We talk a lot about social media marketing and the importance of good quality SEO, but now businesses may have to consider an avenue that ten years ago we never would have imagined—mobile marketing. If you’re an AT&T wireless customer and have SMS capabilities, you’re no stranger to mobile marketing. For years, AT&T has been using text messages to alert consumers of new games, applications, media downloads and even wireless tips. But the concept of mobile marketing goes way beyond just sending text messages. Today, more and more companies are using mobile advertising as part of their marketing campaigns. With an estimated 25 million people using a Blackberry, it was only a matter of time before advertisers found a new way to reach out to their audience. According to a recent study on eMarketer.com, only 10.7% of retailers use mobile advertising to promote their sales and special offers and only 6.1% have an iPhone application. Try to picture every retailer who you have ever noticed has an application for your smartphone. Off the top of your head you probably can only name a few. But those few stick out to you because they are readily accessible and easy to find. Chances are, they are major companies. But what about the little guys? Imagine if mobile marketing became the new norm. Our texts, multimedia messages, and mobile internet browsers would be flooded with advertisements similar to what has happened over the last ten years to our email boxes. The possibilities are endless. For example, A&B Restaurant can send out a text message blast about a new Happy Hour special and instantly reach thousands of viewers who have no choice but to read their message. Meanwhile, Marty’s First Class Plumbing Supply is running a last minute sale and needs to reach a large audience fast. Apple has even gotten on the bandwagon, with the launch of their new concept iAd, a breakthrough mobile advertising platform from Apple. With it, they claim that “apps can feature rich media ads that combine the emotion of TV with the interactivity of the web. For developers, it means a new, easy-to-implement source of revenue. For advertisers, it creates a new media outlet that offers consumers highly targeted information.” This revolutionary tool will place advertisements within the ever-growing iPhone applications. The idea is that if you place your brand in front of your targeted consumers enough times, they will start to see your logo in their sleep. An ATG study found that 19% of US internet users use a mobile device for product research at least monthly. With almost a quarter of web users looking to their smartphones to help them make purchases, it’s only a matter of time before the playing field becomes more competitive. Businesses may want to strike while the “ROI” is hot. Less competition means smaller investments and a more attentive audience for your mobile marketing campaign.