Mobile marketing is a powerful way to reach customers through digital channels. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from a well-executed mobile marketing strategy.
Most people have a mobile device and many have a smartphone. In most regions, more than 70% of internet users access the internet on a mobile device, and in some regions, that number increases to over 90%.
Campaigns that are specifically designed for mobile devices offer unique advantages. They are economical, easy to do, and can fit well with your current marketing plans.
Other marketing channels may not be able to match the contextual relevance of location-based mobile marketing.
What is Mobile Marketing?
Mobile marketing involves using multiple channels, such as SMS, MMS, email, push notifications, and others, to engage consumers on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Mobile marketing uses SMS, MMS, email, social media, content marketing, mobile responsive websites, apps, and push notifications as its channels.
Mobile marketing is a very effective marketing technique. The main advantages of this type of messaging are that it is immediate, can be very targeted and personalized, and can be specific to location.
There are over 6.5 million smartphone users across the globe, and by 2025, 72.6% of all internet users will be accessing the internet through their smartphones. In the USA, 85% of consumers own a smartphone, which they check an average of 50 times a day!
What are the mobile marketing options?
The SMS or text message was introduced in the early nineties but took a long time to become popular. In 1995, the average person sent just 0.4 messages per month. 2010 saw 6.9 trillion SMS messages sent, and this is predicted to rise to 8 trillion in 2011. This shows the incredible popularity of SMS messaging.
Using SMS as a marketing tool for acquisition can be tricky and may not be effective. Marketing SMS messages can only be sent to individuals who have given express consent, in accordance with data protection laws. If you have a large database, this can be great. However, for smaller crowds it tends to be more expensive and yield lower return on investment. You can get access to the databases of other companies to get information on offers for new customers.
You only have 160 characters to play with, which can be a challenge to get your key message across. Instead of including the entire URL, you could include a shortened version that directs the user to a separate landing page. You should have a mobile site to avoid losing users, but if you don’t have one you should still think about how it will affect your users. They might not be as engaged if they have to go to a site that isn’t optimised for mobile.
2 Quick Response Codes (QR codes)
Although QR codes originated in Japan, they have only recently become popular in the UK. However, according to the latest QR code usage statistics, their popularity is growing.
In an article on Smart Insights, Dan discusses different ways to use QR codes for marketing purposes. They allow you to download information quickly, the same way that a barcode gives the till a price. There are many online tools that allow you to create a QR code, and the amount of data that can be stored within a QR code varies.
Here are some example of how they’ve recently been used for marketing – there are some fantastically creative ways to use them:
1. Lacoste recently used QR codes in their shop windows. When users scanned a QR code, they were able to view more information about the collection and other items in the range.
2. QR codes are now being used by many magazines and billboards to promote special offers or to encourage customers to make a spontaneous purchase. This is extremely valuable for offline marketing campaigns.
3. Adding a QR code to a product in-store can add value to the product, like adding recipes to a frying pan. A QR code scanner is needed.
To be honest, Bluetooth marketing hasn’t been as big of a success as was originally thought. Bluetooth cannot be used over long distances and requires the transmitter and receiver to be close to each other. This is a downside of Bluetooth that users have to turn on their Bluetooth before they can receive any messages. Additionally, there are privacy and permission issues with Bluetooth that allow for spamming and hacking.
Bluetooth ads can be in the form of text, images, audio, video, or even games. Wembley stadium and Arsenal Football Club tested the platform but they never really saw a return. QR codes are a more effective way to get people to interact and respond.
4 Mobile applications
The launch of the Apple app store in 2007 and the exponential growth of the app and smartphone market has turned mobile applications into an extremely credible marketing opportunity, and one that cannot be ignored:
There are several app stores where you can download apps, including the iTunes App store, Google Android Market, Nokia OVI store, and RIM Blackberry App store.
Applications can be developed for each platform to do anything you want them to.
Here are some key questions to be considered when looking at building an application for marketing purposes:
- First things first: do you need to build an App? What’s it for? Do your customers have smart phones? There are many uses for an App and as a business you need to identify what you want your App to do, how much you want to spend on it and whether or not you will get your money back.
- Don’t assume that an iPhone App is the best choice for your business. This is a common error when it comes to Apps. People assume that, because the iTunes App store is popular, that Apple is the only choice for them. Wrong! Take a look at your user base and use your web analytics to see what devices your customers are using. Then look at the cost of building an App on the appropriate platform and decide if it’s worth the investment.
- Have a clear goal – what are you trying to achieve by building an App? To make money, for PR, to be cool, to keep up with your competitors, or to improve branding? Define your strategy and stick to it.
5 Mobile site
A website that appears on a mobile phone is not the same as a mobile site. Make sure your website is designed for mobile devices, or you could be missing out on a lot of potential customers. A stat from IAB says that only 2 out of 10 marketers know what a mobile optimized site is. I was really surprised to find out how many websites aren’t optimized for mobile devices. In many cases, the image on the home page is small and the text and links are even smaller. This is a typical mobile site that is not optimised for mobile devices. This means that the site is built for viewing on a desktop computer, but is being viewed on a mobile device.
A mobile optimized site has large images and easy to use navigation. This is not your average website. The experience is different from what you’re used to.
If you’re looking to grow your business, investing in a mobile-optimized site is key. An optimized mobile experience is just as important as a good desktop experience.
6 Mobile site and App advertising
Advertising revenue for mobile devices is expected to grow significantly in the next few years. In 2011, it is predicted to exceed $3.3 billion and by 2015 it could reach $20.5 billion. That’s a serious amount of impressions!
The metrics used to measure mobile banner ad space are similar to those used to measure web space, and mobile banner ads are typically priced according to a CPM model. However, as technology evolves, we are seeing new models such as DSPs (demand side platform) enter the market. DSPs allow you to manage multiple ads across multiple platforms, bidding in real time to ensure that you are always hitting the right target audience. Model where you pay for a specific outcome, for example a sale or registration.
If you want to advertise your products on a mobile website or through an app, look at the different mobile ad networks and see which one would be right for your target audience and budget.
7 Location-based advertising
Location-based marketing is a type of marketing that allows you to target a customer or potential customer based on their location. This can be done by targeting them when they are near your business, with the goal of enticing them to come inside.
Advertising that uses GPRS to identify a customer’s precise location and then offer them a discount or information for a vendor nearby. Domino’s Pizza and Starbucks coffee were early adopters of this technology. The brands served banner ads to mobile phones that were in a 5km radius of one of their stores. The banner in some cases would produce a map that showed the user the nearest store’s location and gave them a promotional coupon.
Mobile Marketing Plan: 3 Steps to Get it Right
The strategies listed above may not all be practical or effective for your specific business.
That is where your mobile marketing plan comes in. The following text offers a plan for mobile marketing that includes various strategies and how to integrate them into an overall marketing strategy. This plan will help to set out a clear path for mobile marketing success.
When you’re putting your mobile marketing plan together, these three steps will set you up for success:
1. Select and Prioritize the best Mobile Marketing Strategies to Use
Your business model and desired audience reach will dictate the combination of strategies you should use.
What are your marketing goals and objectives, and how can mobile marketing help you reach them?
Consider how mobile marketing can be used to improve existing marketing channels like social media, or to fill gaps like location-based marketing, to create a more comprehensive marketing strategy.
Develop customer profiles that are extensive and identify when and where mobile devices are being used as well as how to best satisfy their needs. Are they bored and scrolling on social media? Are they looking for a quick fix to an immediate problem? Are they driving or are they at home?
You can figure out which strategies will be the most effective and easy to implement by looking at the data. You can start with a few of them and see how they work for you, then add or remove any that don’t help.
2. Consider Your Budget and Make the Most of Free or Low-cost Mobile Marketing Strategies
Mobile marketing is very cost effective! Use free or low-cost strategies to improve your business, like claiming your location on Google and other location-specific listings, or text message marketing.
Use all the information at your disposal to target your ads more precisely and get a higher return on investment by reducing wasted ad spending.
Taking costs and potential savings into account when making your mobile marketing plan will help you create a plan that is affordable and makes the best use of your budget.
3. Optimize Your Current Marketing Channels for Mobile
Make sure that your website, search ads, email, and social media marketing are all optimized for mobile devices.
You can take advantage of mobile marketing just by making your existing marketing mobile-friendly. The easiest way to get started with mobile marketing is to use existing campaigns and resources specifically for mobile.
Your website content and messaging should be able to work on mobile and small screens in addition to making your website responsive and mobile-optimized.
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