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2011: The Year of Mobile Marketing?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mobile Marketing

Apparently it's supposed to be the next big thing. Everyone in the industry has either been talking about it, blogging about it, or tweeting about it. Heck, I even attended a lecture the other day about it by David Grayson from Atlanta-based LSN Mobile! But what, exactly, is mobile marketing and why is it important to your business?

At its core, mobile marketing is nothing new. Ever got one of those annoying late night text messages from some company touting their latest effort to save you money (but not sleep)? That's essentially mobile marketing; however, perhaps not the best example. Mobile marketing is, when used properly, a permission-based form of marketing that empowers a customer to decide whether or not they want "opt-in" to receive your marketing message. If they agree, you’re in. If they don't, at least you’re not wasting your time, money, and effort on someone who isn't interested.

Unlike television, print, radio, or even the web, mobile marketing relies mostly on overtly simple actionable ads that drive customers to either A) subscribe or B) take action. This action could be to call your 1-800 number, visit your mobile website, or even download your latest app. Regardless of the call to action you are prompting them to take must be simple and easy enough to complete on the go. An example provided during the lecture I attended used mobile coupons to influence the shopping habits of customers in real time, offering what is known as a “double opt-in” to capture both the customer’s attention as well as their contact information with the promise of more discounts in the future.

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Even small businesses can get into mobile marketing!

As the technology of mobile phones (particularly smart phones such as the iPhone and Android), not to mention the iPad and similar tablets progresses, we can most certainly expect more sophisticated methods of marketing opportunities to emerge. Companies such as Foursquare have already lead the charge for using more location-based social media through the power of mobile technology in 2010, as did Gowalla, and that trend doesn't appear to be slowing down. In fact, mobile marketing has the uncanny ability to connect all other forms of marketing in a personalized, cohesive way and as technologies such as 4G improve, I can only imagine that we’ll be given bigger and better solutions of what kind of immersive marketing potential the mobile arena holds.

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