Is It Time to Mobilize Your Business?

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 16, 2010

The eyes of the mobile world are focused on the battle between Google and Apple. While many of us are busy comparing device features and the depth of App Store offerings, something has been overlooked: The world has become more centered on mobile, and businesses need to mobilize their marketing campaigns now.

According to wireless advocacy group CTIA, there are more than 276 million mobile subscribers in the U.S.—89% of the population. Take a closer look at the following numbers and you will find that people are using mobile phones for more than phone calls.

• Some 1.25 trillion SMS messages were sent in 2008 (CTIA).

• The mobile Web audience has grown at a steady clip, increasing by 34% to nearly 57 million users, as of July 2009 (Nielsen).

These numbers point to one thing: Mobile is arguably the most powerful marketing medium and the time to move is now. With that in mind, look at your options. As with any medium, mobile is not a one-size-fits-all world. Ask yourself what your business goals are. Do you wish to identify and cultivate brands loyalists that you can engage time and time again?

If so, you may want to launch an SMS campaign and create permission-based mobile databases and a mobile customer program. You may also want to consider a mobile coupon or gift card campaign. Perhaps you are looking to launch a mobile Web or a WAP destination site that provides customers with on-the-go information about your business, such as store locations and hours.

With the mobile universe expanding and with your customers following suit, the time to move is now. These are just two examples you can put in place now.

Ivan Braiker
CEO
Hipcricket
Kirkland, Wash.

Reader Comments

Jay Goss

March 18, 2010 3:42 PM

What about 2009 data? It's out. Not surprising, even more consumers are texting. In fact, pretty much everybody is. In almost all age groups, mobile phone subscribers are texting more than placing phone calls!

Sure messaging is poised to be the next great communication medium for marketers to reach their consumers.

But texting stops at 160 characters. That's a deal-breaker for a lot of marketers (ever try to communicate your value prop or tell your story with 160 characters?).

MMS is clearly the answer. It looks and feels to the phone like a text message, but when opened it presents a VIDEO MESSAGE. That's what marketers need.

(Oh, and by the way, the packet also includes a text message that accompanies the video!)

To see this in action, text 'MOGREET' to 21534.

mobikeith

March 18, 2010 4:29 PM

Very well said, Ivan.

The success and growth of the mobile marketing industry will greatly depend on two key elements; Education, and Execution.

Education - In casually explaining mobile marketing to friends and family, the most common response is, " Well, so companies are going to flood my mobile device with lots of unwanted messages." As you pointed out in yr post. mobile marketing will depend on permission-based opt-in from consumers. In addition, The mobile marketing industry, led by professional trade organizations such as the MMA, Mobile Marketing Organization, will need to educate the public about both the benefits of mobile marketing and address privacy concerns and provide industry players with helpful guidelines/best practices.

Execution - As you also noted, there are numerous flavors of mobile marketing. Don't be the business, an unnamed major bigbox retailer, that recently launched a mobile coupon campaign by sending messages with a broken link that required consumers to take the extra step of going to a website to download a coupon. That's not mobile couponing?

Execution will need to be flawless so that early mobile campaigns are a pleasant experience for consumers.

Again, Ivan, well-done(said)

GO MOBILE !!

Prof.P.Madhu Sudana Rao

March 25, 2010 3:45 AM

The world has become more centered on mobile, and businesses need to mobilize their marketing campaigns now. Mobile is arguably the most powerful marketing medium and the time to move is now. The 21st century mobile phone is a computer, a telephone, a personal assistant: all of that, and more. Here is your by-the-numbers guide to fully mobilizing your small or midsize business, including the mobile service plans; the gadgets that can help fully mobilize your business .The number of mobile phone users is almost doubles that of PC owners — and growing exponentially every year. One of the main reasons the mobile platform is gaining momentum as a marketing tool is because of its enormous growth potential.
• Mobile marketing is fast becoming the most feasible way to boost sales spread awareness about your business and create customer loyalty. Short Message Service (SMS) campaigns are one of the most popular and widely used mobile marketing strategies. It is simple and effective. Customers voluntarily provide cell phone number to business so that they can receive special promotional offers, new happenings, specially designed advertisements and alerts as text messages. This way target customers can be located. Further mobiles are portable, hence people carry every where. So it is easy for businesses to establish and strengthen a one to one relationship with their customers. It is much easier to read as compared to emails sent on a computer.
• These days, you can't afford to conduct business solely from your office; the ability to conduct mobile business has become a vital part of success. Even if you just step out to get an occasional cup of coffee, you'll want to stay connected to your office, clients, and customers. And if your business requires a lot of time on the road, performing mobile business is an absolute necessity.
• Today, staying responsive to your business means more than just having a business cell phone and making an occasional call from the road. It means sending and receiving e-mail, keeping your schedule and calendar updated wirelessly and synchronized to your office desktop, and turning downtime into uptime
• Although you left the office, you don’t have to leave your email. Bring your business email with you on the train, plane, or car to increase your business productivity and efficiency. With working from remote locations becoming a requirement, having mobile access to the same business email account, calendar and tasks as you would on your desktop provides you with some consistency in your busy life.
• Get a wireless laptop connectivity plan to avoid looking for internet “hot spots.” Stay connected to your office and clients with fast, reliable wireless internet connection on your laptop anywhere you go
• Increase productivity, reduce redundancy. Choose collaborative software to allow multiple employee access to a document from the same location or numerous remote locations
• Set up a business travel account to simplify frequent business travel. Having a business account allow you to manage and book your own business travel while offering convenience tools and options to track and report business expenses along with rewards for traveling.

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