We use our mobile devices for everything from getting food delivered, to keeping in touch with friends and doing our banking. We use them to play games, watch videos and read the news and sometimes… even to make phone calls!
Yes, the humble smartphone has evolved into a multi-purpose super tool that most cannot do without. Yet when it comes to mobile marketing, many businesses are still lagging behind, failing to take advantage of the opportunities mobile marketing presents.
But what is mobile marketing exactly and how can you use it for your business?
Mobile marketing is digital marketing delivered through a hand-held mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. It includes a range of different methods such as apps, display advertising, video advertising, SMS, location based technologies, QR codes and bluetooth.
It differs to desktop digital marketing in two main ways.
The size, screen orientation and portable nature of the device create a range of unique opportunities for marketing. You can market to a mobile user using different means that you could a desktop user. Things like push notifications, SMS and location services all present strategic ways for brands to reach their customers through mobile devices.
Context of Use
An often overlooked aspect is the way in which mobile devices are used. People use their smartphone whilst waiting in line for a coffee, when they are on the move and even on the toilet. These usage contexts influences how people engage with them, which opens up new psychological and technical considerations for marketers.
The simple fact is… mobile is everywhere.
Mobile usage increases each year and according to Comscore, in 2015 mobile web usage surpassed that of desktop. Considering mobile now accounts for 60% of all internet traffic, it can no longer be seen as secondary to desktop. Tacking on mobile as an after-thought simply won’t cut it anymore.
As such, the mobile advertising market is growing significantly.
Mobile ad spend is projected to grow to $101.37 billion in 2016, a 47.6% increase from 2015. What’s more, this figure is expected to continue its growth.
And that’s just advertising. With more and more companies recognising the opportunities of mobile marketing, they continue to invest larger chunks of the budget into programs designed to make the most of mobile marketing. From apps to creative mobile campaigns, brands across the world are looking to capitalise.
If you are yet to explore mobile marketing with your business, now would be a good time to dive in and explore the value it has to offer.
But where should you start?
Like any other form of marketing, there is unfortunately no one-size-fits-all approach. Determining what you should do exactly depends on your objectives and your overall strategy. It comes down to understanding how you can use mobile to reach your audience.
With that in mind, here is a quick overview of some of the essentials to consider.
Optimise For Mobile
If there is one thing you simply must do, this is it. If your site is not optimised for mobile, you are leaving money on the table. With 60% of web traffic going from mobile devices, failing to have an easy to use, mobile friendly site is a sure fire way to frustrate your visitors. At best you are making it hard for your users, at worst you are losing them completely.
Depending on what kind of business you have, an app can be one excellent way to keep top of mind with your customers. But importantly, you must offer something that your customers will actually want. The more value you add, the more they will use it. The more they use it, the more opportunities you have to communicate with them in an integrated environment. When done well, an app can offer big value to both your business and your customers.
Location Based Services
One of the keys advantages of mobile marketing is location based services. Beacon technology allows brands to send ultra targeted, contextually relevant messages to users of their app, achieving extraordinary levels of engagement. Popular in retail environments, it’s possible to target users with extremely relevant messages, at the right place and the right time.
From helpful information in large events or festivals to tailored offers in shopping centres, location based mobile marketing represents an opportunity not yet fully explored.
Though most people nowadays use some form of web messenger to communicate (such as WhatsApp), SMS is a very effective (and not particularly common) way to get a message to your consumers. Though smartphones have a high degree of penetration, there are many who either don’t have smartphones or aren’t aware of how to use their advanced features. SMS has the advantage of simplicity and incredible open rates.
They can help marketers bypass the noise of the email inbox and engage their customers about upcoming events or offers.
If you have yet to explore mobile marketing seriously, now is the time. It is no longer good enough to think of it as a secondary to other forms of digital marketing or as an afterthought. Mobile is here to stay. Now is the time to start using it!
About the author
Ryan is an award winning and successful leader, responsible for developing long-term client relationships and fostering career development for Upside.Digital staff.
He is motivated by a genuine passion for unleashing the potential that lies within the lead generation and digital marketing industries and his passion is shown by recent awards won such as B&T 30 Under 30 Award. Ryan is also qualified as a Master Practitioner of NLP and has spoken at events including AdTech and the Online Retailer conference.