Mobile Marketing, Netbooks & Mobile Broadband…

As the distribution methods for computers slowly change, and the idea of netbooks and Internet-based computing (cloud computing) become more prominent, what happens to the state of mobile marketing?

I know it’s still very early in the changing landscape, but when I mention a changing distribution method, I’m referring to the new idea of wireless carriers becoming the newest computer retailers.  In an attempt to free themselves from an incredibly competitive wireless market, carriers are beginning to realize the importance of using mobile broadband service to entice consumers to their networks.

To do so, carriers are beginning to offer heavily subsidized computers to customers who sign a contract to recieve either mobile broadband service or home-based broadband via DSL.  Just a few weeks ago, AT&T began selling small laptops in Atlanta and Philadelphia for as little as $50 to people who signed up to get at-home and mobile broadband services for two years.  Likewise, Verizon plans to begin offering netbooks under service contracts sometime this quarter.

Not only will the change in distribution help netbooks gain even more popularity, but it will again shine the spotlight on devices that are made specifically for the internet.  Combining that technology with a growing network of “go-anywhere” mobile broadband will open up revenue potential for both the carriers and, more importantly, a new era of mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing is key to reaching consumers on the go, but what happens when instead of only having a small screen to use, marketers have an entire computer.  I’m not saying that people will immediately start carrying around netbooks everywhere they go, but there will be a growing segment of people who do.

The same aspects of mobile marketing could remain true- messaging, location-based services, etc.  The only difference is that now a whole new platform is available for marketers instead of having to rely solely on normal cell phones and even smartphones.

I’m not even beginning to speculate what the future holds for mobile marketing when netbooks and mobile broadband really take hold, but the future looks bright.  It will be the first major shift in an already infant industry, and one that will be very interesting to follow in the very near future.