As consumer usage of mobile devices worldwide explodes, so do opportunities in the $4 billion mobile marketing business. But how do you know if a mobile campaign is right for promoting your business?
With mobile marketing you can market a business or product simply by sending a text message via cell phone or handheld device to consumers or by running an ad asking customers to send a text to receive information or promotions for a product.
The following guide can help you determine whether marketing to mobile subscribers (there are an estimated 270 million of them in the United States) is right for you and your business and aid you in putting a plan together.
Who Is Your Target?
Take into consideration who your customers are. Then ask yourself a few basic questions about that target to determine whether you think a mobile campaign might work for you. For example, are your customers heavy users of mobile devices? If the latest data means anything, the answer is most likely yes, no matter what your business is. The Mobile Marketing Association estimates that worldwide, mobile users now outnumber landline users by more than 2-to-1. And as mobile usage has become so common across the range of demographic groups, from soccer moms to Wall Street professionals to the kid who works at McDonald’s after school, chances are pretty good your customers are mobile users.
Try a little informal polling. Ask 40, perhaps 100, of your best customers about their mobile usage. You might be surprised how much exposure the medium potentially provides your business. You may also want to quiz them about how many ads they typically get via their mobile devices and how responsive they tend to be to these ads.
What Do You Want to Achieve?
As with any medium, when promoting your business it is essential to spell out what exactly you hope the campaign accomplishes. Are you looking to drive traffic to your retail outlet with a coupon or by promoting a sale? Are you looking to get exposure for your business and stand apart in a particularly competitive local environment for your particular business? What are your expectations?
A TV station in Minneapolis designed a combo TV-mobile campaign for a local sporting goods and camping equipment retailer promoting a big weekend sale on tents. For the retailer, the station aired TV commercials for two days with a text message at the end encouraging people to text “tent” to get a discount code coinciding with the sale. The result? The retailer reported it was its most successful sale in 16 years. Might a mobile push work equally well for your business?
What Options Fit Your Budget?
When it comes to a mobile campaign, there are many variables that determine the cost. For example, how large a cross section of consumers are you aiming to reach? How big is the market in which you plan to run the promotion? What type of mobile campaign are you interested in? A simple SMS (or text) messaging campaign, or perhaps a combo campaign with a TV station or newspaper? Or maybe the latest rage in mobile marketing, designing an “app-vertisement,” using the wildly popular mobile applications now available via Apple’s iPhone and other devices?
A mobile campaign can run a small local business anywhere from a few thousand dollars for the most simple to as much as $20,000 for bigger campaigns. Some of the largest marketers around, including Pepsi, Audi, and Chanel, have launched mobile campaigns that run well into six figures. When it comes to the sophistication and reach of a mobile campaign these days, the sky’s the limit. But there is a wide (and ever growing) range of options now available for those wanting to dip a toe into mobile promos.
Can a Local Vendor Help?
Most large, established media in most media markets in the United States, including newspapers, TV and radio stations, and outdoor advertising vendors, now offer mobile marketing services. Reach out to mobile marketing sales representatives at a local media company in your market to find out more about what they have to offer in the way of mobile campaigns and to help you figure out whether the medium is right for you and your business. Most of these vendors handle all stages of a campaign, and clients typically work directly with them on every aspect, from picking a type of mobile campaign, to the design and the technological elements. They can even, in some cases, track the progress and success of a campaign. Let them be your ultimate guide in determining whether mobile is right for you, and if so, implementing a campaign that will be a smashing success.