Mobile Marketing: Reaching Buyers Wherever They Are

As I write this, it's late afternoon in a hotel lobby. I'm getting hungry but also a little tired. A few years ago, that meant a mediocre meal at the hotel restaurant. Or perhaps I'd ask the hotel concierge for a nearby recommendation, if I wanted some fresh air and a short walk. If I was feeling adventurous, I'd probably search online sites like Zagat's or Yelp and then use Google Maps to find something nearby. But I don't do any of these things anymore. Now I pull out my iPhone, fire up the Foursquare or Layar application, and gaze on a listing of nearby restaurants, complete with information about how far away each one is from me. I can see tips that people have left about the different choices. I can even see if any of my friends are there right now.

The incredible growth of browser-equipped mobile devices like BlackBerrys, Androids, iPhones, and iPads means that people like me can now look for products and services while we are on the road. Indeed, in mobile-centric markets like Africa and Asia, mobile Internet connections are more widely used than standard computer connections to the web, since mobiles are what people can afford and since wireless infrastructure is more reliable than landlines. Even in Japan, a land connected by a last-mile optical fiber network that puts the United States to shame, mobile rules because online prime time is the two or more hours daily people spend riding trains.

According to the International ...

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