The rise in the number of consumers purchasing smartphones along with the increased affordability of data plans has made mobile an increasingly attractive marketing option for marketers.
Indeed not having a mobile marketing strategy and SMS marketing program means you are passing up an opportunity to engage with your customers in a very targeted and personal way. However, a common mistake made by many businesses who do dip their toes into the mobile marketing field is to run their mobile marketing campaign as a stand-alone effort and then write off mobile when they don’t get the results they expect. Mobile marketing, and in particular SMS marketing, is more effective when it is integrated into your overall marketing strategy and run as a supplement to your existing marketing efforts.
It is likely that your customers will be exposed to numerous forms of media during the course of the day which you can use to get your message to him/her. Combining traditional channels such as print, direct mail, radio and television with relatively new channels such as mobile, email, online banner advertising and social media will generate a higher impact leading to improved brand recognition and message recall.
So what can mobile offer as part of your marketing strategy?
Targeted and relevant: Text message marketing is permission-based, ie, your customers need to “opt-in” to receive promotional texts from you. As a result, you will always be sending your promotional offers to consumers that have expressed an interest in your product or service. And any consumers that join your “mobile club” are more likely to respond to promotional offers or other calls to action you send them in a positive way.
Immediate: SMS marketing has immediacy that other forms of direct marketing lack. A marketer/business owner can make the decision to send a promotional offer and have his message in his customers’ hands within minutes, giving them the opportunity to make real-time marketing decisions.
Interactive: Mobile marketing promotions can be highly interactive, letting you engage the consumer even further. Get your customers to text a keyword to a phone number and instantly send them back a promotional text, or ask them to scan a QR code in-store to receive a mobile coupon direct to their phones.
Convenient and effective: – It is safe to say that the majority of your customers never leave home without their mobile phones. As a result, they will always have any mobile coupons that you send them on-hand, ready for instant redemption. So how can mobile be effectively combined with other forms of marketing? Let’s take the example of a business that wants to invite customers to a special end-of-season sale, where they will be clearing old stock. A marketing campaign to increase footfall and drive sales is conceived.
A combination of email marketing and SMS marketing would be an effective combination to promote an event such as this. Both forms of marketing are permission-based, where consumers will have “opt-ed” in to receive promotional offers, ensuring a high possibility that any promotional offers sent will be positively received. Sending a promotional email to your subscriber database informing them of the upcoming sale will stimulate interest. You could include eye-catching graphics of special sale items, include links to your website, provide a paper coupon that can be printed and presented at the point-of-sale, etc.
After reading your promotional email, many in your subscriber database will be interested in visiting your shop to take advantage of the great promotional offers. However, in the time between your mail being received and the event real life takes over and many of your subscribers will have forgotten about your sale. This is where the immediacy of mobile can benefit you and your campaign. Sending an SMS message on the morning of the event will break through the daily noise and remind your subscribers about your sale.
Due to the ever-present nature of mobile phones and the high read rates of SMS messages, you can be confident that your promotional text will be read. Also, many online SMS marketing services allow you to create a message and schedule it to go at a future date, so you can create your promotional/reminder text at the same time that you send your e-mail blast and schedule it to go at a time that you feel will maximise the impact. Your SMS message can be a simple reminder or can contain an additional special offer. And the increase in the number of consumers using smartphones provides the opportunity to be even more eye catching. So why not add a link with directions to your shop or a link to a graphical mobile coupon that can be redeemed at point of sale.
This is just one example of how mobile marketing can be combined with another form of direct marketing to good effect. In this increasingly digital world, not having SMS in your promotional arsenal denies you the opportunity to engage with your customers in this targeted and immediate way. So the next time you are looking at running a promotional campaign don’t forget to consider “going mobile”.
About uMobilize Promotions: uMobilize Promotions is a start-up company based in The National Technology Park, Limerick. The company is the provider of the uConnect mobile marketing platform (www.uconnect.ie).
Monday 13th December 2010, 10:20 am