Mobile commerce has exploded this year, and the year is not even over yet! ComScore reported a 47% increase in smartphone users between March 2011 and March 2012. What does this mean for marketing? Mobile has created another channel that enables marketers to attract users instantaneously. Not only can mobile be used to promote special offers, it can also expand your customer base, promote brand awareness and introduce new products. Here are some ways mobile can be integrated into your marketing mix:
Text messaging is a great way to reach customers with special offers, with or without a phone number. Using other marketing channels, you can encourage customers to engage with your brand by texting a six digit number to a short code. This is a great way to build a mobile marketing list that you can reach out to later for a more targeted message. Redbox has adopted this model with their Text Club program. Once customers opt-in, they receive a free movie rental promo code a month. They’ll also be able to hear about member only specials and other freebies.
Key Best Practices: Always get permission before starting a SMS campaign and promote urgency to encourage instant reaction from customers.
QR codes allow marketers to engage with buyers through traditional forms of media. Mediapost reported that mobile barcode scanning was up 157% during the first quarter of 2012. Since the smartphone market has seen enormous growth, it is safe to assume that more consumers will engage with campaigns that use QR codes.
Heinz tested QR codes when they placed them on ketchup bottles in various US restaurants to promote their environmentally friendly packaging. The campaign allowed customers to win prizes by answering trivia questions on a mobile optimized site.
It was later reported that more than one million customers scanned the QR codes on the bottles. This QR code campaign encouraged engagement on a mass consumer product, and with success!
Key Best Practice: Make sure that all parts of the campaign are optimized for mobile. If a customer can’t easily view the content from their smartphone, they won’t be engaged and will drop off instantly – creating a poor customer experience.
Location Based Services
Imagine if you walk into your favorite retail store and you receive a coupon or discount code on your phone to use during your visit. Does this seem like an invasion of privacy or are you willing to receive the offers once you’ve officially opted in? This is a form of location based marketing, known as Geofencing.
Foursquare and Gowalla offer check-in services through an initial app download, which is the most common use of location-based advertising. On the other hand, Geofencing reaches out to the customer and all they have to do is click on the opportunity. While there are concerns of being followed, as mobile technology continues to expand, location tracking may become synonymous with phone numbers.
Key Best Practices: Go where your customers are and give incentives for customer engagement using location based services. Monitor performance to measure success as well.
Mobile Search Display Ads
In 2011, mobile search display ad revenue reached $1.5 billion. As tablets and apps are reinventing the mobile space, companies big and small can take advantage of mobile search to reach potential customers on the go. Using Google’s mobile ad network, Starwood Hotels & Resorts invested in mobile paid search and saw great results:
- 20x increase in mobile paid search ROI
- Mobile booking growth of 20% month on month
- 200% increase in mobile traffic
Mobile search is a new frontier with a different and more focused customer looking for instant information. Companies can utilize this medium to reach customers, whether they are B2B or B2C.
Key Best Practices: Utilize targeting, send to a mobile optimized landing page and monitor performance to track, test and learn.
These are some tips to help you think about ways to integrate mobile into the marketing mix. Do you have some tips to add? Share them below!