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The mobile phone audience is 8.6 billion and growing, with more than 835 million of those as smart phone users and continuing to grow even faster.
The bottom line …
Mobile marketing is abuzz and business owners are trying to understand if they need it and how to make it happen. For those who are struggling, good for you for even recognizing the opportunity and trying to figure-it-out now, as an effort to gain any type of competitive advantage. Let’s take a quick moment to cut through the noise, discuss relevancy and keep perspective.
First look at your website on a mobile device and assess how user-friendly is it? Is it just your website micro-sized? Typically the needs of mobile users are slightly different from website visitors. They may need to quickly contact your company, need directions to your business, to place an order or they may need a brief recap of what you do with the option to visit your complete website for more information.
Most often on a mobile device, site visitors don’t want to work very hard by scrolling up and down, moving around, zooming in and out. Assess what would your business customers want to see and experience from you through their mobile device, then highlight only that information. These clearly defined goals will guide your mobile presence.
Lets segment mobile marketing into two areas including the ease and accessibility of your businesses mobile experience and secondly the marketing messaging.
First, ensure your experience fits the small screen with a few of these guidelines as a reference point.
- Quick call-to-action buttons that are large enough for a finger to touch with space around the button so other buttons don’t get touched.
- Font size should be increased. Apple and Microsoft recommend 16-18 pixels and 21 or 22 for headlines.
- Single column messaging around 350 to 450 pixels.
- Optimize your mobile search (SEO) with search engines.
All of this is called optimizing your business for mobile, and it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to make it easy and give mobile visitors an option to receive quick access to the information that more immediately and efficiently meets their needs.
The other part of mobile marketing is the outbound marketing tactics and how those tactics fit into your business’s more holistic marketing strategy. Consider how your mobile tactics align with all the other ways you message your business through various outlets. For example, is your social media driving awareness for your mobile presence and your website displaying call-to-actions to register for something through a mobile device, in exchange for a specific incentive.
There are so many examples of this, but lets maintain some perspective and keep it simple for now with a few tactic ideas below.
Simple text written promotional code for a potential customer to use that incentivizes an action.
- Mobile coupons, coupons delivered to customer’s mobile devices.
- Videos, making videos easily accessible on mobile can be a good viral tactic.
- Location-based check-ins, ideal for restaurants and service businesses.
- Mobile apps, create a mobile app that appeals to your brand experience for a mobile visitor.
There’s no need to do them all for your business, just pick one or two with the goal of making your brand available and easy to understand for your visitors when they want it and how they want to get it.
Retailers can now use coupon or redemption sites like Coupon Sherpa to market to qualified subscribers and drive store traffic, without having to be quite as concerned with the brand deterioration that comes with more traditional print advertising featuring big coupon ads. Most coupon sites also have geo-location, so they will only send coupons to a mobile phone for retailers and restaurants within your immediate area. Many coupon sites report average digital redemptions between 15% and 20%, compared to the average 1% redemption through paper methods.
Meijer, a Midwestern supermarket chain has a Find-it app for shoppers to prepare shopping lists, find deals and coupons and map their shopping trip for the most expedient route once they are within the store. Ease and accessibility always translate to engagement, which results in more shoppers and drives revenue.
Retailers are also accepting payments using mobile phone apps including Starbucks who reports having over 25 million in-store transactions last year through their Mobile Card app. American Eagle Outfitters, Foot Locker, Macy’s and Toys-R-Us use Google Wallet to facilitate their mobile payments. There continue to be more emerging options, but it is early and what is unclear is if wide spread consumers and more mainstream retailers will adopt the technology, but it's probably very likely.
Within the healthcare industry 40% of physicians use a digital device to reference drug databases and online journals, find support groups for patients, access electronic medical records, prescribe medication and monitor patients in hospitals. Also, according to Spinabifidainfo.com, of all the medical applications in use, 43% of them have been created for health professionals.
When looking at your own business, the secret in the sauce is how you put your tactics together and cross-promote them between the messaging outlets or channels. Determining what makes the most sense for your business and your customers. Learning from your surroundings of what other’s are doing, dreaming big of what you would like for your customer’s to experience and then doing it little by little to not only see what works, but what actually translates to growth and revenue.
What unique ways have you used or seen other businesses use mobile technology within their strategy?