Three Ways To Make Your Mobile Marketing Successful

And the characteristics that all effective campaigns share

Posted by Jamie Turner

What do all successful mobile marketing campaigns have in common? What are the fundamental characteristics that effective mobile marketing campaigns share? What are the techniques these campaigns use that make them different from other, less effective campaigns?

You may be surprised to hear that, given the breadth and depth of the mobile marketing landscape, the number of essential characteristics that successful mobile marketing campaigns have in common can be distilled down to three. Once you strip away the façade of many successful campaigns, what you uncover are these three key characteristics: measurability, consumer insights, and innovation.

Characteristic 1: Measurability

A sure sign that a campaign will fail to reach its full potential is when a marketing director or business owner launches it without setting up a system to track the results.

Many businesses catch wind of a new and emerging trend like mobile marketing and jump into it before mapping out a strategy or developing tracking mechanisms. Typically, they develop a campaign based on a tactical or executional basis. A common refrain goes like this: “Let’s dive into foursquare. The CEO just asked me about it, so let’s get one running ASAP.”

This ready, fire, aim approach to mobile marketing sets people up for failure. No sooner have they launched the campaign on a tactical whim than the CFO walks in and asks for an ROI analysis of it. Since a tactics-and-execution-first approach was taken to set it up, probably very little effort was put into defining tracking mechanisms. The end result is a campaign that flounders because nobody can accurately assess whether it is successful or not.

Successful campaigns start with an agreement about which metrics will be used to track the results. Then a baseline is established; thus, if one of the metrics that will be used is number of clicks to the mobile website, a baseline for that metric needs to be established prior to launching the campaign. Here’s an example: If a mobile website generates 1,000 visits a week prior to launching a paid search campaign, and it jumps up to 1,250 visits per week following the run of that campaign, then you know it generated a 25 percent increase in visits to the website (assuming all other variables remained the same).

Characteristic 2: Customer Insights

Understandably, it’s easy to get swept up in the enthusiasm surrounding a new marketing trend, especially one as exciting as mobile. Consider what happened with social media: Businesspeople were so enthused about its potential that they started to believe it was going to solve all their marketing problems. The thinking was, if we just upload a few YouTube videos and create a Facebook page, we’ll be off to the races.

The truth is, it takes more than uploading a few YouTube videos and creating a Facebook page to make a successful social media campaign. Similarly, it takes more than creating a mobile website and running a mobile search program to produce a successful mobile media campaign. It takes careful planning and development, plus valuable consumer insight.

Companies that focus on the technology first and the consumer second are destined to fail. Successful mobile marketing campaigns start by gaining consumer insight; they then use that insight to grow their sales and revenue. They analyze how their customers and prospects think and behave, then try to figure out how mobile marketing can be used to leverage those thoughts and behaviors.

Fandango, the movie ticketing destination, for example, worked to analyze the behavior of people visiting its mobile app. It realized that potential ticket buyers wanted three things: the ability to check movie times, the ability to purchase tickets, and the convenience of not having to stand in line to pick up their tickets when they arrived at the theater. So Fandango created an app that meets those wants: It gives moviegoers the ability to check movie times and purchase tickets, and sends them a QR code they can scan at the ticket booth. By drilling down and analyzing the consumer thought process, Fandango found the way to deliver a superior ticket-buying experience to its customers and, ultimately, improve customer loyalty.

Characteristic 3: Innovation

No doubt you’re excited about all the possibilities for business growth offered by mobile marketing. And based on what you’ve read in this book, you now know that many of your competitors are probably still lagging behind in this trend. So it may be tempting, once you’ve created your mobile website and perhaps even developed a mobile promotion, to get complacent and comfortable with your accomplishment. That would be a mistake. Successful campaigns typically continue to add an innovative element to the mix. They do more than, say, offer a free product sample for people who scan their QR code. Instead, they may engage their consumer in a new and innovative way that leverages the unique characteristics of mobile devices.

Now that we’ve introduced these unique characteristics, let’s take a quick look at each of them before we analyze how they’re being used in mobile marketing campaigns around the globe. As mentioned, mobile devices have GPS technology that allows users and marketers alike to target prospects based on their locations. And recall that a mobile device’s accelerometer can be used to track the speed at which someone is traveling, and even to sense when the mobile device is being shaken. The compass lets marketers find out which direction the user is facing (always helpful for apps like Yelp that provide restaurant ratings to the user based on which direction they’re facing).

More, mobile devices have the capability to scan 2D codes, share data and information, and recognize when the mobile device is being held close to a person’s body. Mobile devices also can adjust screen brightness based on the ambient light. They also can transfer information wirelessly using NFC or Bluetooth technology.

In a nutshell, the most effective mobile marketing campaigns use these unique characteristics to provide consumers with an experience that’s memorable. They leverage these attributes in order to connect with consumers more deeply than campaigns that follow traditional, more well-worn paths.

A Few Final Thoughts

If you’re reading these words, the odds are you have more than just a passing interest in mobile marketing. You’re excited about the prospects this new tool can drive to your business. You might even have some specific ideas for campaigns you’re thinking about launching as a result of reading this book.

But there’s one last point we need to express to ensure that your mobile marketing campaign will not just work, but succeed. It’s the most important point of all—which is why we’ve saved it for last. That final point is for you to take action. Don’t just think about, and talk about, mobile marketing. Don’t just strategize about it, either. Take action!

We’ve been tossing around two phrases to each other as we’ve been writing this book. The first is GSD, which stands for get stuff done. (GSD actually stands for something a little edgier than that, but we’re too polite to tell you). The key thrust of GSD is that it motivates people to take action instead of just talking about taking action. There’s a big difference.

The second phrase is: It’s better to get 10 things done than to get 1 thing done perfectly. Now, we realize that if you’re a brain surgeon, this advice does not apply to you. But marketing isn’t brain surgery; it’s a much more flexible profession. And it happens much more quickly. That means if you don’t keep the ball moving forward, the business world will pass you by. Quickly.

So keep those two final points in mind as you take steps to launch your mobile marketing campaign. By doing so, we’re confident you’ll be able to launch your campaign and still have time to tweak and adjust it while your competitors are stuck in the planning stages.

Good luck. Keep us posted on your results. And let us know what you’re doing in the amazing and exciting new world of mobile marketing.

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