Research has shown that the usage of tablets in 2012 in the USA was twice that of the previous year. Also, in 2012 in the USA, the corresponding increase in Smartphone usage was as much as 50 per cent and on mobiles there was a whopping 330% increase in the number of e-mails opened in the US last year. These figures tell a story that few will dispute: if you haven’t started to market your services or goods on mobile devices, it’s time to begin. And mobile marketing means also advertising on mobiles, which is growing exponentially and is proving to be a terrific medium to enhance sales.
The simple logic behind it is: more and more people are using mobile devices for a wide range of things; it’s not just the young who are using it for entertainment or pleasure; hard-nosed businesspersons are finding mobiles to be a great way to market their goods. Despite this, some misconceptions remain about the efficacy of using mobile devices for marketing campaigns. In this article I will put the record straight, point by point, and show why marketers must shed off this mistaken belief and quickly get on to the mobile bandwagon.
1. Even Biggies Are Using Mobiles
Even the world’s biggest companies are using mobiles for marketing. This is borne out by the fact that Coca-Cola was the winner at the Cannes Lions advertising fest this year. If even such a gigantic company, which only recently was dislodged from its world number one position by Apple, can find mobile marketing so useful, imagine how the other, medium and small businesses can benefit from it!
2. Mobile Conversion Rates Are Rising
PCs no longer dominate as far as conversion rates go. In 2013, tablets surpassed personal computers to be the number one device for conversions. Also, Smartphones are normally used to browse and search and the purchase is made on a more conventional platform. But since the first step by the potential customer was made on a mobile it confirms mobiles’ growing importance in marketing.
3. Ignore At Your Peril
It would be foolish for businesspersons across the spectrum to ignore or belittle the importance of mobile devices for marketing purposes. Statistics have clearly shown that mobile devices are not only used for entertainment purposes on a daily basis. People are accessing the net more to get information than for entertainment, statistics show. Mobiles are not being used only to make calls or for apps, which makes them great tools to get your marketing done. Only an unwise businessperson would miss out on such an opportunity!
4. Real Estate On Mobiles Is Adequate Enough
You can accomplish a lot if you creatively use the relatively small screens on mobile devices. The argument that there’s too little real estate on them to communicate with potential customers does not hold water. And screen sizes of mobiles are growing, especially those of tablets and smartphones. So there’s enough space for you to exploit for your marketing purposes.
5. Mobile Marketing Is Not Just an App
The notion that marketing on mobile devices constitutes just an app is also wrong. And anyway, if you wish to think of it as an app then incorporates this app into your marketing strategy. Use it to offer something to your customers and to sell your brand. Make it an integral part of your whole marketing solution.
6. It Isn’t Expensive
Another fallacy that’s doing the rounds is that mobile marketing will cost you a lot. In fact it’s just the opposite – mobile marketing is definitely quite cheaper as well as more effective than all other kinds of marketing. Due to the huge development in mobile technology the possibilities on these devices are endless: You can dispatch videos and articles as well as audios/apps and updates, besides offers and all things related to your selling strategy. Another big benefit of a mobile strategy is that you can actually measure your ROI and thus your success, which makes it a very practical way to market your services and goods.
7. People of All Ages Use Mobile Devices
It is true that a lot of youngsters are using mobile devices these days and they are not the segment of the population that marketers are looking for; they will not respond to ads on smartphones or tablets. But this demographic is changing. Statistics show that some 66 per cent of people in the 30-49 age groups are using smartphones too. In sum, an increasing number of people are using multiple devices to get connected to the net and they are both young and older people.
8. Mobiles Vital Across All Industries
It really doesn’t matter what industry or business service you are in. If you are in business, you need to include mobile marketing of your goods or services as part of your overall strategy. The number of people using mobile devices is simply going up and there’s nothing that can stop this. A mobile is easier to use and most of the time cheaper than PCs or desktops. So more people will use them for things other than mere entertainment or personal/social communication. They will use them to buy stuff or services that they need and so you need to have yourself on them to get publicity and thus more conversions.
Before you go full speed into your mobile marketing campaign, remember these tips:
- You Must Align, Integrate For Digital Gadgets: The audiences that advertisers target today don’t belong anymore to the newspaper-reading and TV-watching category. Indeed, newspaper sales in developed countries have fallen sharply in the last decade and the trend is continuing. Since prospective customers are today using many screens and mediums you have to incorporate the digital world in your marketing campaign and since mobile devices are rapidly being used by audiences of all ages, they cannot be disregarded. Research from Google and IPSOS states that TV-watchers spend 77% of their time also using various devices and among them, 49% of the time it’s a smartphone. Thus, Google says that you must align and integrate your marketing campaign for digital gadgets.
- Only Social Media Won’t Suffice: There are people who think that a mobile marketing strategy must be limited to the social media, that a Twitter or Facebook account will suffice to market your stuff on mobile devices. That isn’t true. Mobile marketing incorporates engaging your audience, making offers, asking questions as well as entertaining them. You can’t accomplish all of this by just having a presence on the social media.
- Use Screen Space Judiciously: Obviously, screen space on mobiles is limited however big they may be getting; but there’s a limit to how much a person can carry along with him. Therefore, you must have in place a well thought-out strategy for your mobile marketing. You can’t compare a mobile screen to a PC or desktop and mobile users normally have lesser time to pay attention to what you are trying to engage with them than users of PCs/desktops. So be clear and precise with the information you want to get across in your mobile selling campaign.
- Don’t Forget Call-To-Action: The ultimate aim of every business is to make a sale and earn money. So your mobile marketing plan should not forget to have a call-to-action (CTA). Your strategy must include a coupon or link or anything that will alert your customer how he can effect a purchase. Brands which already have a firm sales policy in place may feel that that is enough for them. But it isn’t; they must ensure that their potential mobile buyers get the opportunity to take action with regard to a sale on their handheld device itself and not have to go to the firm’s traditional route.
- Website Owners Also Need Mobility: The lack of a mobile site will definitely hurt your sales. You must have a mobile site that is optimized for mobile devices. You don’t have to be a techno whiz kid to know that; a child will tell you that. Indeed you will get many orders from kids, depending on your product course. So if you don’t have a mobile site, get going now!
There is no going back. In fact one can only envisage a huge growth and popularity of mobile devices being used to buy order or check out stuff by a fast increasing segment of the world’s population. Thus a mobile marketing campaign is becoming an essential sales tool across all businesses. As mobile devices become more and more necessary and functional – and easy to use – the number of people using them is bound to keep on growing. Since you don’t have to be a technical geek to learn the fundamentals of using handheld devices, people of all age groups will start using these gadgets for the most minor business functions. If people don’t have to travel or go to the store or even move and still get the same buying options, there is no reason why marketing, from a buyer’s perspective, will be conducted from the kitchen/bedroom too across all demographic segments of the population. So make sure that you have an effective mobile marketing strategy in place so that your rivals don’t outpace you.
Alan Smith is an avid tech blogger with vast experience in various IT domains, currently associated with SPINX Inc., a Los Angeles, California based website design, web application development and internet marketing company.