Mobile marketing – It’s too late to be early

Business can no longer afford to ignore the mobile movement. It is already too late to be early to this race; the best thing businesses can do at this point is hope to move fast enough to maintain market position. Marta Turek wrote a great article citing some of the statistics associated with mobile trends. Now that we all know the continued strength mobile usage is trending, there are several things that you should be doing right now to maintain your market position.

Development of mobile sites

Developing mobile websites can be done fairly cost effectively and should become a major focus of an online marketing strategy. After all, by 2014 the number of desktop searches will be eclipsed by the number of mobile searches.

Mobile marketing - Development of mobile sites

Mobile search is also used with a high degree of urgency; most mobile searches are focused around getting information when the computer is unavailable, when users are on the go and when the information needs to be accessed as quickly as possible. In fact, according to Google, 89% of mobile searches have an element of urgency. Mobile search also has a high degree of follow through. In the same Google mobile search study, 61% of respondents have called a business after conducting a mobile search, 59% visited the business, 58% looked for the business on the map or got directions and 50% of mobile searches lead directly to a purchase. It is also worth mentioning that local information searches saw the user take action shortly after looking up the local information; 88% of mobile searchers took action within a day of performing the local search. Mobile search is action oriented, timely, and an integral part of a multi-channel strategy.

Mobile advertising to local audiences

Mobile marketing -  Mobile Advertising to local audiencesFor those businesses that are concentrating their marketing on local markets, mobile is a critical part of that marketing mix. Mobile advertising can provide surgical–like targeting ensuring that your marketing message is reaching a highly targeted audience within you geographic service region. If you’re a pizza shop, dry cleaner, print shop or other highly competitive, convenience-based industry, there’s no point on spreading your advertising dollars to an audience on the other side of town who is less likely to actually visit your location.

One of the major intentions behind searching on a mobile device is to find a store location nearby; according to IAB data over 15% of searches on mobile devices are to find store locations. With mobile marketing, targeting an audience within a smaller geographic region is a great way to get better penetration into the market that truly matters and drive traffic to your location.

With mobile advertising it is important to remember that mobile is only one part of a multichannel strategy and needs to be evaluated as such. Most purchase events will be conducted either in-store or on a desktop while mobile is leveraged for gathering information prior to that purchase event. The KPI’s for your mobile campaign need to reflect the nature of the mobile interaction and should be based more on micro conversions, social media engagement, phone calls, or leads rather than an e-commerce model.

Consider how people use their mobile devices

It is also important to consider when and how people are using their mobile devices. Keep in mind that tablet & mobile usage peaks between 6PM and 10PM versus peak desktop usage is between business hours 9AM – 5PM.

Mobile marketing -  Consider how people use their mobile devices

Mobile users are also consuming information in a manner that is quite different than a desktop user. Ensuring your mobile marketing message and desktop message are aligned is important, but tailor the message to the intention behind each device used and ensure your marketing assets are effective on those devices.

Integrating your mobile marketing messages with your other communication channels can be effectively done through a variety of quick win tactics:

  • Create search ads specifically for mobile devices and be sure to mention your relevant offline communications messages to maintain consistency. (Hint: Leverage bidding by distance to become more competitively positioned the closer a person comes to your location.)
  • Leverage multiple ad formats on search such as click-to-call to increase engagement from mobile users. Getting a phone call could be more valuable than driving a click to your site.
  • Add QR codes on your billboards, magazine ads, in-store point of sale ads (77% of mobile users have conducted a mobile search while in a store), and even your yellow pages listings. QR codes can send users to more information online and can give the customer the ability to look up detailed product information, promotions, enter contests, etc. without having to remember your website and promotion after they have seen hundreds of other ad messages between the store and their home.
  • Leverage short, easy to type URLs on marketing materials. Remember that people using mobile devices are prone to typos and the shorter and easier a URL is the more effective it will be.
  • Ensure your site is mobile optimized & using a mobile redirect.
  • Provide customer support via social media. Customers are using their mobile devices in-store or prior to making a purchasing decision and also tend to use social media applications on their smart phones, providing customer service via social media can be a great way to connect.
  • Provide in-store incentives for users to “check in” or “like the store” on platforms such as Facebook to leverage a little word of mouth advertising. Taking this strategy on step further leveraging sponsored stories with a Facebook advertising campaign can help to amplify this story even further.

Mobile marketing needs to play a much more significant factor in many organizations’ online marketing strategies and can offer a highly targeted, qualified market. Defining your mobile strategy and how that will inter-relate to your online and offline communications is key.