There’s a lot of hype around mobile marketing in Mobile, AL as more and more people pickup smartphones with technology capable of higher resolutions, faster processors and more usability. Unfortunately, too many business owners are running toward mobile marketing without a solid strategy. When they get little to no results from their marketing campaigns, they start wondering if mobile marketing is a waste of money.
It can be if you don’t plan properly. In fact, there are a number of mistakes you can make that completely sabotage your efforts.
I typically wander through the web on any given day opening discussions on LinkedIn and other social media. Recently Google came to Mobile, AL to discuss the benefits of a mobile website in a GoMo initiative. I attended, and was curious what other local business owners had thought of it. I posed the question to one of my LinkedIn groups and got a great response back that I wanted to share:
Gary, I saw all the advance hoopla by Sullivan St. Clair (I believe now going by the name of Red Square) about this, but I didn’t go in for a “free” consultation once I read you had to give them a credit card number to participate.
My website seems to come up just fine as is on mobile devices, so I’m wondering what the real advantage is. Will be interested in the responses.
My Response follows:
Most websites will come up just fine on a mobile device, what’s important is how they’re viewed. The primary benefit to having a website or landing pages optimized for mobile is they provide an improved user experience by design.
With a standard website, the contents are shrunk down considerably in order to display as much of the content as possible. A user then has to zoom manually or double tap the screen to scale up/zoom a particular section. Once zoomed, they’re forced to scroll around. Mobile sites are designed for those handheld devices and tablets and automatically adjust to fit the screen. This keeps you in line with best-practices for online marketing and digital sales funnels, where you want to minimize the clicks and actions of a prospect in order to keep them engaged in the buying process.
Load time – Mobile optimized sites load faster, as the markup is streamlined for optimal download/load speed on a device that doesn’t have the same computing power as a current-gen pc/mac system. (at least not yet). The difference is only a few seconds, but when it comes to browsing online, most people don’t even like wasting a few seconds and they’ll back up to try a different website.
Enagegement/Targeted Content – This is a big one, because it allows you to offer mobile-specific features that including things like mapping functions and click-to-call. A great option for local businesses is how mobile devices are movin to location-aware technology. As this technology grows into the mainstream, mobile phones will be able to connect to a mobile optimized website when a user is in the immediate geographic proximity to your business.
When you combine a well-developed mobile website with offline media including QR codes, you can bridge the gap between on and offline marketing, effectively staying engaged with your clients. Imagine having a simple SMS marketing flag on a table, or a QR code, that sends a customer in your location to a mobile landing page on their smartphone. Through that page they can easily opt-in to receive future special offers.
The mobile web is no longer a concept – it’s a mainstream reality that will impact any organization that aims to communicate with target audiences online. Most leading industry analysts project that within a few short years, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide. The responsibility now falls on website owners to take advantage of the unique opportunities mobile offers for connecting with the growing number of visitors who will inevitably access their website on mobile devices.
Morgan Stanley released an exhaustive report last year citing the tremendous growth and the future of the mobile web, stating that based on current focus and adoption, the mobile web will be more widely used than desktop internet use by 2015.
Check out the full article from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2010/04/13/mobile-web-stats/
If you think you can capture the attention of your audience via mobile marketing with the same dull content people have been served with for the last 20 years then you need to revisit your creative marketing process. People carry their smartphones because they’re convenient and they offer a depth of immersion – especially when they’re bored with nothing else to do. This creates a unique opportunity for brands to interact with their customers and get a strong marketing message across. It’s time to put on your thinking cap for mobile marketing.
Make 5 Minutes a Blast with Mobile Marketing
Not only are smartphone users mobile phones as a tool to ramp up productivity but they use them as a reliable source for entertainment. If you want your offer to stick you must mingle a traditional sense of urgency in your marketing with entertainment and value. If your customer is stuck by a train, sitting in traffic, in a waiting room, etc they will turn to their mobile for some kind of engagement or entertainment. You have a few minutes to offer them something enlightening, entertaining and engaging.
Phones are Personal, Mobile Marketing Should Be As Well
Our mobile phones connect us to a world that we cannot otherwise reach with other devices. The web, email, SMS, applications, multimedia. More people are turning to their mobile devices to manage their lives including scheduling and banking, GPS, task lists, fantasy sports, business and more. For your mobile marketing to be effective, you need to make it easy to access via a mobile device, but more importantly it must be relevant to their needs – and it must be personal.
Use Mobile Marketing to Ask for Engagement
If you’re having a hard time looking for a way to inspire engagement among your customers, then ask them to capture it on film. Most smartphones are equipped with a quality digital camera. Use that to help build your community as they capture and share events around your brand or products.
Go Beyond Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing campaigns work best when they’re combined with other forms of advertising and marketing such as live events, print media campaigns, content marketing and social media. That means putting up sites specific to your mobile marketing campaigns, utilizing QR codes and SMS opt-ins on table cards in your store or restaurant, putting mobile marketing ads in the weekend paper, etc.
Always Give Something
If you want to get something from your customers (more sales, contact info, etc) then you need to give something first. Offer simple incentives such as access to relevant information (weather, news, local events, discount offers, etc) or some kind of coupon or content only available to mobile users. This can help boost intake rates and customer participation in your mobile marketing.