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“Mobile Marketing is a set of principles that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through and with any mobile device or network.” Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)

Mobile is the most personal channel that helps you reach customers and prospects. If you are not doing mobile marketing, you are being left behind. Mobile marketing drives engagement, sales, and loyalty. Mobile marketing differs from traditional marketing in terms of response tracking, the format of messages, the scope of the audience, and location-based targeting.

Consumers expect, reward, or punish brands and businesses for the way that they interact through mobile devices. Customers expect to see the answer to their questions quickly; competitors gain an advantage over companies that don’t offer mobile engagement. Mobile marketing messages need to adapt to retain customers and prospects, consider expectations of customers using mobile devices, and factor in preferences of mobile users.

Today, almost 60% of searches are on mobile devices. More users access the web via mobile devices rather than desktops, leading to more exposure and enhancing traditional media like TV, Print, Websites, and other digital elements. According to Google, the usage of mobile phones in the US alone is estimated to exceed 100%.

The 3 Functions on Mobile Marketing

  • Delight Customers
  • Engage with Customers
  • Sell to Customers


The two strategies of engaging customers through mobile devices are a pull or call to action (CTA), and a push. The pull (CTA) are users responding to that CTA or making their own decisions to connect with a brand. The push is when marketers send out information to the users, connecting to you via notifications or other ways using permission-based targeting. Mobile marketing is not a license to spam but employs strategies to better connect with customers.

Mobile Marketing Services

Mobile searchers are more local in nature; actions from search take place at a faster rate. According to Google, “On mobile, 50% of those who perform a local search visit that business within 24 hours.” Compared with desktops, only 33% of those who perform a local search visit that business within 24 hours. Marketers must enable organizations to communicate with the audience in an interactive manner. Mobile marketing needs to ensure the relevance of communication as customers have different interests, applications, and browsing patterns. With the majority of searches taking place on mobile devices, businesses need to adapt to mobile marketing services or products like:

  • SMS (text alerts) SMS stands for Short Message Service; it has a maximum of 160 characters. It is extremely popular, as 80% of mobile users text daily. Within four minutes, over 96% of text messages are read. SMS is one of the activities that people look at and take action upon.
  • Location-based services
    • Location-based products include various types of location-identifying technologies. Location-based products enable markers to target users and market them based on physical location.
    • Users expect relevance, and that often means local ads and local content.
    • Location Technologies
      • Carriers track locations of mobile phones
      • Location-based marketing requires users’ permission
      • Location-based technologies include geofencing, triangulation, and beacons
      • Time is crucial when it comes to location-based offers as consumers’ interest changes at different times of the day.
  • Mobile Apps
    • An app is software that is designed to run on mobile devices. It is essential to establish a strong customer need before creating an app. An app in itself is not newsworthy. On average, mobile users only use 6-10 apps per month. Your app must add value for the customer to actually open and must be marketed well. Popular types of apps include:
  • MMS (Media-rich text)
    • MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. It leverages abundant media elements as 160 characters are converted to rich media. MMS performs well for marketing with open rates three times higher than e-mail. MMS utilizes images, audio, or videos to relay a message.
  • Mobile Web
    • Mobile users access the web on mobile more than desktop and is the “Front Door” for many businesses
    • Mobile users have different needs than desktop users
    • Mobile users seek shorter and more basic information instantly, as people want information quickly, especially the location
    • Desktop users seek more in-depth content

Mobile Incentives/Loyalty Programs

In addition to the mobile marketing systems outlined above, it is equally important to provide incentives, loyalty programs, and other mobile promotions.

Mobile Incentives – In general mobile incentives involve free or reduced-price on products or services. Incentives depend on value exchange – marketers provide offers or valuable information, and consumers grant permission for contact through mobile phones. Mobile incentives must have a “Call to Action” that should be simple, sensible, and compelling. The potential results from incentives include:

  • Driving sales
  • Brand Awareness
  • Increased Average Order
  • Increased likelihood of user trying your product

Mobile Loyalty Programs – A mobile loyalty program is a permission-based value exchange. Loyalty programs are primarily run via SMS as a user opts-in to receive updates and offers. Users generally have an opportunity to sign up for a loyalty program after responding to an incentive.

  • A business promotes an offer than can be redeemed via SMS
  • A consumer texts and receives a coupon
  • The business can send one additional message asking the consumer to join a loyalty club
  • The messaging frequency will vary depending on the business, incentives, and marketing program. It is best practice to send as few messages as possible while still accomplishing your goals.
  • Opt-Ins – Allow customers to your loyalty club, enabling you to provide legitimate information on your products and services.
  • Successful loyalty programs will accomplish two things:
    • Providing value to the customer
    • Assuring the subscribers on their control over the subscription

Mobile Coupons – Coupons are mobile incentives that help users engage with mobile loyalty programs. They come in many forms, a simple coupon can be short, with a simple text message to show. Complex coupons can be a single-use code that is limited to the number of redemptions per coupon.

Mobile Promotions – Promotions can call attention to specific products or services, drive consumers into a store with an opportunity to upsell, are seen quickly, and provide precise details on the product or service.

People are looking for offers on mobile devices. Success comes when you offer value in permission-based settings. The call-to-action needs to be prominent and keep in mind that awareness and sales are the two byproducts of incentive programs.

Mobile efforts succeed when you first identify and then align them with your business objectives. Knowing the likes and desires of your customers and prospects when it comes to mobile is of the utmost importance. Mobile activities cannot live on an island; they need to be part of an integrated marketing initiative.

Challenges for Brand Marketers

  • Ensuring that customers accept marketing through mobile devices
  • Providing the right value and information to consumers at the right time
  • Choosing the proper operating methods
  • Meeting consumer expectations
  • Providing personalized information and services to customers

If you have any questions about your mobile marketing efforts or wish to inquire more about incorporating mobile into your strategy – please contact me at (313) 641-0134 or at stefan@spfmarketing.com. Visit our Services page and continue to check the site for more updates on mobile marketing and other best practices related to digital marketing. 

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