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Mobile Marketing - the Time Is Now

  |  July 26, 2012   |  Comments

Three trends you need to employ in order to get ahead of the market and your peers in the mobile space.

Mobile media has become a critical part of the digital marketing landscape. This isn't to say that it hasn't been valuable up until this point - many media buyers will be quick to tell you they've had great success with mobile for years. Not until this year, however, does it feel as though mobile is something businesses can no longer afford to overlook.

Why now? In short, we're running out of time. As with every new media channel mastering mobile isn't without its share of challenges, but unlike other mediums, mobile doesn't afford us the luxury of time to figure things out. Earlier this year location software company Yext released an infographic that went a long way toward describing the urgency marketers should be feeling.

  • It took 38 years for radio to reach an audience of 50 million consumers, 13 years for television, four years for the Internet, and just two years for the Apple iPhone.
  • There are now 5 billion mobile users worldwide - five times more than PC-based Internet users.
  • As of last year consumers spend more time interacting with mobile apps than they do on the web, and the average consumer carries a smartphone 23 hours per day.
  • Mobile advertising is expected to hit $3 billion by the end of this year.

In order to take full advantage of the promotional opportunities associated with mobile there are a few things we need to know, regardless of how much or how little we're currently engaging in the space. By drilling down to the details, we can get a sense of where the market is apt to go from here. What follows are three trends to employ in order to get ahead of the market - and your peers.

Mobile and tablet segmentation. Until very recently, mobile advertising vendors were bundling mobile and tablet placements. There were very few opportunities for campaigns that targeted by device. This is changing. Look for suppliers to offer mobile-only and tablet-only campaigns - a particularly appealing development for those brands that wish to leverage the larger screen and advanced functionality offered by tablet devices.

Activation. The concept of allowing consumers to "activate" their mobile experience through such technologies as QR codes and music services like Shazam is increasing interactivity in mobile campaigns and making them far easier to measure. According to ClickZ columnist Jessica Richards, "Activation through mobile can be a great opportunity to extend the conversation from a traditional medium and represents a tracking mechanism." Just be sure to deliver content that's valuable to the mobile user.

Establish a mobile strategy. Goes without saying? Not necessarily. Many brands are so eager to get involved with mobile that they don't stop to consider what they need it to achieve, and what mobile can offer that's consistent with their brand goals. You've certainly heard it said that building a mobile app or a mobile site is not the same as having a mobile strategy. This couldn't be truer. Before you begin devising your mobile campaign, explore your options and determine which are best suited to your objectives.

Whether the best strategy for your needs is to fine-tune your mobile site, build a mobile app, or place display ads with mobile ad networks, there's something for you, and something for everyone, in mobile. It's time to dive in, but not without a plan and not without a thorough understanding of the market, your options, and the opportunities at your disposal. Embrace them now, and you could find your brand mirroring the growth of the mobile market in penetration, interaction, and success.


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Tessa Wegert

Tessa Wegert is a business reporter and former media strategist specializing in digital. In addition to writing for ClickZ since 2002, she has contributed to such publications as USA Today, Marketing Magazine, Mashable, and The Globe and Mail. Tessa manages marketing and communications for Enlighten, one of the first full-service digital marketing strategy agencies servicing such brands as Bioré, Food Network, illy, and Hunter Douglas. She has been working in online media since 1999.

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