Over the past couple of years, I’ve had more and more clients come up to me and ask me about “mobile marketing.” What is mobile marketing and how can it help one’s business?
Simply put, mobile marketing is a marketing campaign that’s put together intentionally for those with smartphones. One thing that everyone who has an inbound marketing plan needs to keep in mind these days is that their site should be optimized for mobile phone users. Why? Because soon enough, seemingly everyone will be using their smartphones to investigate and make purchases.
eMarketer has recently reported that close to 116 million Americans will use their smartphones on a monthly basis in 2012, which is up from 93.1 million in 2011. They also estimate that by next year (2013), smartphones will represent over half of all of the mobile phone users, and in 2016, 3 in 5 consumers will have a smartphone.
So you may be asking yourself, “But who cares about smartphones?” You should. Here are some surprising facts about smartphones and how they aid today’s marketing in making purchases:
- 25% of smartphone users have said that they have purchased something on their mobile phone in the past week. 60% of users have bought something online, and 87% have bought something in a physical store with aid of their mobile device (Wave Collapse 2012)
- When you see people using their smartphones in a store, know that 54% of those are using it to compare your pricing to the competition, while 53% of those users are checking out online pricing (Wave Collapse, 2012)
- 47% of smartphone owners rely on their smartphones to learn more information about a product, while 36% of users will break out their smartphones to read product reviews (Leo J. Shapiro and Associates, 2012)
- 66% of US smartphone owners use their smartphones to aid in shopping (Leo J. Shapiro and Associates, 2012)
Given the stats above, it’s no wonder that 85% of merchants in the USA are going to have a more mobile focus in 2012 – which is up 68% from last year (2012) (the etailing group, 2012).
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Is Mobile Marketing the Same as Inbound Marketing?
Many clients of mine have said that they didn’t bother even considering mobile marketing because, well, they assumed that it and online marketing were one in the same! Not so. Mobile marketing is far more personal and direct than online marketing. Also, as you can see from the stats above, mobile marketing campaigns are more about making a sale rather than lead nurturing. People are seeking you out on their phones mostly to complete a purchase rather than to simply browse.
How to Launch a Mobile Marketing Campaign
The first thing you need to do is ensure that your website is “smartphone friendly”. This isn’t very difficult to do, unless you have a complicated CMS style mobile site (which, if you do, definitely hire on a professional). Many platforms that are more “plug and play” style, like Joomla and WordPress, are easy to convert into mobile-friendly sites.
With smartphone users in mind, make sure that the site is:
- Has a clear logo displayed
- Has an easy navigation system
Smartphone users care a whole lot less about the appearance of your site than they do being able to quickly find the information they want on it. Don’t overdo it. For more tips on how to give your website a good overhaul in design, check out our free Ebook “Website Redesign 101”.
Another recommendation that I always have for anyone doing a mobile marketing campaign is to take full advantage of the current geo-targeting services on the web. Google Places, Foursquare and Facebook Places are great places to start and register with. Once a business profile has been set up on these types of services, you can then actually start running a marketing platform on these channels.
Here’s an example: say you have a restaurant and you have an account on Foursquare. If someone has “checked in” to your restaurant on Foursquare, you could then instantly offer them a discount on their bill. This is a great way to help promote your business and your brand, and you know that your customers will be pleasantly surprised and spread the word to whoever they’re dining with.
People are using their mobile phones more and more to help aid them in purchasing decisions, to help them locate your business, and to help them compare pricing with the competition. If you yourself don’t have a smartphone yet, definitely get one and start playing around with some of the neat features out there.
If you’re interested in redesigning your website to assure that it’s mobile friendly, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.