You’re hearing it a lot lately – on Facebook, Twitter, national business publications, and even in daily news media – Mobile Marketing is becoming THE way to advertise; it’s often touted as the best direct marketing method available today. So now you’re wondering – “What exactly is mobile marketing? Are they right? Should my business be using it? Is it really as effective as they say it is? Will my customers want to receive mobile messages? Can I afford mobile marketing? Where do I begin?”
So let’s answer those questions!
First, what exactly is mobile marketing?
According to the Mobile Marketing Association, “Mobile Marketing is a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.”
And that communication and engagement is being implemented by marketers from the smallest ‘mom & pop shop’ to the largest multi-national corporations. As the traditional marketing channels suffer various levels of decline, mobile marketing is experiencing triple-digit growth annually.
According to Jeff Hayzlett, Chief Marketing Officer / Vice-President, Eastman Kodak Company, mobile phones are “the most direct and personal of all media channels these days… They enable us to remain connected 24/7. No need to log onto the Internet or roam around town looking for a hot spot. Mobile devices are always hot. A marketer’s dream is to engage in meaningful two-way conversations with people who are truly interested in their brand, and mobile gives you that direct line of communication — constantly.”
There are various types of mobile marketing, including:
- SMS (short message service)
- Also known as ‘texting’
- MMS (multi-media message service)
- Messages that contain multi-media objects such as images, video and audio
- Mobile Web Applications
- Browser-based web services such as the World Wide Web using a mobile device
- Utilizes WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) – an open, global specification that empowers mobile users with wireless devices to easily access and interact with information and services instantly
- Bluetooth (short-range wireless technology; up to approx. 33 ft)
- Also known as proximity marketing
- The localized wireless distribution of advertising content associated with a particular place. In other words, if you have a cell phone in the proximity of a marketing broadcast, you would be able to receive a message or advertisement
- Location-Based Marketing
- Delivers multi-media directly to the user of a mobile device dependent upon their location via GPS technology
- QR Codes (quick-response barcodes)
- Two-dimensional barcode
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
- a technology that automates interactions with telephone callers
- Voice broadcasting calls numbers from a computer managed list and plays a pre-recorded message to the call recipient or answering machine
- ADC (Abbreviated Dialing Codes) dial the code to access voice content
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
- Mobile Banner Ads
Next, Are they right, should your business be using Mobile Marketing? Is it really as effective as they say it is?
According to the Director of Research at Nielsen Mobile, “People look at every text message they get”, and 97% of them do so within 15 minutes. Can you think of any other advertising medium where you are almost guaranteed that every person targeted will see your message?
Kodak’s Hayzlett says, “Mobile marketing is quickly growing beyond the experimental and is showing tangible results. Two examples are Barack Obama’s unprecedented mobilization of supporters during his presidential campaign, and the incredibly successful American Idol reality show, where over 20 million mobile users text their votes each week.”
An additional recent example of mobile’s results is the spectacular fundraising efforts for Haiti which were driven by mobile donations. Almost $5 million dollars was raised in less than 48 hours via text message contributions, and to-date, more than $30 million has been raised via mobile.
Some industry statistics may help to clarify the effectiveness of Mobile Marketing for you:
- According to industry estimates, by 2013 the U.S. will top 100% per capita penetration of mobile phone use
- SMS is typically read within an average of 15 minutes after receipt, and responded to within 60 minutes
- While 65% of e-mail is spam, less than 10% of SMS (texting) is spam
- A survey of 2,400 moms reveals that the single most important tech gadget in their lives is the cell phone
- A Nielsen study indicates more than half of mobile data subscribers (51%) who saw a mobile ad responded to it by sending a text-message, clicking on it, or calling a specific number.
- In analyzing the mobile audience, Nielsen found that teens were the most likely to recall seeing some type of mobile ad (46%) compared to 29% of users overall. Asian-Americans and African-Americans were among other demographic groups with high recall rates, at 42% and 40%, respectively.
- 88% of all mobile subscribers have a text enabled phone. 51% have received SMS marketing messages, and 25% have opted in to marketing messaging from a brand.
- 14% said they are already open to mobile advertising so long as it is relevant to their interests
Will my customers want to receive mobile messages?
A new survey published by Compete.com indicates smartphone owners are very receptive to mobile coupons. The survey, which looked at the time of day most smartphone owners use their devices, as well as what mobile advertising concepts they’re most interested in, found that usage during commutes to work and while watching TV were the highest by far.
To find out their receptiveness, the survey asked smartphone owners how interested they were in receiving various types of mobile advertising. The results were quite interesting, indicating consumers were most interested in receiving grocery coupons (36%), scanable barcodes (29%), offers to save and pursue at leisure (26%), movie theater offers (26%) and promotion/coupon ads (21%) via SMS (text) when passing by a retailer.*
Can I afford mobile marketing?
Absolutely! Mobile marketing is an extremely cost-effective medium to use with an exceptional return-on-investment. While some firms have achieved an ROI as high as 54% or 62%, typical results range between 7 – 15%; still quite high as compared with more traditional media such as Direct Mail which typically attains a 2 – 3% ROI.
And now, Mobile Marketing is very accessible for even the smallest of firms. Small business owners can implement their own unlimited mobile advertising campaigns – within minutes – for as little as $25 per month, through a service now being offered by Strategic Growth Concepts – and, no contracts required!
Where do I begin?
If you would like to learn more about Mobile, please TEXT the word STRATEGIC to 244326. This will opt you in to Strategic’s Mobile Club, and notify us to schedule you for a FREE demonstration. Members of our Mobile Club will be eligible for future special offers, and will receive tips on using Mobile Marketing to benefit your business. If you prefer not to join the Mobile Club but would still like to receive the FREE demonstration, you can contact us directly at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com.
Sources: Babycenter.com, March 2008; Experian via Mobile Marketing Watch, Nielsen: Improved Recall, Comfort With Mobile Ads Study; Luth Research June 2009; *Smartphone Owners Want Mobile Coupons, Mobile Marketing Watch
Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE initial consultation.
The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting and training firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. She is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years experience in providing Marketing, Operations, HR, and Strategic planning services to start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Linda can be contacted at email@example.com and the company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.