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” according to the Mobile Marketing Association. I’d like to point out a couple of important parts to this definition.
Communication and engagement are two key factors to successful mobile marketing. This means that mobile marketing is not about sending unwanted text messages to people or simply offering discounts via the mobile channel. It is about creating a meaningful exchange on mobile with your customers. By having a solid mobile presence when your customers try to find you on mobile is one of the most powerful ways to begin the dialogue.
The other important phrase is relevant. Consumers are so attached to their mobile devices at all hours of the day and night in any situation that they are not forgiving of anything reaching them that is not relevant. On a mobile web page with only one ad showing they expect it to be relevant to what they are either doing or what they are engaging in at the time (a gaming app for example). Any text message that comes in must be something they explicitly asked to receive and it must be something that is relevant to them.
Impact of Mobile Marketing
People expect to be able to do on mobile anything they can do on a full sized desktop – email, commerce, browsing, information gathering, etc.—and they want it to work smoothly and seamlessly. The fact that people typically have their mobile device with them 24/7/365 means that every other form of digital marketing just became more powerful and more relevant. Mobile has unique tools like text messaging, but in reality it simply amplifies everything else and makes digital marketers work harder to make sure it works on these tiny devices.
If you already have people visiting your website via mobile devices you need to get a mobile friendly version of your website built immediately. Mobile web traffic is growing exponentially and the Nielsen prediction that smartphones will outnumber feature phones in the U.S. by the end of 2011 means that this will continue. And yes, even smartphone users with the most powerful browsers need a mobile-specific site.
Mobile marketing needs to be integrated with all other forms of marketing (websites, email, phone, signage, etc.) and so as long as any other form of marketing is being utilized then mobile should be engaged.
Measuring the Return on Investment
Companies can measure the true return that they are getting on mobile marketing exactly the same way they do with any other marketing tool. Set a measurable goal at the outset of the campaign (sales, leads, coupon redemptions, etc.) and then use the tools provided by your vendor to track the results. Too many times this is over thought in mobile. It is just the same as any other marketing tool.
Mobile can be used to get new customers, increase purchases from current customers and retain customers. The tools you choose to use and the way you market the campaign will tell you which goal you will achieve. For example, a text message coupon that is only advertised in store will only serve to increase purchases from current customers. However, that same coupon marketed outside the place of business can bring in new business.
Mobile marketing includes many different tools from text messaging to mobile advertising to mobile search to mobile-friendly websites and mobile commerce just to name a few. ROI numbers are across the board for different kinds of industries. My favorite resource for keeping up on this is Mobile Marketer . Every day there are three or four stories with different statistics from different mobile channels.
Keys to Success
Proactively and aggressively marketing your mobile campaigns is the best way to improve your returns. If you launch a text message campaign then you need to incorporate the opt-in process in every other type of marketing you do. It needs to go on your website, in your emails, on your voice mail, in your place of business, on your business cards…everywhere. When you build a mobile friendly version of your website, tell everyone. Put a link to it from your main site. Announce it in your radio commercials. Have your staff tell all your customers. It cannot be emphasized enough that the marketing you do for your mobile marketing will ensure its success.
To learn more about mobile marketing see http://www.mobilemarketingprofits.com or follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/KimDushinski.