Mobile phones have opened up a whole new frontier in technology, and web developers have been quick to realize it. I have noticed two significant trends developing in mobile technology: the first is the surge in mobile applications for smart phones, created by web developers using new mobile operating systems. Imagine that you are a developer, attempting to take advantage of this whole new available platform—the mobile world is opening up, and you can write applications just for it. But if you build it, will they come?
The second trend is in mobile advertising–advertisers see mobile as their next great frontier as well, and cell phones are pocket-sized walking billboards. Teaser-based ads are being attached to the ends of messages: you might get a stock report SMS letting you know that the market just dropped 100 points, followed by “Need a Vacation? txt HAWII”–you reply with the prompt and get a full ad from a travel company.
A handful of mobile advertising companies like 4info, m-Qube and SinglePoint are encouraging this second trend, mainly appealing to ad agencies and established brands. However, the company that might end up being the game-changer in this new mobile advertising world is Irvine-based start-up Zeep Media, bringing a proven model from the web to SMS. Developers themselves, Zeep Media lets you name your own price and only pay when you receive a response. You could end up getting advertising for as little as a few dollars, giving you the freedom to keep testing out new ad campaigns to draw in the most traffic to your mobile application (e.g. “Install the latest coffee shop finder! txt COFFEE”).
Using just 40 characters on the end of a message, application developers have the chance to get the attention of an engaged mobile audience and move them—like, for example, in the direction of where they can buy your mobile app. It certainly makes sense for mobile app developers to take advantage of this medium to advertise their own mobile services. But even beyond that, it seems like Zeep Media’s targeted, pay-per-reply marketplace makes sense for any mom-and-pop operation with a small budget and lofty advertising ideas.