mobile marketingSound isn’t something we associate with technology any more. We use technologies that are based on sound all the time. We listen to music, we talk on mobile phones, but we rarely think of sound as a part of the ‘tech’ world. Now though sound and technology could create a new future for mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing is one of the future marketing trends that is under real scrutiny at the moment. The usage of mobile devices is becoming more prevalent on a daily basis, so marketers are working to access that huge user base. So far, there haven’t been any hugely inspiring ideas for the future of mobile marketing. We’re still struggling to get beyond text, email and apps. Until now.

Sound could be the idea that changes things for mobile marketing. The phone itself was created to transport sound. Now a number of companies have found a way to use sound to send information to a mobile phone. The main trailblazers on this future marketing trend are Chirp and Sonic Notify. Both companies have created systems for using sound waves to transfer information, the operation of their systems are different but the premise is the same. And the outcomes could mean a whole new trend in mobile marketing.

Don’t email, Chirp your Mobile Marketing

On the surface Chirp is a new data sharing service like Bump or Bluetooth. It works by turning a piece of data into a sound or ‘Chirp’ that can be broadcast to room, a street or a whole city. Anyone who is running the Chirp app within range of the sound can ‘hear’ and interpret the data. So if you’re in a room full of people and want to share a photograph with everyone, you create the chirp on the app and play it and anyone with the app running on their device gets the picture.

The applications for mobile marketing come in because, while the chirp is generated by the app, it can be broadcast from anything that makes a sound. Chirp’s founders talk about putting data into doorbells and car horns. So as a marketer you could create custom ads or special chirp offers and broadcast them from any audio source. You could target your mobile marketing at certain locations or target certain radio or TV markets.

The one drawback with Chirp, from a marketing point of view, is the need to have the app running to receive the data. This will make targeting large events or large audiences difficult because there’s no guarantee that there are Chirp users in the audience. With the right research and targeting though, it could prove to be a powerful mobile marketing tool.

Sonic Notify is Inaudible Audio Mobile Marketing

Sonic Notify’s system also uses sound to transfer data, in the form of applications. Their system is a more natural fit for mobile marketing, as it is not an app in itself; it’s designed to be built in to your company’s app. This solves a lot of the mobile marketing issues with Chirp. You can control how ‘on’ your app needs to be to receive data, which means you can definitively target certain locations. Sonic Notify’s system is also inaudible so it can be built seamlessly into concerts, cinema trips or just sitting in a café. Or it could be used to integrate user experience with TV, providing access to another future marketing trend, second screen.

Sonic Notify’s system has applications for businesses to market directly to mobile or for other groups like deals providers. Imagine if Groupon could send a deal directly to a Groupon user while they watch an ad for the product on TV. It creates a whole new facet of mobile marketing.

Sound is such a constant background element to daily life, we’ve gotten used to ignoring it. But because it’s such a flexible medium, we won’t be able to ignore it for much longer.