Monday, November 25, 2013

Which Mobile Marketing Channels Should You Be Using?

The growth in the mobile marketing sphere is staggering. Five years ago, 40% of the world’s population had a mobile phone while today, that number exceeds 60%. This means that reaching consumers via smartphones and tablets is the way of the future. According to a new report by eMarketer, digital ad spending will increase to nearly $118 billion by the end of the year...a 13% increase from 2012.

Mobile marketing tactics are of utmost importance in brand development and overall marketing strategy. Below are a few of the top trending mobile marketing channels and successful uses of such strategies.

Mobile Search - Let Your Thumbs Do the Walking

65% of online searches begin on a mobile device. Therefore, it is incumbent upon marketers, or businesses that advertise to understand the gravitas of not only implementing proper techniques for mobile optimization, but understanding how to build a mobile-friendly website.

For anyone unfamiliar with the difference between a mobile website and a regular website, a mobile site can detect the type of device a visitor is using and offers a layout that is easy and simple to navigate, clarity of design and has simple channels to take actions when desired. When a website is not easy to use, mobile phone users/consumers will abandon the page before finding what they’re looking for and never make a purchase.

As for mobile optimization techniques, a Google study showed that smartphone users were primarily motivated by communication and entertainment activities and content that inspired interaction and sharing with others, which in turn establishes brand awareness.

Mobile Apps

There is an app for everything. Why? It makes the experience of accessing a product or service quicker and easier. Also, the advantage of offering push notifications creates the type of engagement businesses want to draw in customers instantaneously.

The proof is in the pudding. According to Nielsen, mobile users are now spending 10% more time on mobile apps than they are on the mobile web. There is a huge potential for consumer engagement through innovative, fun, and social mobile apps.

Apps are also an excellent mechanism for incorporating a website’s current content as well as map/GPS integration. And, it doesn’t have to be expensive...apps cost as little as $1000 to create and less than $100 monthly to maintain.

Location-Based Mobile Advertising

Knowing where a consumer is located at any given time is an extremely powerful tool when targeting them for marketing. An emerging and increasingly essential mobile marketing channel is location-based mobile advertising, which tracks where consumers are located and offers coupons for nearby stores to encourage immediate actions.

For instance, in April 2013, frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry launched a geo-specific mobile ad campaign that offered mobile coupons to motivate nearby consumers to visit stores. Pinkberry ran the ads on the Pandora iPhone app, which showed consumers their current approximate distance from the nearest Pinkberry along with a mobile coupon for $1 off and a click-to-call button.

SMS Marketing

Text messaging is one of the most effective ways of communicating with consumers. Of every text message sent, nearly 100% of them get read within the first three minutes. According to a 2010 report by the Direct Marketing Association, mobile SMS marketing has become a leading mobile marketing strategy for new and growing brands as SMS offers a conversion rate of approximately 8.2%.

In one use case, Chick-Fil-A employed text message marketing to build their list of opt-in guests for a text message club, which is poised to offer specials and discounts for club members. Customers that joined the club immediately received a coupon for a free chicken sandwich, with a redemption period of 2 weeks from opt in. After only the first 5 days, a single Chick-Fil-A store received 564 opted-in customers to whom they can now continue to remarket.

By 2015, the mobile web is expected to reach nearly two billion users. Mobile is only growing and is well within reach for marketers both big and small.

There are many avenues available for mobile marketing and businesses can easily be on the road to success. The only question is which mobile marketing tactics are best suited for your brand and your target audience? Addressing this question and implementing strategies to test which tactics work best will become increasingly imperative in the developing mobile economy.