Our Mobile Marketing Starter Guide
By Geoff Peterson May 22, 2011 Filed Under: Mobile MarketingMobile devices are everywhere today, and nearly everyone is packing a device on the go from smartphones and gaming devices to netbooks and iPads. Kids, teenagers and adults alike are all using their mobile devices in full force. No matter where you go whether it be a restaurant, an office building, the subway, a mall, you name it. Look around and you’ll notice nearly everyone is using their mobile devices for something. The key thing to notice is that most are not using it just for phone calls, but rather to send and receive text messages, browse the web for information, play games, listen to music and much more. Regardless of your profession, whether it be marketing, recruiting or information technology, you need to figure out a how to utilize the growing mobile space to your advantage. If you are not already fully immersed in mobile strategies, the key questions to ask yourself are “how do I go mobile” or “how do I merger mobile into my business?” Read on and we’ll share a ideas to get you moving into mobile, fast!
Get Familiar With The Mobile Scene
A good start on this front would be to research the terms SMS, MMS, short codes and QR codes via Wikipedia. These terms have become synonymous with mobile marketing and mobile technologies. Continue by reading up on industry leading blogs such as Mobile Marketer, Mobile Marketing Watch, Mobile Marketing Profits, IntoMobile, Communities Dominate Brands and mTrends. In addition, check out these four books: The Mobile Marketing Handbook, Mobile Advertising: Supercharge Your Brand in the Exploding Wireless Market, Mobile Marketing: Achieving Competitive Advantage Through Wireless Technology, and Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media. Finally, don’t forget to stop by the Mobile Marketing Association which has a wealth of resources to soak up.
Decide Your Mobile Goals
Decide who you are trying to market to first: new clients for your business, active or passive job seekers or someone else altogether. What is the outcome you are looking for? Are you trying to get new customers to visit your website or enter your store? Are you looking for job seekers to apply to your open positions? Are you trying to get more brand awareness in your space? There is an endless amount of creative ways to utilize mobile campaigns to your advantage. In our case, we mobilized this website with Movitas, set-up QR (2D bar code) campaigns with ScanLife, and ran several text campaigns with TextMarks. We use mobile campaigns to both drive more traffic to our website, received more brand awareness, and have drove more ticket sales for our online Mobile Merger event September 15th. We accomplish this not with one campaign as a catch-all for everything, but by breaking our goals into several campaigns and trying to reach our audience accordingly.
Get Your Websites Mobilized
We think the most important thing you or your company needs to consider when entering the mobile space is mobilizing your website, blog and career sites. Without a mobile presence, we wouldn’t jump into any type of campaign at all. Most saavy people, whether they are potential leads for your business or job candidates, will check your website through their mobile web browser. If your site is not mobilized, they will probably find it very difficult to navigate on such a small screen. Ultimately users will get frustrated in the first few seconds of entering your site, and walk away with a negative impression of your business. We used Movitas to mobilize this website because it offered great features such as the ability to hook up our company Twitter feed, and had great customization options. Other options to consider are MoFuse, MOBIFY, Winksite, UBIK and Movylo. Also check out mobiForge, the world’s largest independent mobile development community. A quick point to consider: most of these sites offer free and fee versions of their services. In most cases, you pay for what you get. The free versions are usually very lightweight with no frills and very little options to work with. They barely offer you what you need. We’d strongly urge you to consider a fee version that can work for you and your budget.
Build “Opt-In” Mobile Marketing Lists
You have to treat marketing in the mobile space much differently than other forms of marketing, such as email marketing. You must get people to "opt-in" to your marketing efforts, whether it be SMS, MMS or any other form. If you decide to send out marketing messages at random without permission, you run the risk of negative perceptions of you and your company, there could also be heavy fines associated with it, and even suspension or banishment from wireless carriers. This list won’t grow easily, and it won’t grow overnight either, so you must have patience. Leading up to our site launch, we built several respectable sized opt-in lists to market to. We accomplished this in several key ways: making our target audience aware of our mobile programs, placing information about our mobile campaigns with links in each comment or posting in various online mobile communities, using our social and business networks (i.e. Twitter), working our mobile campaign information into our blog, and offering free content online (such as whitepapers, webinars and presentations) related to mobile marketing. Another simple, yet effective strategy is to place information inside your email signature. Integrate your mobile efforts into everything you do if you want to be successful. A great example of mobile recruiting success is AT&T. One way AT&T built their mobile marketing list, was integrating with their ATS, Taleo. So, every time a job seeker filled out a job application online in Taleo, they would be given the option to subscribe to mobile alerts for programs and job openings. They had over 100,000+ mobile subscribers in the first year going mobile!
Plug ‘N Play With Mobile Campaigns
Get a survey of different services and solutions that are available for your marketing efforts. Discover what can help you accomplish your goals and what will work into your budget. This will include services and solutions for text messages, voice, mobile web promotion, social networking and proximity marketing. Two services we use for conducting mobile marketing campaigns are TextMarks and ScanLife. We work with a small budget set aside for marketing, including mobile efforts. Finding solutions to market effectively in the mobile space on the cheap was important to us. TextMarks offers both fee and free options for sending text messages to your opt-in lists. The free version was limited (only giving 120 out of the possible 160 characters to text with due to TextMarks advertisements). We upgraded to one of their fee plans, which was a minimal investment, and offers all 160 characters to work with and no advertisements. It was crucial getting those extra 40 characters to work with. ScanLife is a service offering 2D and 3D bar codes you create and use anywhere, including websites, email signatures, business cards and more. Using 2D bar codes has offered a more interactive way to engage our audience, as they have to use their cell phones (camera phones specifically) to get the message. While not as widely adopted as text campaigns, 2D bar codes offer a very creative way to reach your audience. Other services and solutions to consider are: Mobivity, mobileStorm, Joopz, QRapp, Jumptap, ipsh! and Punchkick Interactive.