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Mobile Marketing: Why the future of marketing is already here…

Many people hear the words ‘Mobile Marketing’ and immediately think Spam. Or they think it’s something just for ‘kids’ and customers wouldn’t be interested in receiving mobile communication. Maybe they also think it’s too expensive and they can’t afford it. All of these opinions are somewhat incorrect, as mobile marketing can be inexpensive, not just for kids and certainly not spam when you are executing it correctly. It can also be a fantastic opportunity for businesses to reach their customers in a new and exciting way.

Mobile marketing in the past has been feared, but in reality it’s actually nothing special, its just a tool used within the practice of marketing to engage our audience. So then what is marketing? Marketing in simple terms is a way to communicate, exchange and deliver value. Mobile marketing is a great way to communicate with our customers, exchange and deliver value in a timely way.

According to ABI Research, mobile marketing will grow by 600% over the next four years, and if your not jumping on this fast moving communication train, your going to miss out. Also according to a study conducted in 2009 by the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association, 39% of mobile users state they would accept ads on mobile in exchange for content or special offers, while 22% said they would accept ads without an incentive. Furthermore, 56% said they would take ads from companies they have made a deal with, while 37% would accept ads from companies with whom they already have an existing relationship. This research demonstrates that most of your customers are ready and willing to receive communication from you on their mobile phones. But some people might still be in that ‘fear’ stage and wondering where to start?

Here are five ways to jump into mobile marketing and increase your revenue in the process:

  • Email and Website The first step when embracing mobile marketing is to make your emails and website smartphone friendly. What this means is that you need to make sure the format of your emails is easily read on a phone. The best way to do this is avoid extensive HTML emails (they are the ones with lots of graphics) and avoid long messages where people need to do lots of scrolling. Keep it short and personal for your customers.
  • SMS SMS is a powerful medium. A recent study from Harris Interactive shows 40% of 18-34 year olds are “somewhat interested” in mobile marketing SMS messages, but once they receive mobile information, 28% will purchase an advertised product in store. Many companies have already been doing this for a while now and discovered that it can be a really effective way of keeping their customers up to date with information. It can cost as little as six cents per text, and the process of uploading your customers mobile numbers and then broadcasting a message to them is very easy and time efficient. Many business people are no longer chained to their desk, so emails and SMS on their phone is the way they communicate.
  • iPhone or Android App One of the most effective ways to tap into this Mobile Marketing world is to create an App for your business. An app (short for application) is a small piece of software that can be downloaded on a smartphone. Some companies may not necessarily need one, but if you can identify that your company would benefit, then it’s time to design your app. You can include things like latest news, blogs, audio and video content, special offers, company information… the list goes on. This way, your customers can keep up to date with all of your products, news and offers. If you would like to see an example of a App used in business, you can download ours. Go to www.BusinessBlueprint.com.au/iPhone
  • Push Notification A push notification is like an SMS, except that it is free and comes through your App and pops up on your customers phone. You can also specify to only send it to certain customers. A great example is a hair dresser – if they had a dead spot in the afternoon, they could send a push notification to all their customers in a 5k radius saying something like “We have a free appointment in 20 minutes. Call and book within the next five minutes to receive a 10% discount”. The customer will have already given their consent to receive communication from you through their mobile phone app.
  • Mobile Advertising With people using their phones to browse the web more and more everyday, a number of innovative companies have sprung up to help website owners generate revenue from their sites. Essentially, websites and app owners can use services like admob.com, mads.com or adtechus.com to act as a middle man to find advertisers looking to appeal to their target market. They then take a minor share of revenue generated and pay the rest of the income back to you. So if you’re a content creator and haven’t yet developed your own back end products or services, then mobile ads are a good way to generate cash. On the flip side, if your a keen marketer, there are great opportunities to draw new visitors to your site for prices that haven’t been seen since 1999. In the next few years, this marketplace will begin to become saturated so best to get in now and scoop up as many leads as you can while there is still time available.

In Conclusion… This is treading new water, but it gives you a huge advantage over your competitors. You need to think about how to take your existing marketing, email marketing, campaigns etc and put that into a mobile marketing format. So what’s your next step? You can start small. Make sure your emails are mobile friendly. Investigate the possibility of sending SMS messages to your clients. Could they benefit from you telling them about a special service or product via their mobile device?

Keep in mind that this is cost and time efficient and you could be missing out on a whole lot of new clients if you don’t start now. Then, decide whether your company could benefit from creating an App. And finally, investigate advertising on mobiles. Its an exciting time, so enjoy the future, because it’s already here.