Lots of people still wonder what mobile marketing is all about. So I will be writing a series of mobile marketing articles, starting with this first part.
Mobile marketing is a subset of internet or online marketing. Put quite simply, it refers to anything you do to promote your business to potential clients and customers while they are “on the go.” This type of marketing combines a system of creating a mobile online presence and sending targeted permission-based messages, utilizing a variety of methods such as texts, pictures, videos, and “mobile coupons” or QR codes. Mobile marketing enables businesses to reach potential customers “where they live” — and today, that’s very frequently online and on-the-go.
What is Mobile Marketing
While people are still using laptops and PCs; gone are the days when these are the only way for people to go online. With the wide-spread availability of smart phones and tablets, behaviors have changed and today people are literally spending a lot more time accessing the internet through their mobile devices than on traditional computers. Studies report that cell phone usage will reach 7 billion users world-wide at the end of 2014. That number will continue to grow. Mobile Marketing is HUGE.
If you are not currently utilizing some type of mobile marketing strategy, you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to get more prospective customers and sales by reaching out to your target audience where they are spending most of their “online” time. In today’s world, mobile devices have almost become an indispensable part of every day life.
Released in May 2013, Google’s Our Mobile Planet: Understanding the Mobile Consumer report provides some powerful numbers about how much people have come to rely on their mobile devices. In the United States 83% of people surveyed reported that they never leave home without their smartphones. But that doesn’t mean that they only use them when they are on the go – 96% of people use their devices when they are at home.
As a matter of fact, survey after survey shows that people access their mobile phones just about everywhere – including unlikely places such as at weddings, funerals and even in the bathroom (you may have done it too!) ;). In fact there were studies that shown that 19% of smartphone users broke their phones while in the bathroom. Well, that says a lot about mobile isn’t it? 😉
One study even found that 91% of smart phone users pretty much always have their device within an arm’s reach away (Source).
According to the 2103 Google study:
- Smartphones have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Smartphone penetration has risen to 56% of the population and these smartphone owners are becoming increasingly reliant on their devices. 67% access the Internet every day on their smartphone and most never leave home without it.
- Smartphones have transformed consumer behavior. Mobile search, video, app usage and social networking are prolific. Smartphone users are multi-tasking their media with 82% using their phone while doing other things such as watching TV (53%).
- Smartphones help users navigate the world. Appearing on smartphones is critical for local businesses. 94% of smartphone users look for local information on their phone and 84% take action as a result, such as making a purchase or contacting the business.
These findings, as well as those from numerous other reports, prove that that if you are looking for a highly effective way to reach your target audience, then you need to connect with them where they are spending a large percentage of their time: mobile devices.
Evidence from Google’s 2012 report Our Mobile Planet: Global Smartphone Users makes it clear that there is definite “buying power” in these little hand-held devices. Let’s take a look. In the US alone:
- 92% of users report that they use their smart phones to conduct local searches. Of these, 21% acted on that information by making a purchase from the business online and 25% made a purchase in-store.
- 51% of people surveyed said that they had called a business that they looked up, 49% researched businesses on a map, 48% said they visited the actual business and 47% went to the business website – all after conducting a search from their mobile device.
- 63% of mobile shoppers state that they make monthly purchases directly from their smartphone rather than going to their laptop or pc.
- A significant number stated their smartphone has a direct result on their buying decisions. 39% carry their mobile devices specifically so they can research information and compare products – with 32% reporting they changed their mind about a product while in a store because of information they found on their mobile device.
So at this point, it should be clear that mobile marketing provides a great opportunity for the growth of your business, but you may be wondering “Can I afford it?”
Believe it or not, mobile marketing is not expensive at all. The first step is to make sure that you have a website that is mobile optimized. In terms of ROI, mobile marketing can be much less expensive than traditional advertising methods. I personally like Mobile SMS marketing as it has proven to be more efficient when reaching targeted audience. You know where they spend their time at. 😉
With mobile marketing you don’t have to worry about things like “what is the best time to send my email so that it doesn’t get buried in the inbox?” or “how can I make sure that people see my banner ad?”
More to come on “what is mobile marketing” in my next post.