Under The Radar: Monetize With Mobile

(For MMW’s complete coverage of Under The Radar: Mobility, click here.)

In this economy, mobile marketing must get consumers to spend more. Right now, SMS coupons are considered bleeding-edge. But at the Monetize session at Under The Radar, companies are thinking well beyond current marketing abilities. Toro and Billing Revolution in particular have been the most interesting companies so far today…

Toro offers the most futuristic, fascinating solution yet–beyond even what’s happening in advanced mobile consumer markets like Japan and northern Europe. It could usher in a whole new version of multi-channel marketing. Let’s say there’s an ad poster on a bus stop bench or side of a building. You take your phone out–excuse me, phone with an NFC chip inside–and literally “tap” the ad with it. Presto–you’ve just opted in to receive a marketing message.

Here’s where it gets targeted: (1) Toro technology can tell marketers where you were and what time it was when you tapped the ad; (2)  can check marketers’ databases to see if your phone has “tapped” on a brand’s ad before, and if you are a frequent or just sporadic customer. Thus, the advertiser can decide what kind of marketing offer to send you based on these bits of data (like offering a free cup to a frequent customer, and a 50%-off coupon to a new customer). Fascinating, though Toro CEO Laurent Renard admits that the company will (A) have to convince handset makers the world over to put an NFC chip in all their devices; and (B) see “A”.

Billing Revolution allows people to make payments with their mobile phones. Their software extends the credit card to the mobile platform–and can be used to sell anything to anybody. Ever jones for a pizza but didn’t have the cash? With Billing Revolution, you can pay for that pizza with your mobile phone (and, I’m thinking, if the pizzeria is smart, maybe get a coupon for a future pie purchase). CEO Andy Kleitsch says that unlike Paypal, the sign-up process for consumers is easy and doesn’t require them to go to a website to do so. So buyers are going to be more willing to use the service, if the retailer offers it.

Mojiva hopes to beat Google and other ad platforms by offering a self-serve ad purchasing service. What differentiates the technology, says CEO Dan Groikhman, is that ads will be served on mobile Web sites according to keyword-based and location-based criteria–the importance of which seasoned mobile marketers already know all about. Not only does Mojiva strive to place ads in the most relevant places possible; it also claims to make it easy for marketers to purchase ads in the first place.