Mobile Marketing: How to Reach Your Buyers Wherever They Are
If so, you might be intrigued by this fun fact: 4 billion people own a mobile phone. (Guess how many people own a toothbrush? 3.5 billion!)
In fact, as I write this article, I’m on a short visit to Kenya, where even a housemaid earning $85 a month routinely uses a mobile phone.
As more consumers use their mobile phones for multiple purposes, marketers like you will have the power to reach buyers at the exact time and place they’re looking for what you offer, explain Jeanne Hopkins and Jamie Turner in their new book, Go Mobile.
Go Mobile covers a lot of solid ground in mobile marketing, and while I cannot go into as much detail as I’d like, here’s a taste of what you can expect.
Jeanne Hopkins and Jamie Turner have set out to answer your most pertinent questions concerning mobile marketing such as SMS, MMS, mobile display ads, QR codes, mobile websites, mobile apps, location-based marketing and many other tools to increase your business revenue.
Their goal is to remove the shroud of mystery that surrounds mobile marketing so you can get started with your own campaign.
What to Expect
If you’re curious to know how large companies and small businesses alike are using mobile to connect with customers in new and exciting ways, then this is definitely the book for you.
In this 227-page hardcover, you can expect a thought-provoking read with great tips and ideas that completely demystify the world of mobile marketing. What’s more, the authors have translated all of the heavy “marketing-speak” into a fun, simple, easy-to-read layout that describes:
- The overall mobile landscape and the best practices used in various mobile marketing case studies (Part I)
- How to set up your business for success with mobile marketing campaigns (Part II)
- The various tactics used in mobile marketing such as how to set up a mobile website using SMS, MMS and mobile display ads to attract customers (Part III)
- B2B mobile marketing and how to measure the ROI of your mobile campaigns (Part IV)
Go Mobile is a fascinating book through and through, but my favorite chapters are as follows.
How the Fortune 500 Use Mobile Marketing (Chapter 2)
According to the authors, the biggest mistake that small businesses make is to assume that mobile marketing is for large corporations with huge budgets. Not only is this completely false, but in reality many small businesses that have been successful with mobile marketing started out studying how big companies were using it, and then borrowed the tactics that worked for them.
You too should study companies such as Adidas, Nissan and NorthFace to see what you could apply to your own business.
For example, the New Jersey Nets wanted to create buzz and engagement using Gowalla, so they hid free pairs of virtual game tickets throughout New York City.
The virtual tickets were placed in sports stores, parks and gyms and could be exchanged for real tickets to a particular game. The overall redemption rate was 15.2%, which may seem low, but not if you consider that there were no announcements and no media costs.
If you work for a hotel, airline, sports franchise, amusement park or any other venue that has leftover inventory during non-peak periods (e.g., vacant rooms, free passes, a new menu item, etc.), this kind of promotion would be ideal.
Not only is the cost of giving away unsold tickets to an event nominal, it would generate a ton of engagement and demand among people who are not your typical customers!
9 Ways Businesses Are Using Mobile Marketing (Chapter 5)
In many cases, mobile phones have replaced the more traditional computer landscape of laptops and desktops and the effects are being felt all over.
For example, where potential customers once stood idle in register lines at the grocery store, today’s consumers are using those free moments connecting to the online world through their mobile phones.
Here are three of the nine ways that businesses (both large and small) are using mobile media to capture these audiences:
- Short message service (SMS): Create text-to-win contests or voter-based competitions (think American Idol!) to create brand awareness. You can also use SMS to inform your subscribers of content updates or new product information.
- Multimedia messaging service (MMS): MMS includes not just text but also sound, images, animations and video content. As a marketer, you should be excited that your subscribers can send MMS messages from their mobile phones to your email address. Encourage engagement by inviting them to send a photo, a tune or a short video to win a cool prize or opportunity.
- Mobile display advertising and paid search: Because the number of people accessing the web via mobile phones is skyrocketing, by placing ads on relevant mobile search engines, businesses are more likely to catch prospects during some part of their buying cycle and convert them into customers.
So no matter the size of your business, keep in mind that mobile marketing offers a variety of opportunities that simply cannot be ignored.
Classic Mobile Marketing Mistakes You Can Avoid (Chapter 6)
As you plan your mobile campaigns, you should be aware of the most common key mistakes that people make. Here are some of them:
- Treating PC and mobile users the same—mobile marketing requires a different approach in terms of speed, brevity of content, creativity and location options.
- Failing to recognize the difference in mobile equipment—such as bandwidth limits, charges and fees, keyboard and mouse features, etc.
- Ignoring mobile’s limitations—small screen, no mouse, no printer, limited keyboard; keep these in mind when creating content for a mobile device.
- Seeking perfection—trying and trying for that ONE flawless campaign; polishing, tweaking and emphasizing only to come away disappointed. Go out on a limb and the results will provide a benchmark for future efforts.
- Mobile-spamming your audience—just because it’s easy and cheap to send frequent messages to your audience doesn’t mean you should. Think instead of creating a well-thought-out campaign that sends messages occasionally.
- Treating mobile as a one-way street—it’s easy to send messages that don’t require a reply, but if you’re looking for interaction, use your mobile list to ask questions or request feedback.
Mobile Apps (Chapter 15)
You do not need to build your own app to be successful in mobile marketing. But if you have some extra cash and are feeling a little adventurous, you’ll find that creating an app isn’t that difficult at all—even for non-code speakers.
There are several app development tools for ordinary humans just like you. Here is a sample of them from the book:
- AppMakr: This browser-based platform allows you to design your own iPhone app quickly and easily. You can even use existing content and social network feeds to create different styles for your app.
- GENWI: This tablet and smartphone platform allows you to create and manage your online presence on all popular mobile devices including iPad, iPhone, Android and HTML5 apps. Apps can also include revenue-generating capabilities such as ads, coupons and in-app subscriptions.
- Mippin: It’s one of the easiest platforms for creating an app. It can be used for Android, iOS and Windows and can also provide a lot of flexibility in designing the app.
- MobiCart: If you have an ecommerce site that you’d like to take to the mobile-sphere, this app builder will link up with PayPal to allow any business or consumer with an email address to securely and conveniently send and receive online payments.
- MyAppBuilder: For only $29 a month, this platform will create an iPhone or Android app for you. All you have to do is to provide content (e.g., videos, books, etc.). Their experts will also upload your new app to the app store for you.
- ShoutEm: This platform is ideal for bloggers, students, sports fans, news portals and local publishers. Again, you don’t need to know any code because the experts at ShoutEm will even take care of the iTunes and Android Marketplace submission process.
Go Mobile is a genuinely important book. It is interesting, fun and compelling. Above all it provides valuable insights into a little handheld device that you and I (and practically everyone in the world) are intimately familiar with, but may not realize how much more we could do with it.
l love that Jeanne Hopkins and Jamie Turner have made it their passion and mission to show us the many wonderful ways that a mobile phone can be used for business. What a discovery!
The way the book reads is like you’re having coffee and conversation with friends—relaxed, entertaining and stimulating. They make mobile marketing seem so doable (and it is!) and you come out feeling pumped up and futuristic, ready to change the world with your phone!
So if you’re serious about mobile marketing for your business, you really must read Go Mobile. It is both priceless and practical. Way to go, Jeanne and Jamie!
Social Media Examiner gives this book a full 5-star rating.
Over to You
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Images from iStockPhoto.
Patricia Redsicker writes research reviews for Social Media Examiner. She helps business owners craft content that sells. Her blog provides healthcare industry content marketing advice. Other posts by Patricia Redsicker »