Everything that you could do on a PC or desktop, you can now do on your mobile phone. From accessing your emails to visiting different websites. In fact, many are reading this article on their mobile phones! Thanks to the evolution of mobile phones, mobile marketing is now the big thing. The next obvious question that follows is “What is mobile marketing?” Let’s understand mobile marketing, how it changed over the time, and where it stands today!
Have you heard of “nomophobia”? Read it slow, no-mo-pho-bia. It’s short for “no mobile phone phobia.” It is the fear of living or being without mobile phones! It includes lost or misplaced phones, having a dead battery or no service, and other reasons that make your phone unusable.
Coming to the point: Our mobile phones are now an integral part of our life. Now think what mobile phones can be to your business?
Yes, mobile marketing is not the future-it’s the present.
However, many marketers struggle with mobile marketing. It’s because they don’t do it right and make the same common mistakes that many marketers make! When you do it right and avoid making the common mobile marketing mistakes, you can get better results!
But let us know what is mobile marketing first?
What is mobile marketing?
In simpler terms, mobile marketing means the art of promoting and marketing business to mobile device users. When you do it right, it will provide users, who are using mobile phones, time-location sensitive and personalized information. Further, the users can get information about your products and can make a purchase even if they are on the go!
Let me tell you this: Mobile marketing is here, it has arrived. If you are not implementing mobile marketing strategies, then you are trailing behind.
“If you’re not using mobile marketing to attract new customers to your business, don’t worry — your competitors are already using it and are getting those customers instead.” ~ Jamie Turner (60SecondMarketer.com)
A popular media agency, Zenith, found out that in the year 2010, people spent only twenty percent of their total time being online on mobile phones. Zenith says that by 2019, it will rise to more than 75%!
Ideally, mobile advertising will involve understanding the mobile audience, content designs keeping according to mobile platforms, and strategic use of mobile apps, MMS/SMS marketing.
Mobile phones have become our second nature. When you are bored or have some time to kill, you reach for your mobile phone automatically. Therefore, it is only natural that advertisers and marketers would try mobile marketing to get your attention.
Now you know what is mobile marketing but have you ever wondered how that sleek device evolved over the time? How mobile marketing changed over time?
Mobile marketing: Then and now
The first conference for mobile advertising was held in the year 2000. It was sponsored by “Wireless Marketing Association.”
It was the year 2002 when marketers started to realize that phones can be an excellent tool for location-based and time-sensitive advertising. Now that practice has evolved and became popular as geo-targeting and geo-fencing.
It started with event venues sending out reminders and concert announcements to people when they were within the range. Marketers used mainly SMSes for such promotions and reminders.
SMSes were then the hot thing in the town. Right from sending out promotional messages, and event reminders to helping shy guys propose the pretty girls! In the year 2002, SMS was undoubtedly the hottest channel for mass media.
If someone asked “what is mobile marketing?”, then the best possible answer would have been “SMS.”
Advertisers, mobile phone companies, and almost every industry used SMS to send out brand messages.
It was the year 2007 when the world saw iPhone! Although iPhones weren’t the first smart mobile phone, at that time, it was certainly the most user-friendly mobile phone. It completely changed the way people used to look at phones. Mobile phones proved to be very useful; as a tool for business and entertainment.
However, there was still a gap! The ads were not mobile-friendly! It was then when advertisers thought of adapting to smaller mobile screens.
Marketing gurus and experts started to work on mobile apps. It was 2014 when advertisers and marketers started taking mobile advertising very seriously. It took just a year for marketers and advertisers to own it!
By the year 2015, there were video ads, native ads, overlay ads, and interstitial ads (In-game mobile marketing) everywhere.
Here we are today with mobile smartphones everywhere!
Mobile marketing, today, is mainly online. SMS marketing remains to be the only active offline mobile marketing strategy.
Mobile marketing: Common practices
To understand what is mobile marketing, you need to know first what are the common practices first.
There are many mobile marketing practices that you will see everywhere. Let’s see what they are:
Marketing with Apps
App-based marketing is mobile advertising that involves mobile apps.
It’s a known fact that users spend a reasonable amount of time engaged with apps. To make it easier, you can seek help from services like Google AdMob to create ads, which will appear within the third-party mobile apps.
Even Facebook allows advertisers and marketers to design ads, which they can integrate into the mobile app of Facebook. The promoted mobile post ads of Facebook integrate effortlessly with the news feed. The users don’t even realize most of the times that they are looking at ads!
Marketing with mobile websites
Firstly, mobile websites are similar to mobile apps but are different than them. However, in a sense, mobile apps are a mobile application.
Confused? Let’s try in simpler terms.
Mobile websites are websites that are similar to the website versions but designed for handheld display and touch screens. On the other hand, mobile apps need to be downloaded first and then installed on your mobile phone.
You can access mobile websites in web browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.
The main advantage of mobile websites is that they require no installation. When you visit a website on your mobile phone, the website will detect automatically if its a desktop or mobile. It will instantly switch to mobile mode.
Many people don’t download an app right away! They explore the website first and see if it will be fruitful to download the app or not. Usually, there is a link given on the websites that take the users to the app store.
Mobile marketing is easy with mobile websites because users can access them on all mobile devices.
Proximity mobile marketing (close range mobile marketing)
In few words, proximity mobile marketing is local wireless advertising. It involves the wireless distribution of promotional content within a particular range. Users can receive the transmissions if they are in that range.
Marketers can use Bluetooth or WiFi to do proximity mobile marketing.
Proximity mobile marketing is marketing and promotion of content or a product in a close range. Bluetooth proximity marketing is rarely practiced these days with many better options available.
Earlier, Bluetooth proximity mobile marketing required people to run Java applications first on their mobile phones. After completion, the users could receive content.
However, proximity mobile marketing using WiFi is still practiced, especially in retail businesses. Managers of retail stores use it to estimate the number of devices present in that area. Further, he/she would use that information to optimize or observe business management and marketing.
Marketing based on location
Location-based marketing is beneficial when it’s about bridging the digital world and the users’ physical world. It helps in offering relevant content or promotions based on the users’ geolocation.
Location-based marketing is the process where notifications or actions are triggered when a consumer enters or leaves a predefined geo-fenced location or geolocation.
In simpler terms, when GPS coordinates of your mobile device determine your location, it is location-based marketing.
Location is the key and the primary component here!
Location-based is an excellent mobile marketing strategy for businesses that have a physical store. It can help in increasing footfalls and boosting sales by bringing in more people.
Marketing with in-game ads
The mobile ads, which appear while playing a mobile game are in-game mobile marketing.
Given below is an example.
Although the example here shows an in-game mobile ad of another mobile game, it’s not always games promoting in games!
In-game mobile ads can also be a full-page image ad or a video ad, which usually appears while loading screens.
Mobile marketing through emails
By 2018 80% of email users are expected to access their email accounts via a mobile device. – The Radicati Group, Email Statistics Report (2014-2018)
Did you notice that the majority of email marketing providers now use responsive design? For example, The CTA (call-to-action) buttons are placed early in the message and making the buttons easily “tap-able” by making those 44X44 pixels. It is because most of us access emails on our mobile devices.
You will also notice that emails are now optimized in such a way that it looks good in your mobile inbox.
Since emails are now accessed on mobile devices mostly, it is now an excellent platform for mobile marketing.
Mobile marketing through SMS/MMS
SMS (short message service) can certainly be an excellent mobile marketing tool.
When you send an SMS to your users or potential customers, it reaches them directly to their mobile devices. In addition to that 90% of SMSes are opened within 90 seconds!
SMS marketing has many benefits. SMSes have an excellent open rate, which guarantees that your text messages will be read eventually. You can leverage the benefits of SMS marketing and get better results. Remember, when you are marketing to your users’ mobile devices, it is more direct and personal as compared to other channels.
You can also reach your users on their mobile devices with MMS (multimedia message service). MMS are usually sent from websites to mobile phones, or sometimes from mobile messaging service providers.
MMS includes GIFs, audios, videos, photos, or text. It gives a richer and better media experience as compared to simple SMS. Further, you can:
- Include engaging and efficient visuals
- Tie your MMS that you send to any multi-channel campaign.
- Make your message shareable by including social platforms buttons.
The alerts or messages that you get from the app are push notifications.
Usually, these messages or alerts appear on the mobile device’s home screen. Push notifications appear even when the user has not opened the app or engaged with it.
You will get push notifications only for the apps that you have downloaded.
Given below is an example of push notification.
Push notifications are an excellent tool that you can use as a part of your mobile marketing strategy. You don’t need the users to have the app opened even!
Mobile marketing is gaining popularity because of its broad usability. You will undoubtedly get an edge over your competitive brands when you optimize your marketing strategies for mobile.
Mobile marketing is the hottest trend now! Since mobile phones are everywhere, they are now in almost every industry.
Remember your mobile marketing strategies will largely depend on the target audience, your industry, and your budget.
Mobile phones are an integral part of almost everyone’s life.
In the distant future, people may want to get buried with their mobile phones, just in case they are not dead!
Mobile marketing can take your brand to newer heights. If you haven’t invested in it, then it’s the right time to begin.
Now that you know what is mobile marketing? It’s time that you go mobile too!
Tell us what is mobile marketing to you?