In 2006 the telecoms and tech author Tomi Ahonen coined the term "Seventh of the Mass Media" to explain why services on mobile need not be copies of internet or TV content - it describes the evolution and convergence of mass media from print to mobile. It's an interesting concept that I often get asked to include in introductory presentations about Mobile Marketing.

The seven mass media in order of their introduction are:
1 - Print (books, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, etc) from the late 1400s
2 - Recordings (records, tapes, cassettes, cartridges, CD's, DVD's) from the late 1800s
3 - Cinema from about 1900
4 - Radio from about 1910
5 - Television from about 1950
6 - Internet from about 1990
7 - Mobile phones from about 2000

There's fascinating stories about these all along the way, but we're going to focus on Internet and Mobile.

The internet was the first "inherent threat" mass media channel. Inherent threat means that the internet could challenge any previous media and cannibalize it  - for example, print articles can be read online, tv shows viewed online, radio shows listened to etc. Additionally, the internet introduced three powerful concepts:

1. It was the first interactive media,

2. It offers search, and

3. It enables social networking

Mobile wasn't born as a "Mass Media" until Radiolinja (in Finland) launched the first downloadable content to mobile phones - the downloadable ring tone - in the Autumn of 1998. This started the shift of mobile from telecommunications to media.

Ahonen points out that there are seven features that distinguish mobile from all the other media:

1.  Mobile is the first personal mass media
2.  Mobile is permanently carried
3.  Mobile is always-on
4.  Mobile has a built-in payment mechanism
5.  Mobile is available at the point of creative inspiration
6.  Mobile has the most accurate audience measurement
7.  Mobile captures the social context of media consumption

Many may claim that the internet offers some of the benefits (personal, payment, audience accuracy and social context). However, as Ahonen states:
The internet is only semi-personal such as shared computers at internet cafes, home and the office, and the ability for example of employers to read content consumed by employees. The internet in its native form cannot handle money or payments, and requires work-arounds such as Paypal accounts and using credit cards. On mobile payments can be enabled on the click, such as with downloading ring tones.

The Systems View blog explores some of the unique dimensions of Web and Mobile in more detail.

Mobile is also often referred to as the "fourth screen", the first three being Cinema, Television and PC. Nokia sums it up quite nicely in this advert:

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AuthorDave Duarte
CategoriesMedia, Mobile
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“Mobile is going to be the next big Internet phenomenon. It holds the key to greater access for everyone - with all the benefits that entails.” Eric Schmidt, CEO of GoogleIn response to demand, enquiries, and a growing trend in every organisation, Executive Education at the GSB is introducing this new course to help you get to grips with mobile marketing and to develop a mobile communication strategy.

What is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile Marketing is the use of the mobile medium as a communications  resource between a brand and an end-user. Mobile marketing is the only personal channel enabling spontaneous, direct, interactive and/or targeted communications, any time, any place. Some examples of mobile marketing are the following:
  • To brand or sponsor  common interest or social networking communities

  • For customer acquisition  and customer retention

  • For  brand and loyalty building

  • As a sales promotion tool

  • To support product launches

  • To raise brand awareness

  • For internal communications

  • As a redemption  and rewards mechanic

  • For direct marketing

  • As an effective business to business communications vehicle

  • As an additional revenue stream o For news / information services

  • To be able to offer time / location specific offers

  • As a channel for delivering ringtones and logo's

Our Objective

Our objective is to bring you up to speed on the major trends in the new mass media of Mobile such as:

  • The move towards the mobile web

  • Mobile advertising opportunities in the new mass media called mobile

  • The shift from Internet to data usage on mobile phones

  • Communicating with consumers who want to be in control

  • The role that agencies play in the new mass media

  • Building sustainable relationships with your customers

  • How to define and use the appropriate mobile elements that suit your consumers’ profile

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AuthorDave Duarte
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AdMobI just saw that AdMob recently served its 5billionth mobile ad. Wow.

What was extra-interesting is that South Africa is their second largest market globally. 15% of their ad impressions are served here - close to 70million a month.

The publishers in AdMob’s network have been categorised into five primary content channels. Of the five channels, ‘Communities’ and ‘Downloads’ far outweigh ‘Portals’, ‘News and Information’, and ‘Entertainment’ in terms of traffic. The traffic breakdown by channel is:

1. Communities: 45 %
2. Downloads: 44%
3. Portals : 8%
4. Entertainment: 2%
5. News and Information: 1%

The most popular channel, Community, contains sites that have aggregated user content in some form or another. These mobile sites may include discussion groups, mobile page building services, forums, or even dating sites.

I might be stating the obvious, but the prevalence of Community and Downloads at the top of the list confirms that people are still far more interested in using their handsets to keep up with their friends than they are interested in consuming commercially produced content on the small screen.
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AuthorDave Duarte
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