Understanding the Many Paths within the Mobile Channel

It’s easy to look at a mobile phone and think, “It’s just a phone.” But it really isn’t just a phone anymore. Sure, you can make calls with it and engage in social practices, just like the old landline party line phones. However, the telephone capability is just the tip of the iceberg. Today’s mobile devices are much more than what most people expect. In fact, for many people, these devices are the primary method of personal communication, social interaction, and even commerce.

Figure 17-2 illustrates the many paths you can use to reach the mobile phone.

Figure 17-2: The paths through the mobile channel.

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Courtesy of iLoop Mobile, Inc.

The term used to interact with consumers through all these paths is mobile channel. The mobile channel refers to the collection of companies and systems, wireless networks, mobile phones, application providers, marketers, and so on that make it possible for you to interact with an individual audience member directly through a mobile phone or wireless-enabled device. Each of these paths — SMS, MMS, e-mail, voice and IVR (integrated voice response), Internet, mobile web, proximity, and applications — is unique.

remember.eps Keep in mind what media scholar Marshall McLuhan taught us in 1964: “The medium is ...

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