When the iPhone was first introduced in 2007, marketing as we knew it changed. The birth of the smartphone would lead to hardware and software technologies that now enable mobile marketing possibilities, revolutionizing entire business models.
For small businesses, mobile marketing strategies and tools can target affluent, ready-to-buy consumers with curated content in a variety of formats, customized to fit the context of the moment. As part of a multichannel solution, mobile marketing provides cost-effective ways to help people learn about small businesses and ultimately convert them to customers.
Consider the Statistics
- Mobile ad spending accounted for nearly two-thirds of the digital advertisements purchased in the U.S., says the Interactive Advertising Bureau (WSJ, 2018).
- Digital marketers spend more than a tenth of their budget on mobile advertising, notes Statista (2020).
- Mobile devices are responsible for over 40% of the transactions that people complete online, according to Think With Google (2017).
Mobile Marketing Tactics
Location-Based Marketing: Brick-and-mortar businesses can use their mobile phone applications to drive people to their establishments using technologies built into their application software. E-commerce sites like RetailMeNot and Entertainment.com can also use these same technologies (also known as hyperlocal targeting) to provide local recommendations as people drive through an area.
GPS: Satellites circle the earth and transmit signal information to us. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate a user’s exact location.
Geofencing: This virtual technology uses GPS to define an invisible perimeter and draw an “electronic fence” around the space. Prospects with a location-based app who enter the space receive an alert on their phones with information “pushed” to their device.
Beacons: These devices are the local, mini version of a satellite in orbit. Typically the size of a fist, they work through Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) technology, sending out short-range signals to users of location-based apps within range. The possibilities for marketing are endless.
Social Media Advertising and Mobile-Friendly Content: There are currently about 3 billion social media users around the world, and 50% of people use mobile devices to access the internet. The math is simple. Optimize your marketing content for social media and mobile and you can achieve a powerful effect. Create content that gets shared and viewed on mobile devices. Video ads and short articles are examples of snackable content.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are ideal for mobile marketing because their huge numbers of users enable targeting based on a combination of variables, including location. Consumers can discover and engage with brands through the voices of people they trust on these platforms.
SMS Text Messaging Marketing: Three-quarters of people do not mind receiving SMS messages from companies they love, and 90% read texts within three minutes of receiving them. Compared to email, the open rates are staggering, not to mention immediate and impactful. Text messaging combines well with digital coupons, alerting consumers to sales at retailers and local businesses. Combined with location-based marketing, text messaging is near immediate in drawing nearby smartphone users to an event, sale, or special offer. Multichannel marketing campaigns that combine in-store signage, a smartphone application, and opt-in text messaging provide for a wide range of engagement and brand-building opportunities.
Augmented Reality: For businesses trying to appeal to a tech-savvy demographic, augmented or virtual reality can provide an immersive brand experience. Augmented reality overlays digital information or visual projections onto real-world scenes, like Pokemon Go, the game that popularized AR technology. Let people visualize how your furniture will look in their homes, or your dinners on their dining tables. The possibilities are far-reaching, and unlike time-tested marketing tools, most ideas for using this technology have yet to be conceived.
Marketers with the knowledge and creativity to harness mobile marketing strategies for their businesses are in demand – and that trend shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
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