This is “Introduction”, section 16.1 from the book Online Marketing Essentials (v. 1.0). For details on it (including licensing), click here.

For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. You can browse or download additional books there. To download a .zip file containing this book to use offline, simply click here.

Has this book helped you? Consider passing it on:
Creative Commons supports free culture from music to education. Their licenses helped make this book available to you. helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators.

16.1 Introduction

The mobile phone is a small gadget that has had a huge impact on our day-to-day lives. It has already had a profound impact on the way we communicate and conduct ourselves daily. This continues to be felt as the mobile phone enables new ways to market and new markets in which to transact.

The Internet transformed our world in two fundamental ways: it has given anyone with access to the Internet the opportunity to interact easily with others (and with companies and brands), and through search, it has made information easily available. Content and information have become readily and freely available. Developed as a platform for academics to share information, the Web has a strong ethos of free content.

Mobile phones are a developing technology, which means that new and better features are being packed into ever smaller devices, adding to the interactivity and searchability of the Internet with several fundamental features native to the mobile phone and the way we use it.

While the Internet and the personal computer have had a profound impact on the world we transact in, it is the mobile phone that presents an exciting opportunity for even more of the world to access the benefits of these inventions.

Consider that there are 1.7 billion people worldwide with access to the Internet. Of those, 1.3 billion are active users of e-mail. With the world’s population at 6.7 billion, that’s almost a fifth of the population who can be reached by e-mail. That needs to be compared to 4.1 billion mobile phone subscribers—more than half of the world’s population. And of that 4.1 billion, 3 billion were active users of short message service (SMS) text messaging in 2007.Tomi Ahonen, Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2010: The Mobile Telecoms Industry Annual Review, (accessed May 11, 2010); Mocom2020, “4.1 Billion Mobile Phone Subscribers Worldwide,” March 27, 2009, subscribers-worldwide (accessed December 17, 2009).

Looking at figures like that, it’s obvious why so many organizations are investigating the mobile phone as a marketing platform.