PRSA Western District Conference – Day 3

April 26, 2009

Day three of the conference started with an update on one of PR’s cousins – marketing. Mobile marketing, to be exact.

Now, I preface this post with three things…

1. I do not have an iPhone or a Blackberry – I have an outdated LG that can just barely text!

2. I brought my laptop to Thursday’s session, expecting Wi-Fi at my fingertips. Sadly, I was the ONLY person not using the Internet on his/her phone. In fact, so many people had access on their phones that the hotel did not offer Wi-Fi and I looked like a dinosaur.

3. During yesterday’s keynote, I got made fun of by Peter Shankman for not being able to Twitter from the event b/c of my cheap phone.

As you can see from my humiliation above, anything more than texting on a cell phone is a bit above my range, for now. After today, however, I am determined to have a new phone by the next business day.

Now on to the session…

Mike Wehrs, CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association, gave us an overview of what the mobile market looks like today, what it will look like in less than three years and the evolving role of public relations in mobile marketing campaigns.

Some video footage from the session:

Todd Cooley, PRSA Western District

Mike Wehrs

Mike Wehrs

Some insight and observations from the session:

  • Just a year or two ago, mobile marketing was seen as more experimental than essential. For bigger companies, mobile marketing is now part of nearly every campaign they create. Small business will be following suit, if they have not already.
  • The growth in this field is due to Smartphones, faster web browsing phone capabilities, longer-lasting phone batteries, branded widgets, social networks and the popularity of applications.
  • World-wide, most countries have a more than 100% penetration of cell phones – meaning while not everyone in the world has one, those of us with three or four make up for them.
  • There are currently 4.1 billion cell phones being used.
  • By 2013, there will be 5.6 billion cell phones being used.
  • Mobile is attractive because it offers one-on-one, custom marketing.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the response rate using mobile marketing is greater than almost any other marketing tactic being used today – 40 to 50 times higher in some cases.
  • On average, people today send and receive more texts in a day than they make or receive actual phone calls.
  • The fastest-growing segment of the population using text – adults 35 to 45 years old.

Some links for mobile marketing research and case studies:

Some companies leading the mobile marketing charge:


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