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How has mobile marketing changed since 2004?

Ivan Braiker, CEO of Hipcricket, recently celebrated the 100,000th campaign produced by the mobile marketing firm that he leads. The mobile world has changed much since the first campaign broke seven years ago.

Here, in Seattle-based Mr. Braiker?s words, is an account of how mobile has evolved since 2004. Please read on.

?When I think about my own life, 2004 seems like yesterday. Yet the world of mobile marketing has changed in ways we could not imagine when we conducted our first campaign in 2004.

?Think about it. In 2004:
? (The) Facebook had just launched?and had a great deal of ground to make up if it wanted to catch ? Friendster.

? The iPhone was a far-off dream?CNET showed us a sneak peak of Apple?s new music phone, the iTreoPod. But that was just an April Fool?s joke. ('Cons: The system is not integrated, it is held together with duct tape, and, oh yeah, it does not exist.')

? Intra-carrier text messaging had been around for just over two years, yet penetration in the United States was lagging the remainder of the world. Likewise, with number portability, consumers were no longer tied to an individual carrier and ?walled gardens? were becoming obsolete.

? With the advent of ?Do Not Call,? the balance of power was shifting from marketer to consumer. People could opt out of receiving marketing calls?and digital marketing would empower them to opt in to receiving marketing content via email and, ultimately, their mobile phones.

? There were certainly no publications focused specifically on mobile marketing.

?Our first campaign was for one of our radio clients in an effort to build a mobile loyalty club for its listeners.

?Our premise was that mobile was another medium that could shore up a different, struggling medium ? radio ? by finding new ways to engage with listeners when the radio was turned off.

?Then a funny thing happened.
?Mobile became more than just 'another medium.'

?Mobile marketing is now in places we had never imagined possible, including leading social networks, the latest smartphones and tablets, even network late-night television, through live commercials with 'calls to action.'

?Last month, we announced that we had conducted our 100,000th mobile marketing campaign. It is an important milestone, and as we think back, we also look ahead to an exciting future:

? Mobile marketing?s benefits are finally obvious to brands and agencies. What radio stations once used is now commonplace for MillerCoors and Macy?s. Enough proof has been offered for marketers to trust that dedicating meaningful dollars will move product and build loyalty?and more than 80 percent of brands are planning to increase their mobile marketing spend.

? Mobile is no longer an island or a silo?it is an integrated part of major marketing campaigns. And the ability to view results in real time and then optimize is particularly valuable, and unique among marketing media.

? Customers are beginning to expect mobile engagement. Yet most are still waiting for their favorite brand to reach out to them on their mobile device?83 percent, according to research we conducted late in 2010.

? Mobile is an important part of the enterprise-marketing infrastructure. As social CRM has moved enterprise marketing from measuring transactions to monitoring interactions, smart companies are recognizing the benefits of using mobile as a foundational element of a multichannel marketing strategy, and are tightening the connections between CRM systems and mobile marketing platforms.

? The benefits of mobile-social will be vast. Just like it did with radio in 2004, mobile marketing will enable brands to extend the power of their social-media properties and programs. Advertisers can easily capture multiple levels of opt-in data from their Facebook fans, including email addresses, mobile phone numbers and locations.

? Mobile is no longer a monolithic medium. The next-generation of mobile marketing campaigns will not only tie into broader cross-channel operations, but the mobile campaigns themselves will be cross-channel, and feature SMS,  MMS, mobile Web sites, mobile banner ads, QR codes and branded applications.

?Car manufacturers have since added an extra digit, and most cars are capable of zooming past the 100,000-mark.

?Similarly, for me, 100,000 campaigns was an important milestone, but not a destination. We still have a long way to go.?

Ivan Braiker is CEO of Hipcricket.