Q&A with Jeff Ostiguy of G8wave on Mobile Marketing

Jeff Ostiguy of G8Wave: speaker at Online MArketing: Innovations that Work

Jeff Ostiguy is the Vice President of Business Development at g8wave, an integrated mobile media company with offices in Boston, Los Angeles and London. He’s our keynote speaker on mobile marketing – in other words, he’ll be discussing how advertisers are using mobile technology and cell phones to reach customers from anywhere, at anytime.

1. Mobile marketing allows companies to advertise to people on their cell phones and other mobile devices. What are the major types of mobile marketing in place today?

As much as you read about the devices themselves and all their capabilities, the major driver at this point is still simple SMS or text messaging. Keep in mind, the more important factor is the sophistication of the consumer. Using text to build databases, deliver special offers, news and coupons is simple. If done right, it’s valuable, contextual and accessible for everyone – virtually every phone can send or receive text. And its not hard for the user.

The majority of what you’re seeing now are simple “text in” type campaigns that put people on a list or deliver them instant offers or information. Little by little you’re starting to see more of the mobile web and content (images, sounds, video) in conjunction with commercial mobile programs as well.

2. What are the main benefits for businesses incorporating mobile marketing into their mix?

Interactivity anywhere and ubiquitous access to their consumer. Think about a print ad or non traditional placements like billboards or sponsorships. In the case of a print ad, it’s call or go online for sponsorships, sometimes nothing. Fewer and fewer people want to talk to someone on the phone or are trying to avoid some sort of automated system and they aren’t always able to get online…BUT they always have their phone and they can always text or visit a mobile website. It’s easy and takes just seconds to act on that impulse and interact with the message using their mobile phone. We’re always telling our clients, think about everything saying “call, go online or text”, it needs to become the 3rd channel.

Once you start collecting those numbers you have an extremely valuable, engaged audience to push out valuably timely messages. Plus there are no spam filters. You can be virtually 100% sure they will get the message and studies have shown that almost 95% of all messages are
ready immediately.

3. Mobile marketing is still in its infancy and has plenty of legs left. What do you consider the most exciting developments in this marketing medium?

Well, in the short term, I’m encouraged by greater use of the mobile web. I think people are finally starting to realize how powerful it can be and the kind of access it provides.

Down the line, you start to think about location and proximity based tools that will be extremely powerful. However, we must tread lightly. If done right, proximity marketing can and will be extremely valuable and effective, but I don’t think I have to point out all the potential pitfalls. It must be developed with the ultimate level of consumer control in mind.

4. Any thoughts on the iPhone?

Oh god, is this where I’m supposed to say something controversial? Let’s wait and see. I have had a chance to play with them – they seem like very solid devices. We’ll have to wait and see the ultimate impact. They’re very expensive. Many people are still looking for a good inexpensive phone. Plus there is churn, is it worth switching carriers, what if I already have an iPod?

5. What do you think are the benefits of holding conferences like Online Marketing: Innovations that Work in places such as Pittsburgh?

For me, and I’ve spoken at a number of these kinds of things – newspaper conferences, CTIA, AMA – it’s really about eliminating all the mystery surrounding mobile and making people realize that with the right partner it can be very simple (and not as expensive as they think) and
that it’s not just about young kids – mobile if applied correctly will
drive adoption.

6. How can businesses serving clients on a local or regional level use mobile marketing?

The same way they can nationally really. It’s really about creating a new channel for themselves, much like the web, just much, much more personal.

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