The continued refocusing of digital marketing from desktop to mobile creates new challenges and opportunities for marketer leaders, marketing teams and the technical professionals who support them. As mobile becomes the senior partner in the marketing mix, and smartphone use dominates, its influence and importance will only grow, and those relying on legacy metrics and services can only fall behind.
Trends in marketing have been focused on mobile thanks to the massive rise in smartphone use in recent years. Even though smartphone sales have leveled off, they remain the focal point for marketing, using SMS, email, push notifications, apps and other tools. As mobile becomes ubiquitous, it should not be forgotten, even as there’s less news and excitement over new hardware.
The focus on how marketers can address the mobile audiences allows them to focus on the job in hand, and not worry too much about the power and feature race of smartphone makers, who have settled into a regular cadence of processor and camera upgrades, with few surprises.
This allows marketers to focus on their key messages across email, social media, advertising and other areas, without the worry of the device landscape changing again, which caused chaos with Bluetooth, GPS and a plethora of other technologies arriving in earlier generations. There’s plenty of activity in mobile for them to consider, as mobile use surpasses TV viewing, and online content and consumption reading habits continue to change.
For example, recent news sees Twitter potentially allowing users to follow interests rather than trends. Focusing on sports during testing, that can easily spill over into brands, hobbies, trends and personal interests, allowing marketers to focus their messages in relevant areas to attract prospects and drive interest.
3 Best Practices for Mobile Marketing
The art of mobile marketing and getting it right offers a distinct set of challenges to marketers. The following best practices can help make the process logical, manageable and support business growth, broken down into three key areas; using tools to engage and measure response, defining better marketing efforts through services, and building a winning mobile marketing portfolio.
With over 40% of all Internet traffic handled by mobile devices getting the right message to the right audience at the right time becomes critically important.
1. Mobile Email Messaging
Marketers looking to attract the mobile audience will find many concepts similar to their traditional efforts but delivered with a mobile twist. For example, mobile email messaging can largely replicate traditional emails. However, the calls to action, links, and use of imagery all need to be upfront and above the fold to attract attention, with over 50% of emails now checked on mobile.
Text-heavy or poorly formatted emails will be ignored within seconds by four out of five readers, so ensuring a good mobile performance is key with messages designed for email, or at least using responsive design are key. Users also check their email more often, so the traditional 9 AM, 2 PM and 5 PM windows need to be more flexible for sending messages.
Best practice: Update email messages to a mobile focus and check that messaging types and times follow modern standards and are not way out of date.
2. SMS Marketing
SMS marketing takes us to another level of personalisation, addressing the individual directly. Marketing SMS messages are opened more than marketing emails, and the mobile-only design guarantees a good display, with space only for key messages. Also, customers can opt-in and out at their discretion, leaving you with engaged consumers.
SMS also allows for quick surveys to gauge choice and satisfaction and can be used for interactive messaging to increase engagement.
Best practice: SMS marketing creates new opportunities but you need a clear use that is different from your email and other marketing. Hyperfocus on the use of language and call to action, while remaining friendly and clear.
3. Mobile Apps
One of the fastest-growing areas of mobile marketing is mobile apps, allowing the business total control of the marketing experience with push notifications, location-based alerts, and services, plus access to online shopping or ordering of services, loyalty, and discount cards, plus other benefits all within the one location.
With two or three clicks, a user can check their account, make a top-up order or reservation and see what the latest deals or offers are, providing maximum levels of engagement. Apps can be created simply and efficiently using cloud services, while developers can craft amazing experiences using VR and AR for cutting edge apps for high-end brands.
Best practice: Build the right app for your business and don’t be too impressed by the shininess of other apps you have come across.
Finally, any current website should be updated to provide mobile landing pages, bringing prospects and customers to the key information and calls to action, whatever your audience. Landing pages can help promote specific products, capture new leads, and be used to drive installs of your mobile app.
Choosing some or all of these options as ways to reach the mobile user will boost response, engagement and sales. From online through to search ads, because it’s no good having a responsive website and then neglect to design your landing pages for mobile devices.
Choice of Mobile Marketing Services and Solutions
As consumer expectation and demand for mobile engagements creates new, predictable opportunities, which sophisticated marketing campaigns and measuring tools can help your business capitalise on them. Businesses of different sizes will need wildly different tools to help with their mobile marketing efforts, providing analytics, loyalty, promotions, along with improvement suggestions and support for new services.
Startups and young companies can use free or paid services, leveraging Google’s range of tools or going with specific nimble cloud services like Mailchimp or a wide range of SMS services. Busier or larger organisations can turn to the likes of Airship that offers advanced push notification tools, while Vibes with its purpose-built mobile marketing platform to engage across virtually all mobile channels. At the enterprise end, Salesforce and Oracle, IBM and Adobe offer mobile marketing tools as part of their packages.
Your team doesn’t need to adopt any or all these tools but by exploring the market and products, they can establish the possibilities for their mobile marketing efforts, learn what is achievable and what is within budget or your technical limitations. Many of these products have extensive research and customer experience articles or blog posts to get up to speed on the current state of the market.
Best practice: Start out small using marketing services that meet the needs of the business and don’t overstretch your team’s technical knowledge. Be prepared to upgrade or expand along with your marketing efforts, and plan for the future to avoid panic upgrading later on.
Winning at Mobile Marketing
Having understood the wide choice of ways to engage on mobile, plus the tools and services at your disposal, your business needs to focus on which ones are valuable for your market and business needs.
- The best practices to succeed are to build a fresh mobile marketing effort and presence, either through updating your previous desktop-focused efforts or building new tools for email, SMS and apps.
- Build and understand an analytics tool that helps show where your customers come from and how they interact with your marketing. That can be from the technical side (they never open your email, or ditch your website due to slow loading times) to the message side (more people open deals offers than traditional update messages) and so on.
- From that, build an SEO for a mobile-first campaign that helps drive organic traffic to your mobile app or web store.
- Use social media to highlight deals, new products, and new features in your app or on the store.
With the building blocks of your effort created and responsibility divided among the team or department, you then need to execute the marketing strategy, which will vary wildly depending on the market, budget, and flexibility in the company.
- Expect regular performance updates and focus on metrics to see where your business makes best use of mobile marketing and where it can improve.
- Be prepared to make use of seasonal, regular and local or global events to adjust the marketing campaign efforts as useful to your market.
The whole force of the Internet and marketing industry chat highlights that mobile marketing is the way forward for every type of business. That knowledge alone should drive your efforts forward, while the results from mobile marketing are proof of its success. From mobile apps to an SMS campaign, the effort should be based around your company’s marketing skills, future plans, while remaining grounded on meeting the needs of customers and prospects.