Monday, 2 November 2009

Mobile Marketing – Have you started yet? It’s set to be explosive for 2010.

Mobile marketing is becoming more popular by the day, but some big brands are not as quick on the uptake for the massive potential that mobile marketing has to offer. Think about it, our mobile phone is so personal it is with us nearly everywhere we go. A recent global survey reports that 4 out of 5 people never leave home without their mobile phone. These days we use it for a lot of things, we use it to take a picture, make a video, view maps to get directions, with the invention of the smartphone it is a computer in our pocket, we access the internet and as you know... the internet is the information super highway. OH... and sometimes we use it as a phone too.
There are currently over 4.3 Billion mobile subscribers, with that figure expected to rise to more than 5 Billion in 2010, compare that to the total human population count worldwide of 6.7 Billion, potential penetration for mobile advertising is HUGE. If you have not thought about mobile marketing yet, don’t you think it is time you did.
To most, mobile marketing is a relatively new concept and some marketers are unsure of the way ahead, be it through SMS (Short Messaging Service)/MMS (Multi Media Service), 2D Barcodes, Bluetooth, Advertising, Social Networking, Mobile Apps or through mobile optimised websites. Well it can all be a bit scary at first, but keep it simple. It must be easy for you to manage and easy for your audience to understand and navigate. Let us take a look at some of the ways we can use these tools in a marketing campaign:

Part 1 – SMS/MMS Marketing.
SMS Marketing is currently the simplest, low cost and most popular way of mobile marketing by marketers and businesses alike. Using KEYWORDS and SHORTCODES is an easy way for your targeted audience to opt-in to your campaign or interact online through your website. They see your advert on TV, on a Billboard, or in a magazine, and text the KEYWORD to the SHORTCODE number advertised (FOR EXAMPLE: Text GAME to 8xxxx to receive a free game download for your mobile).
SMS marketing has proven to be 10 times more effective than newspaper advertising and 5 times more than direct mail. Always include your KEYWORD and SHORTCODE in your advertisements whether it is in newspapers and magazines, on your website or on TV.
SMS Marketing can be used in numerous ways, here are a few examples:
· Voting – Text to vote for your favourite group like on the TV programme XFactor.
· Estate Agents – Inform house buyers of new property listings that have just come on to the market. Include a link to your website to view pictures and further details on a property.
· Charity Donations – Text in to donate to your favourite charity.
· Professional Services – Send an appointment reminder, avoid no shows. Your time is money.
· Retail – Inform customers of offers or discounts in store, or even send them a discount code or voucher to redeem at their nearest store. Maybe even text to find your nearest store by entering your postcode.
· Sport – Your team is playing today but you are unable to see the game, get results sent to your mobile phone.
· Competitions – Enter by text.
· News – Get the latest news updates to your mobile phone.
· Hotels – Remind customers of their check-in date and time. Send a welcome text and inform customers of services available. Send a “Thank You” text once the customer has checked out.
· Travel – Send reminders of check in/flight times. Some Airlines now send a 2 Dimensional barcode to your mobile that can be used as your boarding pass.
· Restaurants – Inform customers of new menus, or text them when their table is ready.
· Nightclubs – Send a newsletter of up and coming events. Text to get a virtual ticket for the next event.
· Banking – Text to get your account balance.

Using SMS marketing is the easiest way to get consumers to opt-in to your marketing campaign, if your campaign offers something that they want. Consumers want information on the move; send them news updates of new services or products you have to offer. Tell them where these offers are and how they can benefit from them.
Recently, British car retailer Mitchell Group used SMS along with e-mail marketing to drive sales up to over £1 million pounds in just one weekend. One of the uses of SMS helped reduce missed service appointments by 97%, just by sending a SMS reminding them of their service appointment. Combining SMS and e-mail marketing to approx 4,000 opted-in e-mail and mobile numbers informing them of a 3-day special car sale event at Mitchell Groups Lexus, Mazda and Skoda dealerships, they were able to sell 90 previously owned cars over the 3 day event. The SMS agency Mitchell Group used, said they had never seen such a result before.
If you are planning on embarking on an SMS/MMS mobile marketing campaign remember these few good points:
· Only send SMS to those who have opted-in to your campaign. Spamming someone does not go down very well with some people.
· Know your target market, for instance there is no point sending an SMS to someone advertising an up and coming rock music event if they like classical music.
· Always include in your message how they can opt-out of the service. Eg Text STOP to 8xxxx to opt-out.
· Do not bombard them with messages, i would suggest up to no more than 3 per month. Engage them; make your messages targeted, relevant and informative.
· Ensure that if sending them to a website that the site is optimised for mobile viewing. Mobile screens are smaller and too much information on a page loads a lot slower, we prefer our search to be instant. If your pages are slow to load, it had better be worth waiting for.For more information see Mobile Marketing Association Guidelines.