What is Mobile Marketing?

And how do I do it? What does it cost?

HelpIf you’re like a lot of people, you might be asking, “What is mobile marketing?” It sounds like a basic question, but in doing some keyword research for the 60 Second Marketer, I found that “What is mobile marketing?” is the third most common mobile search phrase after “mobile marketing” and “mobile media.”

So, given that, I thought I’d shed some light on what mobile marketing is and how it’s used.

The definition of mobile marketing is pretty straightforward — it’s the set of techniques and practices that enable organizations to connect and engage with their audience in an interactive manner through any mobile device.

The tools and techniques that are used in mobile marketing included the following:

  • Mobile websites

  • Mobile apps

  • Mobile paid search

  • Mobile display (banner) ads

  • Location-based advertising

  • Location-based services (e.g., Foursquare, SCVNGR, WHERE, etc.)

  • Near Field Communication and BlueTooth (i.e., wireless communication between two devices)

  • SMS and MMS (i.e., text messaging)

  • 2D codes (i.e., QR codes, EZ codes, Microsoft TAG, etc.)

  • Mobile email

In Go Mobile (affiliate link), the book I’ve written with Jeanne Hopkins from HubSpot, we provide a roadmap on how to set-up, launch and manage a mobile marketing campaign.

What follows is an excerpt from the introduction in the book. It’s currently the #1 mobile marketing book in America, so if you like what you see, feel free to take a closer look by clicking here.

Here’s the excerpt:

“Are you curious about how to use mobile marketing to grow your business? Would you like to know how to use QR codes, mobile apps, location-based marketing and other mobile tools to increase your sales and revenue? And are you wondering how companies like Coca-Cola, Delta and Starbucks use mobile marketing to connect with their customers?

If so, we have some good news. That’s exactly what we’ve set out to do in Go Mobile. We’ve demystified mobile marketing and re-packaged it as a simple, easy-to-understand tool that you can use to grow your sales and revenue. The questions you have about how to set-up, launch and run a mobile marketing campaign have been answered in this book.

There are four primary mobile operating systems in the U.S. Percentages indicate total U.S. market share.

It’s worth noting that mobile marketing isn’t just an evolutionary new technology, it’s a revolutionary new technology. In fact, it’s a once in a generation shift in the way consumers connect with brands. And it’s going to have more impact than radio, TV and the personal computer – combined.

How can we say that? How can something as small as a smartphone be as powerful as radio, TV and the personal computer combined?

The reason is because mobile provides all three of those things (and more) in a small device that can be put in your pocket. There’s no need to be tied down by a big box that needs to be plugged in all the time. Instead, you (and your customer) can access it whenever they want and wherever they are.

In fact, research by Morgan Stanley indicated that 91% of all mobile phone users have their phones within arm’s reach 24/7. Additional research by Nielsen shows that the growth of the iPhone was 10 times faster than the growth of America Online.

It gets even more incredible. According to the 60 Second Marketer, there are 6.8 billion people on the planet, 4.0 billion of whom own a mobile phone. Do you know how many own a toothbrush? 3.5 billion. That’s right, more people own a mobile phone than own a toothbrush.

What’s more, Gartner predicts that by 2013 the primary way people will access the internet is via their mobile browsers. In other words, more than half the time someone accesses the internet, they’ll be doing it from a mobile phone. That has huge implications for how your business needs to connect with prospects and customers.

Given all that, it’s not surprising that you’re curious about mobile marketing and that you’re reading this book. After all, people like you have realized that mobile is going to be huge. No, wait. Strike that. Mobile is huge. And it’s going to get even huger. (Is huger a word? Why, yes. Just Google it from your mobile device if you don’t believe us.)

Is Mobile Marketing Right for You?

The starting point for anyone interested in diving into mobile marketing isn’t to run out and develop an app or set up a mobile website. Instead, the starting point is to begin by asking yourself, “is mobile marketing right for my business?”   

With that in mind, we’ve come up with a handy little checklist designed to help you figure out if mobile is right for you.

Mobile marketing is right for your business if…

  • You need new customers

  • You want existing customers come back more frequently

  • You want to improve your profit margins

  • You need to appeal to a broader audience

  • You want to differentiate your brand

  • You’d like to improve your marketing ROI

  • You want customers to spend more money each time they buy from you

  • You’re looking for new distribution channels

  • You want to grow your market share

  • You want to be in front of your customers 24/7

See where we’re going with this? The odds are pretty good that one or more of the items listed above is important to you. Who doesn’t want more customers? Who doesn’t want to improve their marketing ROI? And who doesn’t want to differentiate their brand?

5 More Reasons Mobile Marketing Might be Right for Your Business

If the list of reasons above wasn’t enough to get you started in mobile marketing, here are five more that will almost certainly help you along your way.

  1. It’s easier than you think. Setting-up, launching and running a mobile marketing campaign is easier than you may think. If you’re interested in getting a helping hand, reach out to an SMS service provider, your digital advertising agency or a mobile ad network like AdMob, iAd or Millenial Media. A quick phone call to any one of those entities will help you understand just how easy it is to get started in mobile marketing. (Of course, reading this book will help, too.)
  2. There’s a huge untapped mobile audience. The mobile audience is huge, which leaves a large gap between the amount of marketers targeting mobile users, and the actual amount of people using mobile devices, like smartphones. This means that now is the ideal time to test out a mobile marketing campaign for your business to see how effectively it can build your brand and sell your products.
  3. Mobile converts prospects to customers. The conversion rate for many mobile marketing campaigns is dramatically higher than the conversion rate for traditional campaigns. eMarketer reports that 1 in 10 people currently redeem mobile coupons, which is 10 times higher than the redemption rate of some traditional coupons channels.1
  4. It costs less than traditional methods. The cost of running a mobile marketing campaign is currently less than the cost of running many traditional marketing campaigns. Because of that, the ROI of most mobile campaigns is higher than other marketing channels. What’s wrong with a healthy ROI? Nothing.
  5. People respond to mobile. Just like it’s easy to start a campaign on your end, it’s also easy for customers to opt-in or respond to an ad through a click of a button on their smartphone. Easy sells; and more people are willing to reply to a text message or a mobile banner ad than are willing to clip a coupon out of a newspaper.

The bottom line is that there are amazing opportunities for any business interested in taking a dive into mobile marketing. Better still, mobile marketing is not that hard. If you have a basic understanding of marketing, it’ll be a piece of cake. And even if you don’t have a basic understanding of marketing, it’s incredibly easy to learn.”

This article by Jamie Turner was originally posted on the 60 Second Marketer blog