Written by Audrius Dobilinskas
Learn how to boost your Mobile Marketing campaign with these simple tactics
Mobile marketing has been around for a while. It was born soon after the first smartphone was made available for the public masses (mobile marketing as we know today). Smartphone owners have not been the only ones who benefited from this. As the mobile phone stays with the owner 80% of his time (Dincer, 2011), such device becomes a great medium for marketing. A boom of smartphone market has created a new type of marketing - mobile marketing. Because of the unique advantages it was quickly accepted by many marketers and top online corporations, which showed support for mobile marketers quite early. Suddenly it became a norm to have a mobile strategy (Persaud & Azhar, 2012). Thus, the acceptance of mobile technology positively affected the attitude and response towards mobile marketing (Yang, Kim & Yoo, 2013), meaning that mobile users were more open to participating and engaging in mobile marketing campaigns. However, even though many people want to and actually try to run mobile marketing campaigns, not all of them have a bullet-proof strategy. Fortunately for those who still struggle, I am going to present several tips on how to improve your mobile marketing strategy.
What do I mean by mobile marketing?
Before we start going into details some clarifications should be made. In this article, mobile marketing covers everything that uses smartphones or tablets as means to reach the target audience. I am not going to touch anything that was relevant before the start of smartphones era and is not used anymore today. I will discuss only the things that are most useful for today's mobile marketers. Therefore, there will not be any references to older mobile phones using WAP browsers, as it was done by earlier researchers like Parreno et al (2013).
How to improve your mobile marketing strategy?
1. Have a mobile device optimized website (Solomon, 2011). That is one of the most important pre-requisites while running mobile marketing campaigns. If a user with a mobile device comes to the website and it is not well optimized or not optimized at all that is a bad news for both parties. First of all, the user cannot properly review all the content on the website, because it is most likely too hard to navigate. The text on the website may be too small to read it. Mobile devices have smaller screens than the personal computers and laptops after all. Secondly, website visibility on search engine sites like Google can be affected in a negative way and your site in mobile search listings would be displayed lower or not displayed at all. Thus, 28% of potential customers check pricing and reviews about the product they are interested in while inside a physical shop offering that product (ReviewTrackers, 2013). So image yourself as a customer currently standing in the shop and trying to access your precious website with a mobile device. What happens? It probably takes some time to load the website and when it is fully loaded you see that it is not possible to navigate it because it is not optimized for mobile experience. How would you feel in such situation? Would you still buy that product? Probably nothing positive would come out in these answers.
A good example of how having a mobile site can increase sales is fashion retailer - New Look (http://m.newlook.com/). The company launched a mobile site in 2011. The decision they have made directly contributed to the growth of sales and revenues. According to Williams, J. (2011), their sales jumped by 500% and that happened only because they have launched a mobile version of their official website.
2. Have a mobile application (Solomon, 2011) and upload it to an application store. Depending on the device type and operating system it can be Apple's iOS (for iPhones and iPads) or Google Play (for all Android devices). The presence on these app stores gives businesses an additional channel to communicate with their customers while customers have an easy way of accessing information using their phones. The difference between mobile optimized website and mobile application is that the user can access application at any time and this information is placed on their mobile phone. Depending on the application, they may not even need to have an access to the internet in order to browse the contents of that application. On the other hand, website visitors usual seek quick information while application users are looking something more than information. They are looking for practical use, something that can be useful in their daily life. Therefore, there should be an incentive to download and use the application, rather than going to the website (Dincer, 2011).
Fandango is one of the companies which successfully incorporated mobile applications into their mobile marketing strategy. Fandango serves as online ticketing system. Over the year, since the company started their mobile application, mobile ticket sales grew by 57%! (Borison, 2013) IHG hotel is another great example. They have launched their mobile application in 2010 (both iOS and Android). Over the year they saw 1,000% increase in bookings and 50% of these bookings have been attributed to mobile applications (Chen, Hsu & Wu, 2012). Major incentive for IHG app users was that they were able to book a room while on the go, they did not need to sit at their desktop computer in order to make a reservation.
3. Optimize your ads for mobile devices (Rosenkrans & Myers, 2012). That is extremely important if you run online advertising campaigns on Google AdWords, Bing Ads or any other advertising platform. The same way as websites, advertisements should be adapted to mobile devices because screen size differs and varies by device. For that reason smaller versions of web advertisements or completely new ads should be used. Size of the ad determines where that ad is shown (Google, 2014). Furthermore, ads can be textual and graphic (Yu, 2013). In Google AdWords the size of the text ads is fixed and cannot be modified. While graphic ads can vary in size but the advertiser is still required to follow other requirements set by Google (2014).
One of the Google AdWords features that can beneficial for mobile marketer is call extension which actually allow users to make a call without going to the website (Google, 2014). That is very convenient if you still do not have a mobile version of the website ready. Potential clients do not need to navigate the website and you get a direct call. Thus, call extensions work with any type of mobile phone, even the older ones without high speed internet capabilities. However, there are things to look after. First of all, the ad text must be informative and send the right message to the user. If the message is not clear then he would simply look at other ads or maybe make a call but just to clarify what it actually means that you are trying to say in the advert. In most cases it ends up as a waste of money for you and a waste of time for your potential client. Secondly, for many business call extensions may not be that good option, especially if you are seeking registrations or purchases and a call has no monetary value for you. Of course, it may turn into a lead after all but again it all depends on the needs of the business.
4. Use Analytics software to make better decisions (Dow, 2013). Google Analytics is a perfect solution for that matter. It can help you track campaign performance and give insights when running your mobile marketing campaign. Google Analytics is a tool that is widely known for the ability to track website visitors. However, its application can be much wider. It can track external campaigns (leading to your website), activity on mobile applications, activity on desktop and mobile versions of the website and can even serve as a reference for planning future marketing campaigns (Google, 2014). All you need to do is to configure your Google Analytics account properly, so that it meets your current and future marketing needs.
Corcoran Group is just one of the successful examples that integrated Google Analytics into their marketing strategy. The company is in residential real estate business. In 2010 they ran a mobile campaign for their newly created Android application. Until then they only had an application for iPhone users. The use of Google Analytics in both applications helped the company to determine what functions were the most popular, how users interacted with the application, how user behavior differed on different mobile application platforms (iOS or Android) and most importantly they determined the patterns of use which helped the company to improve user experience (Google, 2011). Based on the Analytics data Corcoran was able to target their customers better, which means that they have been able to create better mobile marketing campaigns. The use of Analytics software opened doors to new opportunities and growth.
What is next?
If you have followed through all of these steps and have them already implemented, that is great! I hope you found something useful and applicable to your mobile marketing strategy. Now you are asking "What is next?" and that is the right question to ask. Tips given in this article are just tactics to improve your marketing strategy. The next thing to do is to adapt these tactics when designing your new mobile marketing campaign. According to Dincer (2011): “In designing effective mobile advertising campaigns, there are four elements that management must take into consideration: Emotional, Interactivity, Entertaining and Incentive.” Therefore, every mobile marketing campaign should be emotionally involving and trigger emotional response. It has to be interactive and let the user perform certain actions on his own. It has to entertain people and, most importantly, it has to provide an incentive. The presence of these elements often determines how successful your marketing campaign will be. That is why it is important to have a strong mobile marketing strategy and make it bullet-proof with the tips given in this article.
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