How to Get Started with Mobile Marketing

Purplegator’s Bob Bentz was a recent guest talking mobile marketing on the Marketing Communications Today podcast from the Integrated Marketing Communications program at West Virginia University.

Where Should a Business Owner Start with MOBILE Marketing?

Sometimes you fall into good things more by luck than by skill.  Such was the case with my own experience with mobile marketing.  I first learned about mobile marketing when I was at our London office back in 2001 and I noticed when cell phones rang in the underground, they did so with Spice Girls ringtones.  Ringtones were not yet popular in the USA so when I returned back home, we got started in supplying customized ringtones for American phones.  That’s how I got my start in mobile.

There’s a tsunami of traffic moving from desktops to mobiles, so the first place a business should start with mobile marketing is with its own website.  Your website is your best salesperson.  It’s your quarterback.  It’s your starting pitcher.  And, the experience provided on your mobile website needs to be equally engaging as that of your desktop computer.

A decade ago, when mobile access to the internet was less than 15%, we created m-dot websites.  These were scaled down versions of a desktop website designed exclusively for the mobile phone.  Today, however, 57% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices.  That’s 68% more than just 18 months ago.  So, most businesses use responsive design to provide a great experience for both desktop and mobile users.

Purplegator is a mobile-first digital agency, meaning we develop websites for the mobile phone first and then desktop second.  Most web developers do it the other way around.  But, since the trend is clearly moving more and more to mobile every year, why not make the user experience best on mobile and then worry about desktop?

In my book Relevance Raises Response, we talk about using the “thumb test.”  Try navigating your website with only your thumbs.  If it’s easy to do, you have a good mobile user experience.

Text Message Marketing – The Next Best Choice

Sometimes the least sexy aspect of something makes the most sense.  Text message marketing is cheap and provides the single best ROI that you’ll likely experience with mobile marketing.  SMS marketing is the workhorse of mobile marketing.

Text message marketing is opt-in marketing, as opposed to opt-out marketing that is customary with email marketing.  What this means is that you must have permission to send a text message to a customer or prospect.  This is where many short-sighted business persons bow out, because creating a database of opt-ins seems like a daunting task.  But, it’s the opt-in element of text message marketing that makes it so darn effective, because customers have said that they WANT to receive your promotional messages!  How often does that happen?

The average office worker receives 140 emails per day, of which 49% are spam.  Text message marketing doesn’t have the same spam problem as email, because of the strict regulations that have been put in place to protect consumers.  Add to that a 97% open rate and it is apparent why text message marketing works so amazingly well.

Most people think of text message marketing as only B to C, but it works for B to B marketing as well.  Try sending your B to B text messages just three minutes before the top of the hour.  Why?  That’s when busy executives are checking their phones while waiting for their next meeting to start.  Send it at this time and they’ll have more time to read it and engage with it.

Social Media Marketing: Which Sites Should You Use?

Which social media sites your business should use really depends on your customer’s preferences.  Every social media network is different.  A business needs to select the proper image and strategy for each, because acting the part is half the battle.

Facebook remains the gorilla in the room when it comes to social media marketing.  It’s especially effective on mobile, because your advertisement takes up 100% of the screen in the News Feed.  Moreover, it’s native and most of the advertisements you see will likely be of interest to you.  People are used to buying on Facebook so direct response advertising works well.

On Facebook-owned Instagram, the image is everything.  Use aspirational imagery to maximize engagement.  Pinterest works best for fashion and female skewing products.  Teens and Gen Y love Snapchat.  Twitter is the most timely social media network.  Interested in B to B?  LinkedIn is your best choice.

Small businesses with limited resources shouldn’t try to do too many social media networks.  Work with the one(s) that you are most comfortable with and will have the greatest impact for your business.

Even if you don’t plan on using all of the major social media networks, however, try to reserve your company or brand name on all of them.  That way you’ll have them when you need them and won’t have to pay a king’s ransom down the road.

The Fastest Growing Advertising Medium

There’s never been an advertising medium quite like mobile that effectively enables a brand to target the right consumers in the right place, at the right mobile moment.

Effective targeting is what really makes mobile stand out from traditional advertising.  Take Facebook for example.  Facebook knows so much about you.  You gave it a lot of personal demographic information when you started your account.  And, it not only knows that information, but it tracks what you do on it: what you like and what you post.  Moreover, when you go to external sites, there’s that ubiquitous Facebook share button that is tracking your visit again.

A restaurant or small business likely only has a trading area of a few miles or a few zip codes so how can it possible advertise on traditional media in a large city?  With geo-targeting, a business can just serve ads to its own immediate trading area.  No Waste!  Add in interest third party data and your advertising won’t go to the masses, but only to your best targets.

Target People, Not Places.

Want to know what Facebook knows about you?  Go into your newsfeed and click on the three dots in the upper right.  Then, click “Why am I seeing this?” and then “Manage your ad preferences.”  You’ll now see what Facebook knows about you!  Some consumers think its scary, but as a marketer, you should love it!

Relevance Raises Response

If you are interested in learning more about mobile marketing, and you don’t want to take my graduate level class at the University of Denver, please consider purchasing my book Relevance Raises Response: How to Engage and Acquire with Mobile Marketing.  It’s available at Amazon, at my book website, many retail bookstores, and at many fine online book retailers.

Best Mobile Marketing Book

You can learn more about SMS text message marketing and other mobile marketing strategies in Bob’s book.