While this mobile marketing market has had a few starts and stops in the U.S., a small city in Scotland appears to rolling out a test bed for the technology that may serve as guinea pig for the rest of the world.
The city of Dundee, Scotland recently announced a partnership between the University of Abertay Dundee and LastMile Communications (www.lastmilecoms.com), the aforementioned British company pioneering a wireless delivery platform using Wi-Fi. Under the agreement, the Abertay campus will become a test location for LastMile’s node-based wireless information system. The technology, we are told, offers end user-focused content to mobile devices on demand, and tailored precisely to their specific location.
Abertay’s School of Computing and Creative Technologies will provide the systems expertise, and students will have the opportunity to be involved in the system’s interface design, as well as developing a number of games which can be played across the city over the network.
At the outset of the LastMile/Abertay project, the content isn’t expected to be marketing material, focusing instead on local news, weather, area events and entertainment. “Personalized and local information is the most popular content on the Internet today, as users try to sieve through the plethora of Web sites to find the answers to what they want to know,” added Antony Abell, CEO, LastMile Communications. “Dundee has developed a reputation for innovation, and our technology has the potential to provide a backbone for the delivery of local services and information well into the future.”
Once the expected hurdles with this set-up are overcome, developers fully expect an advertising angle to be added to the mix – on an opt-in basis initially.
A mobile marketing market here in the U.S. is certainly brewing as well, but has hit a few bumps in the road along the way. Among them is consumer annoyance over inevitable phone spam and whether or not users will really take to this “intrusive” form of marketing.
“The love affair that U.S. consumers are currently having with their cell phones makes growth in the mobile marketing market inevitable,” began marketing/retail analyst Bryan Meadows. “Making sure the messages they receive are relevant and properly targeted is key as early mistakes made in this market could be costly for the future. If it’s something consumers are asking for and that they feel they have some kind of control over, it can work well. If not, it’s may have a very short life span.”