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Mobile marketing can refer to one of two categories of interest. First, and relatively new, is meant to describe marketing on or with a mobile device, such as a cell phone using SMS Marketing. (this is an example of horizontal telecommunication convergence). Second, and a more traditional definition, is meant to describe marketing in a moving fashion – for example – technology road shows or moving billboards.

Although there are various definitions for the concept of mobile marketing, no commonly accepted definition exists. Mobile marketing is broadly defined as “the use of the mobile medium as a means of marketing communication”[1] or “distribution of any kind of promotional or advertising messages to customer through wireless networks”. More specific definition is the following: “using interactive wireless media to provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas, thereby generating value for all stakeholders”.[2]

In November 2009, the Mobile Marketing Association updated its definition of Mobile Marketing:

Mobile Marketing is a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.[3]

Another definition comes from marketing professor Andreas Kaplan who defines mobile marketing as “any marketing activity conducted through a ubiquitous network to which consumers are constantly connected using a personal mobile device”.[4] Within this definition, Kaplan uses two variables, i.e. the degree of consumer knowledge and the trigger of communication, to differentiate between four types of mobile marketing applications: Strangers, Victims, Groupies, and Patrons.

Mobile marketing is commonly known as wireless marketing. However wireless is not necessarily mobile. For instance, a consumer’s communications with a Web site from a desktop computer at home, with signals carried over a wireless local area network (WLAN) or over a satellite network, would qualify as wireless but not mobile communications.[5]