When you look up a business's address online, do you use your computer or smartphone to do so? More than likely, you use your smartphone.
Mobile devices are quickly becoming the preferred way to access the internet. From Google searches to mobile apps, a business can become a success, seemingly overnight, thanks to our handy mobile devices. Therefore, it makes sense then that mobile marketing is the best way to reach customers all around the world.
Let's dive into the fundamentals of mobile marketing techniques and what makes them (and your small business) successful.
Mobile marketing: How it got started
By definition, mobile marketing is when users are connected to a business through the use of a mobile device. A couple of examples of mobile marketing are mobile apps and mobile-ready websites.
Mobile marketing began with simple SMS text messages being sent to customers by companies or brands they signed up with to receive these messages. The messages ranged from notification of sales to new product announcements. This was the first type of mobile marketing "hook" that actively reached out to users in an effort to bring in repeat business. Thus, mobile marketing was born! The year was 2005, and over a decade later, it has flourished into a booming business.
Mobile marketing: Why use it?
There are too many reasons to list here why mobile marketing is the best technique a business can use in today's market. Let's touch on a few of the reasons why you should be using mobile marketing for your business:
- Outreach – When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you do before you get out of bed? Check your phone for messages! It has become a routine for smartphone users to check email, Facebook posts, and so on before even getting out of bed. Sending emails, push notifications, text messages, etc., via mobile devices is the best way to reach customers as they go through their daily routines.
- Personalization – The majority of mobile device users will admit that their device is never more than an arm's length away from them at any point during their day. This habitual trend is growing because phones have become personal property. We keep precious photos, brilliant notes, extensive contact lists, etc., on our devices. So, if you connect with customers through a device that holds such an important part of their lives, your business will become associated with comfort and familiarity!
- Instantaneous interaction – If you receive a text message, you probably read it in less than three minutes, right? We get a small adrenaline rush every time a message arrives because its sender could quite literally be anyone. It's like a guessing game that we get to play over and over. Using mobile marketing, your business can become a part of those "rush" moments.
- E-commerce – Research has shown that customers are more likely to make purchases from a mobile app compared to other options. The reasons behind this preference vary, but it is still clear that you need to be reaching out to your customers via mobile devices if you want to bring in and keep happy, satisfied customers. One way you can promote e-commerce is by providing links to certain products or sales when you send out push notifications or text messages to your customers. This way, the customer is transported to the product they want to see and purchase without the hassle of searching through your website to find it.
- Lower costs – Have you ever made a TV commercial for your business? From production to the actual air time, this marketing strategy gets expensive! With mobile marketing, you are free from expenses like air time, billboard fees, flyer prints, and so on. You usually pay for a service, like text messaging or push notifications, one time and you're done. You are then ready to reach customers with the touch of a button.
- Customer experience – If you make a purchase online using a mobile app, you look for elements such as speed, ease of checkout, and overall experience. You are more likely to purchase a product from a website that offers a great user experience than a site/app that doesn't. As customers, we want to easily search for or browse products, make the purchase and receive a purchase confirmation in less than five minutes. Businesses that offer all of this as part of their great customer experience will secure more loyal customers than those that do not.
Mobile marketing: Developing a strategy that works
As you consider using mobile marketing for your small business, you may need guidance when it comes to the whole process. Developing and implementing a mobile marketing strategy can be best explained in these steps. Under each step, you will find a short checklist that you can follow to make sure you are on the right path for developing and implementing a mobile marketing campaign.
Develop a strategy: Since there are so many avenues to choose from, developing a strategy should always be the first step. Make clear objectives on what you want your mobile marketing campaign to achieve. Define the target audience and market you wish to reach. Discuss and develop how you wish to integrate your objectives into your campaign. Answer the following questions:
- Why do you need a mobile marketing strategy?
- What is the purpose of this strategy (your objectives)?
- What demographics will be receiving and interacting with your mobile marketing campaign?
- How can you tailor your marketing techniques for optimal user experiences (according to your target audience's demographics)?
Choose the marketing type: As previously stated, there are many options to choose from. Choose the marketing type that best fit your objectives and target audiences. For example, you may want to use location-based notifications if the information you are sending out is only relevant to a certain store or area. Here is the checklist for your second step:
- Research the pros and cons of each marketing type. The types of mobile marketing generally utilized are: apps, SMS, coupons, banners, search, and location-based marketing.
- Choose one or more marketing types (I would recommend beginning with one to two types) that you feel would reach your objectives for your marketing campaign. For a small business with the limited budget, you can opt for SMS marketing, search and location-based marketing.
- After choosing your method(s), do a Google search for software products that are specifically designed for those methods. Read reviews on the products before purchasing. Find a product that is easy to use, reliable, and will use the mobile marketing techniques you chose so that your objectives can be reached. Additionally, purchasing software that will also analyze the data from your mobile marketing campaigns will be a huge plus (and will save you from having to make another software purchase just to analyze the data).
- Use your newly purchased software to set up and send your first mobile marketing campaign. If you run into technical difficulties during the set-up process, consult with the customer service representatives for your product. These representatives will be able to assist you with any problems you may experience.
Analyze and modify: Once you have launched the marketing types you have chosen, track and analyze the success rate of clicks, opens, purchases, etc. Once you have enough information gathered for a proper snapshot of your mobile marketing campaign, make modifications to your techniques as needed. The checklist for this step includes the following to-dos:
- If your purchased software (see the checklist in Step No. 2) came with data-analysis features, use that info. to determine what parts of your campaign are working (and, likewise, which parts need to be modified). If your marketing software did not come with metrics, you will need to find one separately. Try to find analysis software that is compatible with your marketing software. This will make it easier for you to transfer the data from one software app to the other.
- Once you have reviewed the analysis, determine which parts of the campaign are the least effective (for example, have the least amount of clicks or opens) and discuss what can be done to improve them.
- Modify the campaign to bring those parts that are falling behind up to par. If you aren't sure on how to do this, gather input from your colleagues. Sometimes all you need is an extra pair of eyes.
- Run an analysis of your marketing campaign at least once a week (if you are sending out marketing emails/messages weekly). Keep tabs on the trends of highs and lows, and tweak your campaign when necessary.
Mobile marketing is one of the greatest marketing developments to hit businesses so far. Its ease, low cost, and proven success rates are just a few of the many reasons businesses benefit from it. The marketing world is changing every day as the number of mobile device users rapidly increase.
If you are a business owner who hasn't jumped on the mobile marketing bandwagon, what are you waiting for? Jump in and see how the world of mobile marketing solidifies your business's future!