Got Mobile? 8 Mobile Marketing Strategies You Need NOW!

Is mobile marketing in your marketing mix? If not, you’re missing an opportunity. With good reason, mobile marketing is on three out of four marketers’ lists this year, according to Forrester Research.

5 Mobile Marketing Trends

As with any marketing program, you need to understand how the mobile landscape is evolving and how this affects your target audience. To understand why 2011 is the year to add mobile to your marketing mix, here’s the skinny. (For those of you who are paying attention, mobile is on my list of 2011 online marketing trends.)

  1. Smartphones are projected to reach a tipping point later this year. They’ll account for half of the mobile phone market, according to The Nielsen Company.nielsen-us-smartphone
  2. With mobile, it’s more than just talk where smartphones are involved.nielsen-us-mobile
  3. With on-the-go mobile devices, how we consume content has changed. As a result, we now multitask, snack, and time-shift to get information.
  4. Mobile advertising continues high growth trajectory. In aggregate, mobile advertising is projected to grow almost 50 percent to $1.1 billion in 2011, according to
  5. What’s not in your wallet? For many American’s, it’s cash! Frugal is still the watchword. Therefore online and offline retailers must think “price conscious.”

8 Mobile Marketing Strategies

Consider your business objectives, target audience, and related metrics before you set the course for your mobile marketing. Here are eight mobile marketing strategies.

  1. Search is king. Findability for those on-the-go is critical, whether you’re a retail store, restaurant, hotel, or other establishment. Your customers must be able to find you. Remember, this translates to search and related services like Yelp and Google Maps. According to eMarketer, mobile search advertising is projected to grow almost 60 percent to $295 million in 2011.
  2. Social media connects on-the-go. Social media interaction extends beyond the computer. This underscores the fact that participants perceive social media as a real-time, as well as an asynchronous, communications channel. Further, mobile devices are perfect for checking in with your social graph.
  3. Can you join me here? Location-based services (aka LBS) focus on the major players – Facebook Places, Foursquare, and Gowalla. But don’t overlook other related services like Yelp and Google Maps. Think beyond just mayorships to get customers to check in. What can you do to add to the fun and entice your customers back to your establishment? Think about mobile coupons and text messages as well.
  4. Buy, buy mobile. Mobile commerce isn’t just calling your spouse to find out what brand of toothpaste to buy. Mobile enters the promotional arena with the ability to take comparison shopping to the black belt level. (Don’t take my word for it, check out this data.) With the current frugal mindset, customers may leave products on your shelves and head for your competitors’ stores if their products and related information are better.
  5. Text’s not just for kids anymore. Text messaging has extended its reach, partially due to children forcing parents to become text savvy as well as to lower costs and be able to multitask without others hearing you. That said, it’s still the primary way to reach teens. As a marketer, it’s useful for time-critical updates like bank accounts and deal-of-the-day or Groupon-type notices.
  6. It’s an app, app world. With growing smartphone options and other mobile devices (namely the iPad), apps (aka mobile applications) are exploding. This is a double-edged sword because the challenge is to break through the clutter. While apps provide a potential source of revenue, bear in mind that free apps are growing exponentially faster. (Here’s more app-related data.)
  7. Mad men go mobile. Jump into mobile advertising to take advantage of the strong response rates and branding opportunities this newer medium provides. Now’s the time to grow your base while it’s still new. Mobile’s sure to aid local display advertising that BIA/Kelsey predicts will reach $803 million by 2014.
  8. UX rules. UX is tech talk for user experience. Translation: you need a mobile website. While your Internet-optimized site may be accessible via a smartphone, your on-the-go audience may not find it tolerable!

What Does This Mean for Your 2011 Marketing Plans?

Regardless of your business focus, you need to allocate budget and headcount to mobile. To this end, set business goals for your marketing strategies and select related metrics before you jump in to ensure that you can track the results of your marketing investment.

For many businesses, the smartphone is where the battle for consumers’ pocketbooks is moving. It’s not just the call “Honey which brand do I buy?” Smartphones are where consumers are examining your offering and your competitors’. Even brick-and-mortar stores must understand that even if a customer’s in your establishment, you may not get the sale, especially since consumers prefer checking their mobiles to talking to store clerks. By the way, don’t call me, I’m working on my mobile plans!

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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