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Mobile Marketing… The newest buzz in marketing and advertising.

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Everybody is talking about Mobile Marketing.  The real question is, “does anyone know what all the fuss is all about?”  Well, I want to help shed some light on the subject for my CBE readers.

The Mobile Marketing Association says that “Mobile marketing is a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.”

Although there are several types of mobile devices, we are mostly talking about smartphones.  Note that the category also includes tablets, e-readers and anything that’s small, portable, and able to connect to the Internet.

There are four elements that I feel are of importance to the CBE readers.  They are Mobile SEO; SMS messaging (text messaging); Mobile advertising, and; Mobile applications.

When looking at Internet usage, we are well past the tipping point, with mobile (51%) users surpassing desktop (42%) users.  What is even more mind-blowing is that over 75% of the US market owns a smartphone.

If that is not enough to convince you that mobile marketing is important, then you should consider this: people use their phones five times more to search for information on local businesses!   What is even more mind-blowing is that more than three-quarters of the smartphone users that see TV, news or online ads, do a mobile search for more information.

So the real question is, “Are you reaching them through your mobilized business strategy?”

It is amazing how technology evolves so quickly.  Heck, just look at the music industry.  From vinyl records to cassettes, to CDs to MP3 files.  The mobile change is happening even faster than the music medium change!  It is hard to believe that not too many years ago, iPhones and Android did not even exist.  Now they are a key tool for us in business and in our personal lives.

Two things fuel Mobile Marketing: Buyer habits and results.  Businesses that adopt mobile marketing strategies see significant results and response rates. As an example, a restaurant might see a 65% redemption rates for real-time, geo-targeted ads.  Yes, I said 65%!  How would you feel if you had 65% of your prospects respond to your marketing campaigns?  Sounds like the investment did not go up in smoke!

So, you are probably wondering, how can your business use mobile marketing?  What are the benefits?  Will you face challenges?  Is this for real, or is it another fad?

You need to think about it in these terms

·         Mobile marketing can increase customer loyalty.  Just think about engaging your customers, wherever they are;

·         Mobile marketing can bring more revenue per customer;

·         Mobile marketing can promote awareness of your brand;

·         Mobile marketing can boost the number of visitors you get to your website, and;

·         Mobile marketing can boost your retail traffic on Main Street!

As for challenges, it is all about figuring it out and setting aside the needed time.  The other challenge might be the needed investment, but the reality is that mobile marketing is cost-effective and affordable.

So, where do you begin?

Mobile SEO

You need to make your website findable and usable in the mobile environment.  Remember, searching on a phone does have some disadvantages, like a small keyboard and small screen.  Moreover, if your site is not mobile friendly, you will probably say goodbye to the potential customer as they go to the competition.  Optimize your site for mobile!

SMS Messaging

Next, you need to incorporate SMS messaging, or as consumers call it, “text messaging,” into your plans.  It is an effective way to promote your business and acquire new customers.  Texting is the most widely used app!  If you know of anyone that is 18-49, just ask them if they text.  It may take you a while to find someone that says, no!

What is also great about text messaging is that the open rates are off the charts.  It blows away email when it comes to open rates.  Another big difference between email and texting is that individuals have a tendency to change their email address.  You will be hard pressed to find individuals that want to change their cell phone number.

Since I brought up the email/text comparison, I do want to point out that you need be careful with SMS marketing.  You need to know what your clients want, and you need to make sure that they will find it beneficial.  People prefer to get coupons via text message than through other advertising means.  Also, by having a coupon on your phone, the client will never misplace the coupon (unless they misplaced their phone when they were partying).

It is not just about delivering coupons.  Use SMS Marketing for appointment reminders, reservations,  or letting customers know that the Purple Moon strain is back in stock.

Use SMS Marketing, but remember to get permission and make sure you let your approved audience know how you will be using the service.  Also, offer incentives to help build your list.  It could be a low cost or no cost item.  Moreover, make sure to use SMS messaging to deliver what you promised (coupons, rewards, giveaways…).  It will make them feel good and keep them loyal to your business.

Are you and your business ready to take the SMS Marketing dive?  What you need to do is get a good SMS platform.  It would operate similarly to an email marketing application. It is as simple as logging in, composing a message, and hitting send!

Also, make sure to set up a shortcode and post it everywhere your customers can see it.  Then create some incentives to get them to opt in, and watch how you build your list.  It is amazing!

Mobile Advertising

Advertising is another great way to leverage your buyers’ reliance on their mobile phones, but what works in mobile advertising? If we look at where the digital companies are making their money, I think we will find the answer.  Search ads and location ads.  Around 50% of ad spending on mobile is local.  So if you are promoting a local business, mobile might be the perfect vehicle for you and your company.  Just think about how you can target your ads to specific locations.  It is mind blowing!
With all of this information, you need to think about strategy.   Make sure to maintain realistic expectations.  Mobile marketing can have a significant impact, but it is not the end all save all.

Something else to consider is not necessarily making the sale, but working on the first step in a sales process.  It can be as simple as getting them to call you or opt into a list.
All right, so you have an idea, and the bug is itching you.  The real question is, “How can I get started?”

Can you say Google?  There are other players you can also consider, like JumpTap, MillenialMedia, and Tapjoy.  There are others in the market as well, so it would be good to do your homework.  As the saying goes, each has pros and cons.  Do your homework, as education and knowledge, is power!

The next thing you will need to do is create an ad for mobile.  It is the same as placing a normal online ad but need to make sure to optimize the artwork, and messaging for mobile screens.  If not, it can have some repercussions.

Finally, be familiar with the results you expect before launching a campaign.  Make sure the message is appropriate for a mobile user and the response you are expecting aligns with the message.

Mobile Apps

Apps.  Whether you go to the Google Store or the Apple App Store, you will notice that there are thousands of apps available to download.  Downloads of these apps are taking place at ridiculous rates.  Billions upon billions downloads each year.

Apps could be an interesting marketing vehicle for you, but you should not rush out and pay a developer to put one together for you.  An app may not be right for your business.

If you are interested in implementing an app, make sure to do your homework. The homework should include you figuring out if you can create something that is unique and adds to your customers and potential customers experience.  Maybe a loyalty program?  I know that I am addicted to the 7-Eleven program…  buy seven coffees and get the next one free.

I hope that you found the above to be helpful.  If you take away one thing from the above, I hope that it is that mobile is the future.  The sooner you can harness this medium, the sooner you will be able to compete for the customer of tomorrow.

If you are currently using any of the above mobile executions, please let us know.  I am sure that the CBE readers would welcome the insight, as well as the best practices you have in place.  All the best and let me know what you think!

 

Andrew KritzerAndrew Kritzer

Andrew Kritzer

Andrew Kritzer is an advertising and marketing executive with extensive experience in product and corporate marketing, communications, and branding. With 10 years of Madison Avenue experience, he worked on advertising campaigns for Canon, Ford, Redbook, Champ’s, The Athlete’s Foot, and Perkin Elmer. His 20 years on the client side, as a marketer, includes working on strategic marketing, branding, advertising, public relations, trade shows, digital and social media, internet initiatives, and new product launches for Canon, Samsung, Hayward, and Sharp. Andrew is an avid speaker in the sports marketing area and has also lectured at such institutions as Syracuse University, NYU, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Montclair State University on marketing and advertising. Over the last two year he worked at the Association of National Advertisers, running client side committees on Advertising Financial Management, Agency Relations, Production Management, and Research and Measurement, in addition to bringing members high quality training on current trends and best practices. Currently, Andrew works for AKMC, a marketing consultancy that focuses on helping small and medium sized businesses. If you have questions about the above article, feel free to email Andrew at [email protected]

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