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.”
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 “relevance.” 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 advert showing they expect it to be relevant to what they are either doing or what they are engaging in at the time (a restaurant 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 in many countries. 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, etc) and then use the tools provided by your mobile application provider to track the results. Too many times this is over thought in mobile. It is just the same as any other marketing tool.
Mobile apps 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. 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. Return On Investment numbers are across the board for different kinds of industries.
Tap in to the new Mobile application creation Tools
Take advantage of new tools that eliminate the pain and expense typically associated with mobile app development. App development has, until recently, required custom development knowledge for each platform. It is time consuming to learn the coding for each platform and expensive to execute. Unfortunately, these are the main barriers keeping many businesses away from custom apps because they simply do not have the resources for such an endeavour. However, new tools have emerged to simplify the process of building a mobile app and to cut the costs of doing so. There’s no need to code, you can simply use templates to create a mobile app that is useful to your audience. It’s similar to what blogging platforms like WordPress did for creating your own blog.
Stick to the essentials
Many businesses don’t need a robust mobile app; they just need something that will help bring their content to their customers on mobile devices in a useful and interactive way. Companies can make mobile app development easier and cheaper by sticking to the essentials. For example, a local real estate company might not need an app capable of playing dynamic videos of each home she lists — which would be expensive and time consuming to develop — but the app does need to have quality photos and descriptions of home listings and contact information for the company.
Leverage What You Already Have
Creating a mobile application using text, content, visuals, video and resources you already use in other channels allows you to create an app that mirrors your brand with the same rich look and feel of native iPhone and Android apps. For example, if you are a restaurant owner, you should include your operating hours, menu and wine list. You could then entice the customer to return to the app by including an RSS feed of the daily specials.
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.
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