Wallet – check. Keys – check. Cell phone – check. These are the vitals to our everyday lives that we simply cannot go without. Consumers of all ages now carry with them, everywhere they go, a device that is capable of multiple forms of communication, from speech and text messaging to the Internet and email. This phenomenon has opened up an enormous window of opportunity for businesses: Never before in the history of advertising have they had the power to reach their consumers with such ease and efficiency: anyone, anytime, anywhere.
But how do you use it? How do you utilize it? How do you make it work for your organization? The object of this article is to answer these questions and introduce to your entrepreneurial minds the capabilities and potential that mobile marketing offers.
How do I use it?
Mobile marketing can be used in multiple ways; how you use it depends on what the goals of your business are in terms of marketing and results. It can be used simply to send information to your consumers, or can be taken a step further and used as an interactive, relationship-building form of communication between brand and consumer. Information is important; consumers want and need to know when their favorite places are offering deals, having sales, or other incentives. And they deserve to know! With mobile marketing, this is made very simple. Once you have created a database of willing subscribers (subscribers who have “opted in” to receive your messages) you have the power to send them information at any instant you would like. These consumers are valuable to your businesses as they are proven to come back time and time again and will continue to make purchases as long as they value your particular services.
Now you no longer have to rely on traditional forms of advertising that can’t guarantee that you’ll reach consumers effectively. Studies have shown that 94% of text messages that are sent get read, and response rates can be 80% or more (mobile data association). Traditional media like billboards, TV or magazine ads, require audiences to take some action to, possibly, view the advertisement, yet people always have their cell phones handy.
Mobile marketing goes beyond the realm of solely informing the consumer. It can create relationships. In a world where consumers have vast amounts of options for a given service, relationships that are built between brand and consumer become extremely valuable. It’s called customer loyalty, and it’s what will build your clientele.
I have made it a custom during my daily 45-minute work commute to listen to news/talk radio. The radio station that I listen to uses text messaging to interact with its audience. For example, recently the host of the radio show was discussing a particular topic which interested me, so I decided that I would send in a text and ask the host a question pertaining to the topic being discussed. Less than five minutes later the host mentioned that he had received a text from a listener and proceeded to talk about the exact question that I had addressed in my text. I must admit, it felt pretty cool to know I had contributed something to the show that day without having to call in and wait on hold for who knows how long. When customers opt in, they become part of your “club.” They have an “in,” a connection, and this feels pretty cool, too.
How do I make mobile marketing work for my organization?
Businesses that are successful with mobile marketing find that a little effort and a little attention go a long way. The first step is to build a subscription list of consumers who would like to receive your messages. There are multiple ways to do this, though the simplest ways are sometimes the best. For example, a flyer shown at checkout that invites customers to opt in and receive exclusive special offers is an easy yet effective way to build your database. Or you might post your keyword (along with pertinent information) to your storefront window for passersby to see. Businesses have also held contests at live events to generate a large number of leads and then filter the leads by letting them opt out after they receive the initial bounceback message.
Creating an effective database takes a little time, but is well worth it. Customers who opt in to receive your messages are more likely to respond to promotions sent in the future. Businesses have recorded response rates as high as 80% to messages they sent to their subscription lists. It usually just depends on how valuable the promotion is to the consumers and how easy it is for them to redeem it. In other words, a business will receive a higher response rate with a higher-valued promotion. It would be more effective to send valuable promotions say, once a month, then it would to send mediocre discounts every week. This is, of course, up to you as the advertiser.
In summary, companies will truly benefit from this simple yet highly effective form of advertising. With a little bit of attention and creativity, mobile marketing is an effective asset to add to your marketing arsenal.
– Eric Hansen, VP, M6 Marketing.