With marketing professor Fareena Sultan describing the mobile phone as the 24-hour-a-day "brand in your hand," and 220 million Americans now packing one, the cell phone is making leaps and bounds in marketing capabilities, according to the Boston Globe (via AGENDA).
For example, uLocate plans to plans to unveil mobile advertising that uses global positioning technology to send ads to phone users in specific locations later this year. And Mobot Inc. used its mobile visual search - in which users search and browse the web using pictures taken with a cellphone camera - to power a Starbucks visual scavenger hunt and Acura sweepstakes this summer.
Another company, MobileLime, turns the phone into a mobile membership card that receives coupons and store alerts from grocery stores and fast-food restaurants.
Despite the growing options for marketers, Sultan offers a word of warning: "It's a very, very private space. People have a tremendous emotional attachment; we've got to be really careful. If you think (email) spam is bad, it's really, really bad on your cellphone."