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Build Customers And Profits Through Mobile Marketing

September 25, 2012 - mediadealer - Uncategorized - 589 views



Okay, let’s face it! A mobile marketing strategy is one of the most promising approaches in the online business world, but finding the optimal formula may present a challenge. Types: Online Payments, Credit, Debit, or ACH, Over-the-Phone Payments, Billing

They’ve gone from the brick-sized version that weighed as much, to the stylish, chic version that fits in any pocket and goes with you everywhere. You literally won’t leave home without it! In fact, you’ll turn around and go back home for it. Mobile phones are everywhere!

Mobile Marketing, a new marketing trend, is the result of the growth in the use of mobile phones and other mobile devices.

I’ve written this guide for the business owner who is ready to take advantage of this new marketing trend that is set to take off like a rocket. Mobile marketing is for the business owner who wants to be ahead of the trend – instead of trailing it long after it’s been around for years and used successfully by others.

If you own a salon, a coffee shop, an auto repair shop, a pizza shop or any other local business, you know that a regular paying customer is worth more to you than a customer you have to acquire. You may not, however, have any way of keeping track of your customers – who they are, how many of them you have, what they buy when they come in to your shop and therefore, you haven’t been marketing directly to them.

You do your marketing the old-fashioned shotgun way – blast the market with advertising, hoping you’re aiming at the right potential customers who need your product or service.

In this report, we’re going to focus on laser targeting your marketing to your local customer base in an affordable, very effective way – using mobile text message marketing.

We will cover the following topics:

  • Mobile devices
  • What mobile marketing is and what mobile marketing isn’t.
  • Trends in mobile marketing
  • Why you, as a business owner, should be very concerned about mobile marketing.
  • Who needs mobile marketing
  • Mobile friendly websites
  • Mobile marketing tools

What is Mobile Marketing?

According to the Mobile Marketing Association, mobile marketing is

“a set of practices that enable organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.”

Kim Dushinski, a mobile marketing expert, enhances this description:

“Mobile marketing is businesses COMMUNICATING with consumers on their mobile phones with their explicit permission at the right time, at the right place while providing relevant value.”

The key to both of these definitions is that businesses are communicating with consumers – this is not a one-way message or a push marketing campaign. You are inviting consumers to initiate contact with you by calling or texting you (known as “opting-in”), giving you permission to communicate with them.

You, in return, will be providing something of value to them. This may be based on the knowledge you’ve acquired about your customers and that is the exciting aspect of this type of marketing. Customers have requested your response and that response will be received with anticipation, often resulting in action.

A Word of Caution: Mobile Marketing is a NO SPAM Zone!

You do NOT want to send unwanted messages to anyone!

Mobile marketing is using mobile devices as the method to distribute your marketing message.

It is just one tool in your arsenal of marketing strategies.

While mobile marketing is a very powerful tool, it should be used in addition to the other marketing techniques you’re already using.

You never want to count on just one marketing strategy to get your message out.

   Mobile Marketing Trends

Mobile marketing is experiencing tremendous growth globally.  It is estimated that by 2012, 10 trillion text messages will be sent and delivered to mobile phones.

Mobile marketing is a very accepted marketing strategy in most parts of the world. Japan was one of the first countries to embrace it, with Europe and other areas following. The United States has been lagging behind and is just now starting to take a serious look at this strategy.

Why is mobile marketing so important to consider using? Statistics tell the story and you’ll be amazed!

As the world’s population approaches 7 billion, the number of cell phone subscriptions continues to grow and is expected to have reached 5 billion by the end of 2010. This is over 70% of the world’s population!

In the U.S. alone, over 250 million Americans carry mobile phones – more than 80% of the nation’s population. In fact, over 20% of U.S. households are “mobile only.”

Now, if you subtract the very young population and the very elderly population (who are not likely to use mobile phones) from the total population, you can see that almost everyone else has a mobile phone – everyone who has purchasing power. This is huge!

On the other hand, there are less than 2 billion internet users globally. Which size population would you rather aim your arrows at: 2 billion or 5 billion?

In some parts of the world, the mobile phone is the only connection to the rest of the world. There are few PCs and few land lines. Furthermore, with the onset of the smartphones, mobile phones are becoming the connection to the World Wide Web – like a computer carried by people everywhere they go.

  • About 1.3 billion internet users use email.
  • About 3 billion cell phone users use text messaging.
  • By the end of 2010, 6.5 trillion text messages will have been sent.
  • The global mobile advertising market will be valued at over $16 billion by 2011. Source: M:Metrics, Common Short Codes: Cracking the Mobile Marketing Code

So … what do all these numbers mean?

Basically, mobile phones are quickly becoming the preferred way to communicate with a consumer, over the personal computer.

Surveys show that email use on PCs is decreasing at the same time that text messaging on cell phones is increasing at a huge rate. Advertisers are recognizing this trend and are planning on putting more and more advertising dollars into the mobile market.

Mobile phones are here to stay. Mobile phone use is growing exponentially and is already bigger than PC use. Marketing to cell phone users, using different marketing tools, is definitely one of the keys to your future business growth.

 Why Mobile Marketing is Important

Mobile is now considered the 7th mass media – the other 6 being Print, Recordings, Cinema, Radio, Television and Internet. They are called mass media because they reach out and touch not only the elite but also the greater masses.

What’s so special about the mobile industry, the newest mass media?

It is the first mass media that is capable of doing everything the other six can do. We can read newspapers, watch movies, listen to music and watch TV shows on our smart phones. Yes, we can even surf the web on mobile devices.

More importantly, mobile phones have benefits that the other 6 media don’t have.

  • It is the only media that is truly personal and carried constantly.

Mobile phones are not shared with others – even our spouses!

  • Mobile is the only media where each consumer can be identified individually – by their phone number – with a degree of accuracy not available with any other media.
  • Mobile is the first and only media that is always on. Messages, news, and promotions are delivered instantly and can be accessed 24/7 by consumers.
  • The mobile phone is the only media that is constantly with the owner.
  • 7 out of 10 people sleep with their phones within arm’s reach. And yes, I’m sure you’ve heard people speaking on their phones, even in public bathrooms. People have been known to return home to get their forgotten phones.

It is an incredibly intense relationship.  You just don’t leave home without it!

  • Mobile phones have built-in payment mechanisms. Click to Buy is HUGE!! You can’t run up to the movie screen to buy a shirt you want or click on your radio to buy the product being advertised. Even on the internet, you need to set up payment options such as PayPal.

Like the ringtone on your phone?

Click to Buy.

Like the book you see on your phone?

Click to Buy.

Pay for movie tickets, iTunes, insurance or pizza with your phone?

Click to Buy!!

  • And the most incredible benefit of mobile is all this can be done without waiting – at that time of intense impulse! No need to power up the computer. No need to download the picture from the camera. No need to turn on the player and insert the DVD. No printing the coupon, cutting it out and walking it to the store. No waiting to go to the store to buy the book you want right now (thanks to Click to Buy). You can have it NOW!

 Mobile is the newest mass media and it has the potential to become the most influential mass media of all time.

Okay. You’re convinced mobile marketing is important.

But how does mobile pertain to your business?

  1. Well, if you’re experiencing a smaller marketing budget due to economic constraints, mobile marketing, done correctly, can be a more affordable and effective way to build your client base than traditional marketing. You’re smart to read this report and learn more about new marketing strategies.

You definitely want to consult a mobile marketing expert to help you with your advertising campaigns and your business’ mobile presence. They will help you avoid expensive mistakes and a steep learning curve.

2. It’s been found that all age categories are accessing emails through mobile phones in larger numbers. The problem is that emails are often considered to be spam and not all of them are opened.

On the other hand, click-through rates and conversion rates are significantly higher for text messages than emails and internet displays, despite the latter two having a larger piece of marketing budgets.

Even more significantly, “about 90% of all text messages are read within three minutes of their delivery, and over 99% of all text messages are read by the recipient,” according to a whitepaper on conversational advertising by SinglePoint.

This data illustrates that text messaging through mobile phones is becoming the preferred way to reach customers. Text messages are opened and read almost 100% of the time.

Text messages don’t have to go through spam filters, they’re not ignored and they’re not automatically trashed. Text coupons can have a redemption rate of 10 -30% because they are always available on the phone, as opposed to email or paper coupons.

As a business owner, you are always striving to become aware of the newest marketing strategies you can use to grow your client base and increase sales. You want to stand out from the crowd.

Well, mobile marketing is the newest marketing strategy that can help you stand out from the crowd.

It’s effective and affordable and it provides constant access to your customers because people always have their phones with them. You can also experience very quick results from your mobile advertising as opposed to having to wait for print advertising or other methods to reach your clients. In addition, these results can be trackable.

With mobile marketing, you can send messages about a sale to customers who have requested to be contacted about a particular product and when it goes on sale. You’re more likely to get a better ROI on that piece of advertising than if you mailed out a direct mail ad to a random selection of households.

According to Advertising Age,

“It’s clear that retailers that don’t embrace mobile phone technology in the coming year will be left behind, much as those retailers who sat on the sidelines in the early days of digital or social media are now playing catch up.”

Who Needs Mobile Marketing?

First, let me say that not every business needs mobile marketing. If you do not have an advertising budget that can handle experimentation losses from using a new technology you’re not familiar with, you do not need to be doing mobile marketing at this time.

On the other hand, if you engage the services of a mobile marketing expert who can help to mitigate any such potential losses, you should certainly consider using mobile marketing.

In addition, you should not consider using mobile marketing if your product or service focuses primarily on a target demographic that would not be using mobile phones.

Many businesses, however, do have products or services that are ideal candidates for marketing using mobile.

Retail, above and beyond, is the niche which benefits the most from mobile. Anyone with a retail business should definitely have a mobile friendly website and should take advantage of mobile advertising strategies or you’ll be behind the 8 ball.

The mobile marketing opportunities for a retail business are endless!

There are many other business niches which can benefit greatly from mobile marketing and they include, but are not limited to:

  • Travel
  • Nonprofits
  • Sports
  • Legal
  • Food and beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Consumer electronics
  • Apparel and accessories
  • Automotive
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Consumer packaged goods
  • Education
  • Financial Services
  • Government
  • Home furnishings
  • Media/publishing
  • Politics
  • Real estate

Imagine the benefits of offering coupons, recipes, surveys/feedback campaigns, fan clubs, loyalty clubs, movie times, ticket sales, class schedules, details of a property for sale, last minute travel deals, sales, store events, donation sites, emergency alerts, new publications by a favorite author or musician, health tips, carry-out or delivery ordering, theater locations.

Clearly, the list can go on and on. You can modify many of the offline promotions you are already doing to make them work on mobile. You can also create and execute new promotions that do not work offline. There are no limits to using your creativity with mobile marketing!

It’s beyond the scope of this guide to discuss in detail all the ways your business can market using mobile, but a mobile marketing consultant is able to help you plan your marketing campaigns.

According to a report posted by eMarketer, mobile phone use related to buying activities increased significantly in 2010, with an even greater increase during the last quarter – the 2010 holiday shopping season.  It All Sounds Good – But Are They Using Mobile to Buy? (Show Me The Money!)

Consumers not only checked their phones for coupons and sales, shared good deals with friends and did comparison shopping, but yes, they bought products using their phones.

Smartphone Activities Performed During the Holidays According to US Spmartphone Owners, Dec 2010

Source GfK Roper

  Why You Need a Mobile Friendly Website

When you plan your mobile marketing campaigns, you will, at some point, be sending consumers to your website. If your website is not mobile friendly, consumers will not have a good experience and will leave your site.

Reasons why businesses need a mobile friendly website include:

  • People use their mobile phones every day to search for information on businesses.
  • Your website loads faster on the mobile phone when it is mobile friendly. People are usually in a hurry and not willing to wait for a website to load. They’d rather click off and find another site that loads faster.
  • Your business information is easily visible to consumers in a mobile friendly website. You can display a “Click to Call” button or a “Click for Directions” button, a menu or simple, pertinent features of your business that are easily visible on a phone.
  • Travelers use their mobile phones to find hotels, restaurants and other businesses when in different cities. You want your information to be readily available to those travelers.
  • When you have two versions of your website, you can offer your information to two different sets of searchers – those on the road who are in a hurry and those who are sitting at home with time to do research.
  • A mobile website gives you another site to market to search engines and directories, increasing your business’ rankings on the web.

By 2014, it is estimated that half of Americans’ web browsing will be done on their mobile devices. It is critical for you to make sure you have a mobile web presence and that your mobile websites are working properly. As a savvy business owner, you want to get the jump on your competitors and not wait till everyone is using mobile marketing.

Your potential customers expect you to have a mobile website:

“When asked whether they expect sites they visit frequently to provide a dedicated mobile version, a resounding 84 percent responded in the affirmative.”                                                                              – iCrossing Study

You’ll want to engage the services of a mobile internet marketing consultant to help you do mobile search engine optimization for your mobile website. It doesn’t matter if you have a .com or a .mobi website. If it can’t be found – you’re losing customers.

The Tulsa Zoo website is an excellent example of all the features you can include in your mobile friendly website, in a clear, easy-to-read format.

Features included:

  • “Donate Now”button and link
  • “Directions” link
  • “Hours & Admission” link
  • “Contact” link
  • Link to main website
  • Links to current events and exhibits

You know you need a mobile friendly website, but what exactly is a mobile friendly website?  Mobile Friendly Websites

A picture is worth a thousand words. See below.

.com website on a PC screen

.com

Non-mobile friendly websites present obstacles to a consumer who is searching for information about your business. The large PC sites require scrolling and a consumer is likely to scroll right past the information they’re looking for (phone numbers, addresses, etc.).

.com website on a mobile screen

.mobi

Mobile friendly websites present the information in a very clear, easy-to-navigate fashion with links to pertinent pages. There is a minimum of graphics and extensive information.

.mobi website on a mobile screen

Please Note: Less than 1% of .com, .net and .org sites are mobile web friendly. This means there’s a 99% chance your website isn’t mobile friendly!

A mobile marketing expert can help you create a mobile version of your current website.

  Mobile Marketing Tools

Okay. It works. You think it’s worth considering using mobile marketing.

How do you do it?

First, you need to decide which strategy you’ll be using to get your message out and then you can craft your message to fit the strategy.

There are several mobile marketing strategies/tools you can use to reach your customers on their mobile devices and we’ll list them here. It’s beyond the scope of this report to go into extreme detail for each. Your mobile marketing consultant will be able to help you make the right choices for your business.

Text Messaging (SMS)

SMS stands for Short Message Service, also known as text messages. Most cell phones are capable of sending and receiving text messages. You’re limited to 140 characters and that is enough to get a short message out, link to a website or send out a coupon.

We’ve already talked about the great open rates and conversion rates for text messages. This is definitely one strategy you’ll want to keep in mind when setting up your mobile marketing campaigns.

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)

In addition to sending text, you can also send audio, pictures and video in an MMS message. You can get quite creative here with your marketing message and distribute it easily through phones.

Mobile E-Mail

Despite the increase in popularity of text messaging, emails are still a great way to get a message out. You’ll observe people checking their emails all day long, in a variety of locations, because they have their mobile phones with them. This is an affordable and acceptable way to market via mobile.

Mobile Internet Sites

The increase in smartphones which have the ability to surf the web means that your website should be formatted to be mobile friendly. People on the go tend to search for basic information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and hours of operation. They’re trying to make quick decisions and do not usually have the time to read a complicated website when on the go. You need to make sure you have appropriate, easily findable information on your mobile friendly website.

Mobile Applications

Mobile applications are computer programs that are installed on mobile phones. They are used to provide capabilities, such as looking at a checking account balance or playing a game. Applications can also include your marketing message. They can be a great way to get your message out.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

With all the capabilities available on the mobile phones of today, we might forget that their primary purpose is to make and receive voice phone calls. IVR technology allows us to send and receive voice calls from people without having a live person answer the phone at your end.

Mobile Social Media

Social media has been a driving force in the growth of smart phones. It’s very easy for folks to participate in social media conversations throughout the day using their phones. You can take advantage of this trend by incorporating a mobile social media strategy in your marketing.

 Mobile Advertising

Mobile phones present a great opportunity to advertise to a broad potential customer base, in addition to your targeted customer base. Google, recognizing the importance of the mobile industry, recently bought AdMob, a mobile advertising platform. You know if Google thinks it’s important, we should also pay attention.

Mobile advertising involves placing ads in mobile applications, on websites, and in text messages, to name a few.

Mobile Commerce

It is possible to arrange for an immediate purchase of not only digital downloadable products, but also of retail products using your mobile phone. Your mobile phone can literally be used as a digital wallet using bar code scanners and mobile point of sale systems. You’ll want to consider setting up a mobile commerce program, if you sell any products which can be downloaded or shipped out.

Proximity Marketing

Mobile phones are capable of showing the exact geo-location of the person using the phone. This capability can be used to target buyers in specific geographic locations with messages appropriate to their location (e.g. mall stores offering coupons to mall shoppers or restaurants texting a 2 for 1 dinner special to those in their vicinity). This type of marketing is receiving attention because of the potential for timing the promotions as needed (e.g. slow day for a restaurant or clearance sale in a store).

The geo-location capabilities of phones are a great reason to focus on local internet marketing for your business. You definitely want your mobile website to be found when consumers are searching for a local business to go to. You also want to invite consumers to communicate with you, when they find your website because of your great local web presence.

A local internet marketing consultant can help you with your local internet marketing program.

Mobile-Enabled Traditional Media

Mobile marketing can only be done with the express permission of your customer. You can use traditional media to invite them to opt-in to your list. An example of this would be a sign in your store window or near the cash register inviting the customer to text to a number which will respond with a coupon code or scan a QR code which will take them to a web page where they can opt-in.

 QR Codes

QR Codes will be explained in the next section.

  QR Codes

QR Codes are a great mobile tool to use and they deserve some explanation.

The QR Code is a barcode that was developed in Japan and is commonly used in much of the world.

QR stands for Quick Response.

If you have a QR scanner on your smartphone, you can scan the code on this page.

The difference between a regular barcode and the QR code is that the QR Code stores data which can be read digitally. The QR code is read by scanners in stores or using the camera and a QR code reader (available free) which are installed on your smartphone.

A QR Code can be used to provide a link to a web page, a coupon or details on a new product and can be printed on anything – even t-shirts! The uses for a QR Code are endless.

QR Codes are used extensively outside of the U.S. and are beginning to catch on here, too. I’m already seeing them in print advertising in magazines, on store windows, in some directories and on other websites. You can add them to any print advertising such as business cards, to videos, and to anything else you can think of. When scanned, it will provide a text message, take someone directly to your website or link to whatever else you decide to send them to.

In Japan, McDonald’s includes QR codes on their product packaging (Happy Meal boxes, sandwich wrappers). Magazines are incorporating QR codes into their print advertising. Can you think of how you might use a QR Code?

You can download your Google Places QR Code from your Google Places Dashboard. The Google Places QR Code links to your Places listing, which provides important information about your business.

Someone who is familiar with QR Codes will appreciate using them. If someone is not familiar with QR Codes, they’ll ask about them when they’re in your store – opening up lines of communication.

QR Codes are a great tool for inviting a consumer to opt-in to your list, in exchange for something of value (coupon, sales events, link to a download).

You’ll be seeing more and more QR Codes and you’ll be using them yourself in your mobile marketing campaigns.

 Summary

Mobile is the newest mass media with the greatest capabilities and greatest marketing potential for the business community. Mobile phone use is growing at a rapid pace and this growth reflects a growing customer base which a business can potentially tap into.

If you can imagine what it was like back when TV was infringing on radio and the explosion that resulted from that, you’ll realize that mobile is infringing on the internet and there is an explosion coming from that.

Are you ready for the mobile explosion?

There are two things you can do right now to make your business mobile.

  1. Create a mobile friendly website. 25% of the population has a smartphone and they can access your website.
  2. Start a text message marketing program. The majority of people have mobile phones which can receive text messages. This is a direct, personal and cost-effective way to communicate with consumers.

There are several inexpensive text message marketing plans available to small business owners, some starting as low as $10 a month.

You want to be careful to provide value to your customers when you text them. As easily as they opted-in, consumers can opt-out by texting STOP if they feel your text message are spam.

Text message marketing is an incredible marketing opportunity for small businesses. If you can type, you can send a text message.

The mobile industry, as a whole, is not understood by many and is in a constant state of change. Considering the multitude of marketing tools available in mobile, as a business owner, you need to seriously consider using experts in the mobile marketing field to make the best use of your marketing dollars and time.

 


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