Mobile marketing is a huge potential source of traffic, customers and profit for your business, but as yet fairly untapped. Yet, over the next three years, it is predicted that more than half current internet users will be accessing the web via mobiles and other handheld devices.
Mobile marketing offers a very personal kind of interactivity for relationship building with your prospects. It’s not just about bombarding folk with text SMS marketing messages. Mobile friendly web sites and mobile applications mean marketers can reach a much greater target audience.
The statistics are pretty convincing and competition in the mobile direct marketing arena is still comparatively low.
Growth in mobile customers
World wide there are 4 billion people with mobile phones. In fact, there are almost five times more cell phone owners than laptops and computer owners, especially home internet ready.
Gartner, the IT research company, predicts that over the next three years over half current internet users will be accessing the web via mobiles and other handheld devices.
“There are clear opportunities for mobile transactions to grow as users, in this and previous surveys, indicate that they want to be able to use their mobiles to buy more goods, such as books, music, travel services, household utilities and electronic appliances,” says BuzzCity CEO, KF Lai.
It’s a very global trend. BuzzCity’s recent survey questioned 1,798 mobile users across the Americas, Asia, Africa, Western Europe and the Middle East and showed that 90% had directly purchased products or services via their mobile.
The trend towards mobile marketing
It’s no surprise really that the fastest growing marketing technologies and emerging channels are mobile, rich media and social media. You only have to do a search on some of the popular keywords for the internet marketing and online home business industry to see how these methods are all being adopted with enthusiasm by marketers.
Unica just released its “The State of Marketing 2010” results from the latest Global Survey of Marketers and there are some astounding findings.
The survey reported that “Nearly half of marketers surveyed have already embraced social media marketing, and adoption is healthy across most social media outlets, such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. However, marketers need to think more about integrating social media with other marketing tactics.”
Despite the rapid increases in the potential audience, “mobile marketing” is a relatively new practice. The term describes marketing on or with a mobile device, such as a cell phone using WAP or text messaging to communicate between the business and the customer.
Mobile marketing is increasing in significance with over 30% of marketers surveyed already using some form or other of mobile marketing and many sources of information (magazines, and services available to support them.
Nevertheless, mobile advertising has grown over the past 1-2 years (almost 100% in the UK), despite the economic recession. The total is pretty small compared to advertising on the internet, which last year was higher than that spent on TV.
However, the Mobile Marketing Association suggests the growth in mobile marketing is likely to accelerate as handsets equipped with new technology, including mobile broadband, become ubiquitous and consumer behaviour changes.
The response from marketing vendors isn’t far behind. For instance, 84444.com recently launched its Do-it-Yourself mobile marketing campaigns that can be run from the convenience of a desktop computer. YouTube is making huge changes to its mobile web presence and has now begun incorporating adverts throughout its mobile site.
How to tap into the mobile market
Anyone in business should always be looking for new ways to reach out and touch their customers and build attention from new prospects. And mobile marketing may just be the golden ticket.
Your mobile user is permanently switched-on, impulsive and ready to interact at the drop of a hat. Who wouldn’t want to tap into mobile marketing? It’s the ultimate direct response tool.
Mobile marketing, you could argue, is perhaps a rather more captive audience. When someone has their phone in their hand and downloads a page, they are much engaged than on a desktop based website. It’s a much more powerful direct response tool than the internet.
Conversions from mobiles compared to web or email marketing are five times higher. And, obviously competition is much lower because nobody really knows about this yet.
So what changes do you need to make in your business to attract mobile clients?
Well, first you should make sure your website is mobile friendly, especially if you are sending text SMS messages with active web links to your mobile contacts. There’s a tonne of reasons why this is important, but mostly because mobile is an instant and impulsive kind of medium, so you want the recipient to be able to follow the link and get to a useful page and quickly.
Consider that subscriber on your email list may well be reading their messages on their phone. So you want to keep your main message and link ‘above the fold’ to use a newspaper term. To clarify: when you’re accessing emails from a mobile, sometimes the longer ones will get truncated so put your link early on and remember the rules of compelling headlines.
But also, as with the SMS, your mobile user should be able to click your call to action link in the email and bring up the page right there and then from their phone’s web browser. The chances they will visit your website when they get back to their PC are far lower.
Google is actively hunting for decent mobile enabled sites to feature in its search results, since this is a huge source of revenue for them if their users are happy. There’s not enough mobile sites out there. So learn how to create a Google-friendly mobile version of your site and you could rank higher than for your regular desktop site.
There’s a whole spectrum of solutions for making your webpage mobile friendly. These range from the simple and cheap like adding a bit of code you add to your WordPress blog to a more complex and expensive decision to create a complete and total mobile website.
Getting your site indexed by Google on the mobile search engine?
Google have mobile site maps distinct from the usual site maps. Check out their webmaster tools for help on that. And get yourself listed in the Google local business listings. Google has a way you can build a mobile landing page within that tool. It works best for brick and mortar businesses, but it’s all good web presence.
Google knows that people search differently on their mobiles than they do on their desktop. They actually have a specific mobile keyword research tool. Not a bad idea, then, to clue up the whole different algorithms search engines are using for mobile searching.
Another thing to remember to keep your mobile text ads short, mirroring the style of social networking conversations. Opera (one of the mobile browsers) statistics show that 41% of people accessing the mobile web are going to social network sites, so MySpace, Facebook, twitter. These are intertwined and meshed together as a tool, so these ads need to work together.
Automating the SMS text marketing process
You want to add a mobile phone field to your web page capture form if you currently capture your visitors’ names and email addresses. With a list of numbers, you can unleash your mobile direct marketing power by sending automated, scheduled SMS or text messages to your subscribers.
Internet marketers have known for years the money is in the relationship with your email list. As mobile marketing gets unleashed, it’s likely your phone list will become the gold standard.
SMS has an astounding 97% open rate – and usually within the first 5 minutes of receiving the message. That’s powerful to marketers! If the “autotexter” replaces the autoresponder, do you have a business strategy for that dramatic change?