Mobile Marketing: A Buzz Word Worthy of the Buzz

Here is a challenge for you:  Try and find a blog post or research report on future marketing trends that omits the term “mobile devices.”  It’s virtually impossible and with good reason. Mobile internet access is a burgeoning trend with no end in sight. Last July, The Wall Street Journal  reported “American adults now spend almost a quarter of their media time on mobile devices . . .” compared to 2% of their media time reading newspapers.

Of course, mobile devices have given rise to “mobile marketing,” a buzz word that means just what it says: marketing through a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet.  Actually, mobile marketing had its beginnings before the advent of smart phones, back in the “olden days” of the early 2000s, when companies began to send text-only messages to cell phone users.

Today, mobile marketing includes integration and coordination with a company’s various digital channels such as social media and email. One form is “MMS” messages.  MMS stands for “multimedia messaging service,” a type of text message that can include graphics, video and audio.  When you take a photo on your cell phone and forward it to a friend’s cell phone, you are using MMS messaging.  Very effective in mobile marketing, this type of messaging can be used in the following ways:

Offer discounts and coupons:  You can send discount offers and coupons to your mobile marketing subscriber base and include simple instructionsMobileAds3 on how to redeem them online or in your brick and mortar facility. A 35-store tanning salon chain in Seattle did this and generated almost $200,000 in sales.

Promote events:  For special events, you can send an invitation and include an exclusive offer to those who show up.  A Las Vegas nightclub did this and attracted an additional 220 attendees.

Run a contest:  You can encourage people to opt-in to receive your MMS messages by running a contest with a worthwhile prize. Start by directing people to enter the contest by texting in a code. After they have done so, find out if they want to opt-in to receive special offers from your company.  A Northern California shopping center chain did this and signed up thousands of new subscribers.  A word of caution on this—contests are governed by specific laws from one U.S. State to the next, so check with an attorney first.

Optimize mobile marketing campaigns for a variety of devices

Before jumping into the mobile marketing frenzy, keep this advice in mind:

Create a plan:  Like all marketing campaigns, mobile marketing requires planning including defining the objectives of the campaign, its target audience and the strategy.

Provide an opt-in selection:  Before sending messages to mobile users, be sure they opt-in first.  It is not only good business sense, it is an FCC regulation.  A simple way to procure opt-ins is by offering discounts to those who sign up.

Be alert:  No matter what mobile marketing channel you use, make sure your content is optimized for the device receiving it.

I hope this information has given you some useful ways in which to step up your mobile marketing efforts.

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