Make Your Mobile Marketing Meet Customers’ Needs

Everyone’s talking about going mobile.  But what is mobile?

One definition: being capable of readily moving. While this clearly covers mobile phones and tablets, it also describes what you can do on these devices, such as texting, QR codes, mobile web, email, apps, phone calls and more.

At Strategic America, mobile is one of the integrated marketing tools we work with every day. So while it’s a fairly new trend, we’re familiar with many of its best uses.

Smartphones: Always Close at Hand

I am rarely removed from my phone. I use it to plan dinner or to select a restaurant. I use it to text, check Facebook, check in on foursquare, as an alarm, as a camera, for directions, for weather and news and to play a game or two. I use it to search the web to end an argument or to prove a point. Occasionally, I even use it to make a phone call.

According to Forrester Research, 33% of the U.S. population uses a mobile device like I do.

  • 88% of mobile searchers take action within the same day.
  • 89% of consumers use a smartphone every day.
  • However, 79% of companies do not have a mobile-optimized website.

Knowing Your Customer

Mobile marketing must be integrated into marketing strategy, not as a stand-alone tactic. The critical factor is to think in terms of your users. What do your customers need? How will they use mobile? How will your idea help them?

Next, look at overall goals and objectives: Do you want to raise awareness, increase sales or change opinions? It’s ineffective to undertake a text campaign or a mobile app without first understanding customer needs.

Mobile Strategy

As you plan strategy, assess budget limitations, timing and commitment to the overall mobile strategy before moving forward.

If your customers are savvy mobile users, the first task is to make your website mobile-optimized. Depending on the user’s device, you risk losing them to a competitor with a mobile-friendly site. We are a culture accustomed to immediate information. Any delay or difficult-to-access information means customers will leave and search for solutions from a competitor.

When making your website mobile-friendly, remember a mobile site is not a smaller version of your full website. Can your customers easily find your location and your phone number? Can they easily contact you or make a purchase? The site must open quickly as more and more people are accessing the Internet via mobile devices.

When thinking about an app, consider if a mobile web strategy may be the better solution. Mobile sites don’t require downloading, don’t require approval and are available to all smartphones. They are easier to build and often more affordable. Determine the needed lifespan  as well.

Mobile Apps: Moving Toward Marketing Dominance

If a mobile app fits customer needs and your strategy, ask if your customers are Android or iPhone users. An app needs to be created differently for each platform. It’s easier and faster to get an app to the Android Market. The idevice App Store has more restrictions.

Currently, there are more than 400,000 Android apps and 500,000+ iPhone apps. The current top grossing iPhone and Android apps keep users engaged with regular updates and incentives to log in daily.

Another tactic to consider is placing an ad within a mobile app. If an app is getting millions of downloads and users are regularly logging in, there’s potential for high visibility.

Text message campaign tactics have come a long way and can be a valuable addition to your marketing plan. Target does a great job of sending opt-in text messages with coupons. If I haven’t opened the coupon link, a follow-up text arrives in about 10 days, reminding me of the expiration date and with a new link to the offers.

Every statistic points toward mobile dominance as early as 2013. Six short months from now, mobile devices are predicted to overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide. Last month, mobile overtook PC usage in India. Thirty-eight percent of all emails are opened on mobile devices. Clients will be reading your emails and accessing your website on their phone or tablet.

If you are not prepared to talk to your mobile customers, your competitors certainly will be. Are you mobile ready?

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