Mobile Phone as a Tool for Strategic Marketing
Author: Dr. Arijit Maity, Faculty, Globsyn Business School
There has been so much attention accorded to the technique and many companies are going out to get the service. Today, the use of mobile phones as a communication tool has proliferated all groups in society. Many people own one type of mobile phone or device. However, when using the tool as a marketing strategy, the strategy should have certain characteristics that will make it the most favorable.
It should be able to reach a large audience of potential customers. The strategy should augur well with text messaging. The latter has become integral in the lives of people throughout the world. This makes it a very useful tool for reaching a massive audience. There are more than 3 billion people worldwide who actively use text messaging as a communication means.
The strategy should have credulity that is built in on its features. It should not be easy to ignore. This is why e-mails are not a very effective means of advertising because a person can decide to delete them or even ignore before reading through. Also, most people assume that e-mails contain detailed messages that they need to read when they are settled in their offices or at home. This postponement leads to failure in reading the messages. The mobile marketing strategy is most effective because people assume that messages sent on mobile phones don’t need much concentration to get the message, therefore they can even read them while undertaking other activities. This makes the option credible.
What is Mobile Marketing?
I would tell you that mobile is the future of marketing, but really the era of mobile has already arrived. If you’re not implementing some kind of mobile marketing strategy, you’re already trailing behind! As you can see from the graph below, more users are spending larger amounts of time engaged with mobile devices than ever before. We can expect this trend to continue even further in the future, so get ready!
How Does Mobile Marketing Work?
Mobile marketing consists of ads that appear on mobile smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. Mobile marketing ad formats, customization, and styles can vary, as many social media platforms, websites, and mobile apps offer their own unique and tailored mobile ad options.
Why You Need a Mobile Marketing Strategy
Your business needs a mobile marketing strategy for the same reason that you need a computer and wi-fi access – this is the age in which we live! Walk around any major city and you’ll find more than just a few folks with faces glued to their smartphone screens. According to recent reports, 40% of users’ internet time is spent on mobile devices, which means simply ignoring the rise of mobile just isn’t an option.
Some other interesting mobile marketing statistics:
- 80% of mobile device time in spent on apps, with game apps eating up the largest percent of app time
- People browse 70% more web pages on tablets than smartphones
- Retail conversion rates are 2.2% on tablets, considerably higher than 0.7% on smartphones, but traditional PC conversion rates are still highest at 3.3%
- Mobile searches have increased 200% year over year in 2012
- Mobile is predicted to surpass desktop in 2014
Mobile is here to stay, and if forecasts are correct, it will soon by eclipsing desktop usage. If you don’t have a mobile marketing strategy yet, it’s time to get going!
Types of Mobile Marketing Strategies
There’s a healthy variety of mobile marketing strategies to try. The kind that works best for your business will depend on your industry, target audience, and budget.
App-based marketing: This is mobile advertising involving mobile apps. While 80% of mobile time is spent engaged with apps, you don’t have to create an app yourself to get in on the action. Services like Google AdMob help advertisers create mobile ads that appear within third-party mobile apps.
Facebook also allows advertisers to create ads that are integrated into Facebook’s mobile app. Facebook’s mobile Promoted Post ads integrate so seamlessly with Facebook’s news feed that users often don’t realize they’re looking at ads.
QR codes: QR codes are scanned by users, who are then taken to a specific webpage that the QR code is attached to. QR codes are often aligned with mobile gamification and have an element of mystery to them, since users who scan them don’t always know exactly which rabbit hole they’re jumping down.
Location-based marketing: Location-based mobile ads are ads that appear on mobile devices based upon a user’s location relative to a specific area or business. For example, some advertisers may only want their mobile ads to appear when users are within a 1 -mile radius of their business.
Mobile search ads: These are basic Google search ads built for mobile, often featuring extra add-on extensions like click-to-call or maps.
Mobile image ads: Image-based ads designed to appear on mobile devices.
SMS: SMS marketing involves capturing a user’s phone number and sending them text offers. This is considered somewhat passé.
Mobile Marketing strategy
The mobile marketing strategy should be easy to integrate with other marketing methods. Several companies have used mobile marketing with their newspapers, TV, billboard and radio ads among others. This will make the mobile marketing method enhance the reception of the other marketing strategies.
The strategy should also have the capability to have some form of customer service feature or be able to reach out to the consumers of an organization. It should be able to gain the trust of the readers so that they can opt-in on the service promoted. The strategy should be one that changes the minds of people from thinking of information as content rather than advertisement.
There are a number of marketing strategies that use the sms platform. These include coupon marketing, customer surveys and service reminders. Coupon marketing involves enticing consumers by giving out sms coupons as a promotional strategy. This promotion can have a number of layers. Customers can be requested to ask for coupons when they shop for certain products at certain locations. A number can be given which customers can dial and hear certain information. If they listen to the end, they are given a coupon that is sent to them in form of a text.
Customer surveys involve conducing polls on certain issues. The information gleaned from such a promotion can be used by companies to develop their products, take measures that enhance brand recognition among other issues.
Service reminder is a mobile marketing strategy that involves sending messages to consumers reminding them of certain undertakings that they are supposed to perform at a certain time.
Facts About Mobile Marketing
With the increased competition in business as well as the cut throat competition in advertising, the need to stay ahead of the competition has become a matter of life and death. As a result marketers have embraced an innovative way of advertising whose popularity has grown rapidly on all corners of the world. This form of advertising is the relatively new mobile phone marketing which has been causing a lot of ripples in the advertisement industry.
Mobile marketing has been made popular largely due to the large number, billions, of mobile phone subscribers in the world. This means that a mobile marketer has a large pool of consumers lying there in for the taking. Mobile marketing has largely taken the form of mobile web page advertisements in form of banners or click-ons. WAP enabled phones have become affordable to most people and major brands have been quick to exploit this by placing their advertisements strategically in online pages regularly visited by phone users.
With the astronomical rise of social sites popularity, advertisers have had a field where they can display their adverts to a large audience. Most young people today are registered in at least one social site and log in regularly through their phones. This means that adverts placed in such sites, for example, FaceBook are guaranteed to make a major impact on FaceBook fans around the world. Furthermore, cute or catchy adverts on FaceBook end up being viral as users like them or share them and the result is additional advertisements that a mobile marketer pays nothing for.
Mobile phones have also provided an opportunity for big brands to transmit sponsored messages. Big brands can make communication on new products or promotional incentives through mobile SMS and the great thing is that they are guaranteed that there message will reach its target.
Companies like Pizza delivery stores have also turned their attention to mobile phones to make their communication. The stores can use messages to communicate the progress of an order or inform regular customers about new offers.
Innovations in mobile marketing do not end there as some companies, such as water and power companies in some countries have made mobile phone innovations in order to stay ahead of the competition. Measures taken by such companies include mobile applications that allow customers to pay their bills through their phones or make enquiries about balances in their accounts.
Banks too have embraced mobile marketing and most banks in some countries have developed mobile applications that customers can use to make withdrawals and deposits into their accounts. Furthermore, such applications also allow customers to pay their bills, for example, water bills with cash in their bank accounts without having to move from their house due to the linking established between such services by companies. These kind of innovations keep customers snared to a company and attract other customers from rivals due to the convenience of doing their transactions over the phone.
Mobile marketing is therefore, an advertising field with a lot still left to offer. This is because as the phone technology evolves, then the mobile marketing strategies will evolve too.
Best Mobile Marketing Strategy
More and more organizations are factoring in mobile marketing strategy when considering their marketing budgets. This signifies the importance that most organizations today place in mobile marketing. A successful mobile marketing strategy considers many factors and some of these factors are discussed below.
An organization should always consider the consumer insights. By doing this, organizations are likely to learn of past poor experiences and frustrations suffered by consumers in mobile marketing and avoid a repeat of the same.
Apart from consumers’ frustrations, organizations, while formulating their strategy, should also consider frustrations suffered by other mobile phone marketers. By learning of such frustrations and mistakes committed by such marketers, an organization can be able to formulate a strategy that will result in a better performance without a repeated occurrence of the same mistakes and frustrations.
Organizations should also establish a customer service department dedicated to enquiries and complaints from consumers during the mobile marketing period. Quick solutions to consumer problems and complaints can save a situation before it deteriorates to company’s image tainting levels.
A good strategy formulates the types and content of messages to be sent out on the promotions at an early stage and rolls out a testing program to ensure the way the message are received is the way they are meant to be received.
Organizations should also decide the manner in which they are going to go about sending the messages. They should decide whether to hire the services of a mobile marketing company to provide packages or bundles of messages and managing the entire sending process or whether to develop their own system which is more costly.
Mobile Phones Marketing is a technique that provides businesses with the option of making promotions on their products and services in a fashion that is cost effective and personalized than other advertising strategies. This is unlike measures like calling people and telling them about a business or its products and services. Marketing using mobile phones can be personalized to suit each client. In most cases, it’s normally automated. It also has the advantage of being less intrusive than other promotional campaigns.
Mobile Phones Marketing is less invasive on the privacy and peace of clients. In most cases, it gets a good reception from customers because the messages they receive are normally low-key. The reason why most companies and marketing firms prefer text messaging is because this is the most widely used data application throughout the world.
The rate of brand recognition through marketing on mobile phones yields good outcomes. Research proves that people who get phone marketing messages remember the product or service that was being advertised. This means that marketing on cell phones is a very effective means of getting brand recognition.
Mobile Phones Marketing is a great means of data mining. The method is used to extract information from clients and customers that companies can use for various means. The information gathered can be used as points for future creation of advertisements. Companies get information about brand preferences. The number of responses obtained can be used as records for future reference.
Mobile Phones Marketing costs are limited. Messages sent to people are normally automated and can be personalized for every client. This eliminates the need for companies to hire personnel for a call center. The messages sent to people are customized using special software.
The legislations stipulate that it’s illegal to send mass messages to people without their approval. This marketing mechanism has a procedure called opting-in. the mobile users who will receive the messages should participate on their own volition that is why they have to sign-up for the service. Companies provide various incentives for customers to opt-in. these may include coupons and freebies among others. The people who opt-in are more likely to respond positively to the advertisements and messages that will be sent out by the organization.
The main reasons why companies prefer to market using cell phones is because it’s effective and personal allowing them to gauge the immediate response of clients. Strength is that the marketing method has not been adopted by many organizations hence it’s something that will captivate the attention of people because it’s new.
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