are under intense scrutiny—marketers are expected to produce tangible results and maximized ROI for every dollar spent. The challenge of doing more with less has brands searching for innovative avenues for customer engagement.
Iain McCready is CEO of NeoMedia Technologies (www.neom.com), a leader in optically initiated wireless transactions.