Mobile Marketing

An insight into mobile marketing

What is mobile marketing?

It’s an expression that’s thrown around a lot nowadays, but rarely, it seems, is it thoroughly understood. It exists as an empty abstraction, a buzzword, which sounds really important (and is really important!), but is a term that is often not thought about in a comprehensive way.

So what does this rarely well-defined term actually mean? Well, the secret lies in the words itself. Mobile marketing means marketing to mobile devices. Fancy that! There are many unsaid truths implicit in that statement. When we’re talking about mobile marketing, we’re talking about communicating with people who are on the go. Mobile devices attached to mobile people.

We’re talking about people who could be anywhere, at any time, doing a range of activities. Beyond that, we’re talking about a type of technology that can allow you to know exactly where your customer are, and at what point during the day. This market is mobile, on foot, in cars, on trains or buses — maybe even in bed. They’re people who are in a certain frame of mind that’s different from the frame of mind they’re in when you’re connecting with them through a platform that is bound to their home or office. Mobile marketing is the man on the street handing out leaflets.

On that note, it’s worth mentioning that mobile marketing isn’t even (not strictly speaking) a new phenomenon — far from it. We’ve written about the evolution of mobile marketing in these articles; they provide a solid background as to how mobile marketing evolved to what it is today. Why it is the way it is today however, is a bit of a different story. It has to do primarily with mobile technology. Mobile marketing is the man on the street handing out leaflets — except his physical presence is no longer required.

The Growth Of Mobile Marketing

It’s predicted that by 2020 ten billion mobile devices will be in use globally. In 2012, it was predicted that the number of mobile users exceed the number of desktop users by 2014. Well, now it’s 2015 and what we know is that people are spending more time on digital media on mobile than they are desktop. We also know that people are spending more time on mobile than they are any other device, including television. Mobile is even consumers’ second preference—only 11% behind PC/laptops—for browsing the Internet. This could not have been predicted before the advent of the smartphone. But now it’s our reality.

In terms of what this means for mobile marketing, it means that the mobile market is enormous. Already there are 1.64 billion smartphone users, and this figure by next year is expected to surpass 2 billion. That’s almost a quarter of the global population. It’s for this reason that so many high-profile organisations are leveraging mobile marketing to their advantage, and getting incredible results.

Leading the Charge

Coca-Cola, on of the world's largest brands, was named 2014’s Mobile Marketer of the Year, the highest accolade a company can receive in mobile marketing, advertising and media. As far as mobile marketing is concerned, Coca-Cola is setting the trends that we should all be paying close attention to. Sure, most businesses don’t possess the ludicrous budgets that Coca-Cola does; but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be taking notes.

The editor in chief of Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily had this to say about Coca-Cola: "Few marketers worked their 360-degree mobile marketing plans the way Coca-Cola did in 2014, putting them head and shoulders above their peers."

One of Coca-Cola’s bigger, most successful mobile marketing campaigns was its Share a Coke program, a campaign I'm sure you've probably heard of. All over the world people were able to buy a Coke with the names common in that demographic on the label — thereby encouraging consumers to look for and then purchase a Coke with their own name on it, or to buy one for a mate. The label contained a QR code that could be scanned to get a coupon, also encouraging Coke’s customers to share their bottles and cans on social media. The reason that this campaign was such an astounding success is best summed up by Douglas Rozen, chief innovation officer at Meredith Xcelerated Marketing.

"Today, the hyper-connected consumers demand involvement and the best campaigns are those that empower consumer to be part of the content creation."

This is exactly why the mobile market is so unique — and so incredibly valuable. Mobile marketing isn’t just about advertising to people on the go: it’s about connecting with people in a way that wasn’t ever before possible. It’s about your business becoming a part of your market’s lives, a welcomed guest rather than an uninvited pest. It’s a two-way street, where you’re both able to help each other out.

Spoilt for Choice

This post isn’t just about why mobile marketing is invaluable, and how massive corporations are capitalising on what it’s now capable of doing. It’s about what mobile marketing actually is. So with that in mind, here are a few examples of different types mobile marketing to chew on and mull over, which might hopefully get your creative juices flowing.

App-based marketing: 80% of mobile users spend their mobile time on apps. This, however doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to develop an app in order to market through this medium. Advertising can be placed as a banner (or some such variation) in many apps already out there. Alternatively, platforms like Facebook allow advertisers to stream their messages directly into users’ News Feeds. The important thing is knowing which apps your target market is likely to use, and going from there.

QR codes: QR codes done right are the perfect way to engage your customers. QR codes, which can be placed almost anywhere, when snapped on a mobile phone are able to play/link to videos, link to landing pages, activate coupons — they act as a gateway encouraging your customers to go through the doors you’ve opened for them.

SMS: SMS is another effective form of mobile marketing that can steer your customers in the right direction. 97% of SMS messages are read and because SMS is such a familiar platform and now so jam-packed with ability — in that WAP links can be embedded into SMS, transporting your customers to landing pages or wherever else within a single click. It’s a great way to reach out and offer your customers something that’ll make them love you.

Now’s the time where mobile marketing shouldn’t just be on your marketing to-do list. It should be somewhere high on that list, if not first. Seize the gloriously mobile day!