You probably don't need convincing that a mobile strategy is necessary, but many digital marketers have been reluctant to jump in the water, waiting for all the ripples of devices, markets, and approaches to settle. They won't. In this very fractured digital media environment, mobile plays a unique and increasingly critical role, providing a wealth of personal, immediate, and location-smart ways to interact with specific audiences.
The U.S. mobile environment is turbulent but full of growth and promise. The majority of mobile phones are now smartphones, many with larger screens and more sophisticated user options. Apps, tablets, and converging devices as well as the growing availability of good, useful, and functional mobile experiences have given consumers the opportunity to increasingly choose mobile over other digital connections. This ease of use and the attending dramatic adoption rates are largely responsible for the growth in mobile ads, mobile email, mobile websites, and mobile apps that follow and feed the consumer trends. The impact is felt across channels and verticals but it need not be an all or nothing commitment for you. Only you can assess how important mobile viewing and interactions are to your business, and the "right" strategy will be dependent on many variables including your audience demo and smartphone or tablet adoption, your competitive environment, available budget, and digital goals.
Your minimum requirements may range from a tiptoe approach that cautiously tests your mobile opportunity to a full-out plunge into the mobile waters. But what may be a small test for a large or mobile-critical organization may seem like a plunge to a smaller business or one less reliant on mobile marketing, viewing, or interactions. Keeping that in mind - here are some ways to either tiptoe into mobile or advance to take the plunge.
What's next for the very mobile inclined? Follow retail leaders as they wrestle with how to make their brick-and-mortar stores more online shopping-friendly or conversely work to guard against mobile price shopping comparisons. We can expect more offer pushes via text including indoor exact location positioning. Augmented reality could breathe new life into QR codes or replace them completely, and Articulated Naturality Web (coming) is augmented reality and then some: imagine pointing your smartphone to a restaurant and getting a coupon for a competing restaurant across the street; pointing your phone to the sky and getting a weather forecast.
Whether you are in tiptoe mode or plunge mode, remember that the mobile experiences and opportunities that you provide do not stand alone. Your mobile consumer may and probably does touch you in multiple ways, so strive for consistency and use each channel in the most impactful way possible.
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Robin is the CEO and cofounder of NetPlus Marketing Inc., a top 50 interactive agency established in 1996 to focus exclusively on online marketing and advertising best practices. Robin brings innovative strategy and a depth and breadth of marketing experience to the agency's practice and management. As one of the industry's pioneers, she is a driving force behind NetPlus Marketing's ongoing success with a diverse and discerning client base that considers online results critical to their business success.
Robin is a frequent speaker at national industry events, including ClickZ, internet.com, OMMA, Ad:Tech, SES, Online Marketing Summit, and Thunder Lizard conferences and is a sought-after resource for industry and business publications for her insight and advice on such topics as digital strategy, social media marketing, and behavioral targeting.
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