Your customers are constantly changing how they connect and using new technology. Using technology to reach your customers where they are (on their mobile phone or tablet) is becoming more important by the day. But how? And what do all these new fangled terms even mean?
1. SMS and MMS Marketing.
SMS or text marketing has evolved and is taking the place of email marketing for many people. SMS marketing mainly involves the collection of consumer mobile phone numbers usually by registration of the customer using a ‘keyword’ sent to a ‘short code’ eg: Text “pizza” to 1234 .
This text adds the customers mobile phone number to a messaging platform database which sends mass messages of special promotions or updates. Because SMS marketing provides some sort of a personalised update system from you, it can help in convincing potential repeat customers and build the foundation for a customer ‘brand loyalty.’
MMS (Multimedia Message Service) marketing is pretty much the same as SMS marketing in terms of its function. The main difference is MMS messages are aren’t just text. With higher functionalities, this type of advertising is generally more interactive. MMS messages may even contain links that can drive traffic to websites and often use QR codes and coupons.
Most people check a their text message within minutes of receiving it. Text messages have something like a 94-97% open rate depending on the data you believe. So this is an incredibly powerful form of marketing. BUT… “With great power comes great resposibility ” (thank-you Spiderman)
You need to be VERY sure you are providing messages your customers want to receive. It really is interruption marketing and if you’re going to interrupt someone in the middle of their favourite tv show for instance then you’d better have something worthwhile for them.
Be aware what time you send the message as well as relevance, a restaurant offering a great deal on lunch sent at noon is a great example.
My local video store often sends $2 new release Movie offers on Sundays. They tend to come between 12 and 3 pm when you are most likely up and about and could swing by and grab a movie for the evening. I never mind getting those.
On the other hand a day spa added me to their list by taking my business card at an event and then started spamming my phone with not very good offers and way too many of them. I pretty quickly sent a big “stop” and would choose any of their competitors over them. They SMS’d their way out of any business from me.
You can also your SMS list for appointment reminders, overdue notices and the like, although this isn’t marketing as such.
2. Mobile Web Marketing
Most people with mobile devices buy them largely for the convenience of accessing the web anytime and anywhere. If your website isn’t mobile friendly then you are missing out. Smart phones will adapt to your normal website as best they can, but usually customers will need to zoom in and out and scroll around reading a non optimised site.
A mobile version of your website is inexpensive and can be a very effective tool. For some businesses it’s really essential.
Other means of mobile web marketing include mobile search advertising programs, social media marketing, and even e-mail newsletters optimised for mobile devices.
3. Mobile Apps
Creating your own app for your business is on the real cutting edge. It puts you up there with the “big guys” . Not all businesses need a mobile app, but if your customers interact frequently and search or login to your website then creating an app for that is valuable.
Mobile games and other applications are already a growing market, and a potential growing market is always an opportunity for a marketer. Sponsoring a few apps is another idea, but as a rule of thumb, these apps should be specific to your target niche. App-advertising is still relatively new, and developers are still seeking more ways to integrate ads without disrupting overall customer experience. Sponsoring apps may be expensive, but when properly done, rewards sure are promising.
4. QR Codes
QR, or Quick Response codes is a type of a matrix bar code originally created for tracking purposes. They however, became popular for other uses such as storing information. Mobile devices nowadays have the ability to read quick response codes , the customer downloads the app required and then the camera reads
the image and takes them directly to the destination.
They are basically links and QRs codes can link to anything. Some examples: Coupons, addresses, contact details, website URLs, menu’s, price lists, photograph galleries etc.
They may be placed in any form of advertising media such as banners, newsletters, and even magazines. In addition to advertising platforms, QR codes can also be strategically placed on places or objects where users might need information.
- Real estate agents could use them in their print material with linking to a brochure on the property with video, photographs , floor plans etc.
- You could send a birthday card to your clients with a QR code that links to a video message for them.
- You could have a QR code that links to your facebook page on the reception desk.
The convenience of using QR codes to store information on the consumer’s part makes it a very appealing form of mobile marketing technique.
5. User Controlled Means
Bluetooth, infrared, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), and other means of data transfer can provide the pipeline of an effective viral marketing. In this type of mobile marketing, it is the users themselves that introduce new potential customers for you.
Mobile content can be virally promoted most effectively by referrals. Here, users encourage their friends to try a service in exchange for some points or other benefits or just because its such a great deal or service. They may share your coupons, QR codes etc . Users themselves are your marketing tools.
You can have a “tell a friend” promotion, or use functions on services like foursquare where a deal kicks in once a certain number of people have taken it up.
Talk to me! What is your experience with mobile marketing? Have you used any of these techniques or been on the receiving end of any bad marketing efforts? Share your stories in the comments and share this post with your friends .