Of the 7 billion people on the planet, more than 2 billion are expected to own smartphones by 2015.* Without question, mobile marketing will soar over the next 12 months. If you’re considering adding a mobile element to your marketing mix this year, these tips can help you formulate a good plan. And if you’ve already taken the plunge, they can help you make the most of your program.
1. Learn about your audience
First, make sure you understand your target audience thoroughly. Does a mobile strategy match the characteristics of your typical customers? If you aren’t sure, conduct an e-mail survey or find an informal way to ask, such as through a poll on your website. Questions could include:
How tech-savvy are your customers?
Have they ever searched for your business on a smartphone or mobile device?
Do they want to receive text messages from you?
Would they download a mobile application that makes it easier to interact and buy from your business?
Are they interested in receiving special offers or gaining access to exclusive content through quick response (QR) codes or mobile barcodes?
Mobile marketing can deliver excellent returns. But only engage in it if you’re sure it’s the right strategy for your customers and your business.
2. Provide a good user experience
Before starting a mobile promotion, make sure your website works well on various smartphones and other mobile devices. These gadgets offer limited viewing space, so grab your audience’s attention with sharp, focused messages. If you provide a telephone number, consider making it callable with a click. You might also want to include mobile coupons that subscribers can redeem by showing their phones at checkout. If you publish an e-mail newsletter or send sales offers by e-mail, make these messages mobile-friendly by writing short subject lines, avoiding slow-loading graphics and placing your call to action at the top of the page.
3. Get personal
Do everything you can to take advantage of the personal nature of cell phones. Keep in mind that messages can be received anytime and anywhere. For example, you might send a text message geared toward people with some free time on a Saturday afternoon and give a discount or free gift to the first 10 or 20 people who visit your business. Or you could invite customers to engage in a continuing activity—perhaps a massage schedule—and then send messages related to that activity. Finally, you could announce a new mobile marketing program on your social media pages and include a coupon or other incentive for those who sign up right away.
4. Integrate with other initiatives
Of course, you want your mobile marketing to stand out, but don’t neglect your other marketing efforts. Instead, strengthen them by making all the channels work together. For example, consider integrating your mobile messages with social media to include a viral element. You can also pair your mobile marketing with a print ad or flier. For example, you could send a text message telling subscribers to look for an ad in a newspaper and include a discount if they mention a code that’s printed on the ad. And if you engage in TV advertising, look for ways to use mobile messages to direct people to your ads or the shows on which they appear.
5. Measure your results
Decide what you want to achieve before measuring results. Metrics can include:
- Number of page opens
- Number of downloads
- Registrations and activations
- Number of pages viewed per unique visit
- Length of video views
- Text messages opened
- Repeat usage
- Number of QR codes scanned
- Customer feedback (good or bad)
- Number of unsubscribes
- Number of nonresponders
Once you define your goals, start measuring your results and tracking them over time. Don’t give up if you fail to see the results that you hoped for right away. It may take several months for your target audience to get used to a new mobile marketing program or changes to your existing one.
By planning a mobile marketing program carefully, you can greatly improve your chances of success. Mobile website hosting services from AT&T allow users to engage mobile viewers and easily track results.
*Parks Associates’ Smartphone: King of Convergence forecast, May 2011.