3 Things We’re Still Getting Wrong About Mobile

Did you know that the first QR Codes were invented in 1994? Eleven years later, in 2005, major brands started communicating with consumers using SMS. And in 2007, the iPhone launches and the world is hooked on smartphones.

Now it’s 2016. And we still have not figured out mobile marketing.

As with any new technology platform, there are many companies and marketers who have spent a great deal of time trying to figure out, trying to get ahead of consumers and figure out how to use smartphones to grow their business. But no one is doing it just right. And most companies are doing it all wrong.

What are we missing?

1. We don’t know how to define it.

Too many companies still don’t know what to include under the mobile marketing heading. We want a definition of mobile that is narrow and complete. But one does not exist. Mobile has grabbed a small piece of many different marketing functions – such as email, search, web design and development, social, and follow up. Mobile should instead be treated as a function within all other previously defined functions.

2. We expect consumers to use the mobile web the same way they use PCs.

In 2016, this is the biggest mistake companies are still making. We do not use our phones the same way we use a PC when it comes to the internet. We browse differently. We behave differently. We are looking to buy different items, complete different tasks. You can start to understand your consumers better by doing a side by side comparison of the analytics data on your website for mobile visitors vs desktop. Then create a mobile experience that more closely matches where those visitors are in the buying cycle, and what they’re looking to accomplish.

3. We think apps are the answer.

Apps are great. They are still a relatively new way for brands to interact and engage with consumers. But it takes a lot of effort to create and market an app that will be hit critical mass. Most apps flop. And we confine our understanding of mobile to the app store, we ignore all the other pieces of the mobile puzzle that are much easier to get right.

Five Big Ways Mobile Marketing is Morphing Social Media [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post written by Sophorn Chhay. Sophorn is the marketing guy at Trumpia, the most complete SMS software with mass text messaging, smart targeting and automation.

Think about it: You probably use your smartphone to check social media daily. Smart-devices have become social media power-packages, and they aren’t going anywhere. Facebook experiences approximately one billion users daily, and mobile marketers are cracking the social media code to craft invincible strategies.

Mobile has changed the way consumers access social media. In fact, companies are shifting entire social outreach campaigns to cater to the social-mobile user. If your brand is seeking a social media approach, mobile is the answer. Below, we discuss the five biggest ways smartphone access has changed the social media world. Let’s get to it:

One: Social Media is Being Used as a Coupon Hub

Mobile-powered providers are extending offers via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. More importantly: They’re succeeding at it. Today, 90 percent of device users enrolled in SMS loyalty clubs feel they’ve benefited from the interaction. Because 2016’s M.O. deals with social-media-to-text optimization, mobile coupons are filling Facebook’s Newsfeed.

SMS loyalty clubs are bleeding into social media, but it isn’t a bad thing. Facebook Messenger has made social-media-based deals worth investing in. Customers are logging in, engaging in social activities and logging out with great in-store deals. Today, social media is a "jumping off point" for brand-lovers seeking in-store amenities, discounts and purchasing options.

Two: Social Media Apps are Replacing Web Browser Preferences

Last year, mobile apps overtook landing pages in terms of social media popularity. They’re leading to in-store sales, directing customers across channels and promoting one-time-only-deals. Really, mobile apps, themselves, prompted the change. Because mobile marketing professionals have integrated app access into widespread consumer service plans, social media users have been “trained” to be app-centric. This app-centric nature, in the grand social world, has shifted entire accessibility options. Social media, now, is primarily engaged by real-time apps.

Mobile apps are favored because of their incredibly responsive design, too. Experts reveal that consumers seek five key components of mobile-friendly web access, social media included:

  • Load times under three seconds
  • Ability to navigate to information within three clicks
  • Accessibility to sharing buttons

Three: Platform Market Segmentation

Mobile marketers need to compete on price. Fortunately, the new social-mobile world has given decision makers power over market segmentation. Younger mobile users are straying away from Twitter and Facebook. They’re opting for Snapchat and Instagram. Meanwhile, older audiences are focusing on LinkedIn and Google+.

Powerful mobile marketing strategies rely on effective market segmentation. Social media, today, has been totally morphed by the who’s-who of smartphone access. Instant Facebook and Twitter accessibility has split each platform’s user-base. In essence: Smartphones have escalated normally slow-moving segment drifts.

Four: News Consumption Through Social Media

Because mobile video has become increasingly popular, social media has become a go-to source for worldwide information. The days of newspapers are far behind us. Twitter and Facebook users, alike, have extended their personal need for news into profile pages and Facebook’s Newsfeed. Mobile has broken down barriers between social media users and information, meshing both audiences. Consumers won’t navigate away from Facebook to see hot trends or global events. Instead, they’ll swipe down to read current happenings.

Social Media as an Interactive Ad Platform

Interactive and native ads boost ROI and consumer retention. Of the two, however, interactive ads have surpassed all expectations in social media realms. Mobile access has jump-started the consumer’s love of interactive ads, and it’s fermented a deep appreciation for social media advertisements, too. Providers like Google, through mobile, have increased the social world’s love of interactive advertisements, leading to unprecedented levels of lead engagement via Facebook.

Mobile’s impact on social media can’t be stopped, and customer interests are constantly shifting to accommodate for Facebook-centric business strategies. If your business wants to hit it big, or, if it’s seeking a new digital platform, social media is a profitable destination.

What's Next?

What strategies have you implemented to improve the performance of your own mobile marketing campaigns? Use our comments section below to share!

Email Marketing is Mobile Marketing

Last week I posted on how to get started with mobile marketing. And as soon as I did, the feedback started coming in. And it wasn’t all pretty.

The common theme was this: Email marketing is not mobile marketing.

People took issue with the fact that I included email on a list of mobile marketing strategies. Email marketing is its own thing, an entire category separate from mobile, they argued. But let’s look at the facts here.

  1. Mobile marketing by definition is a promotional activity designed for delivery to cell phones, smart phones, and other handheld devices, usually as a component of a multi-channel campaign.
  2. As of January 2015, a US Consumer Device Preference Report said that 66% of all email in the US was opened on a mobile device, including tablets.

I really don’t think we have to look much further than those two facts to prove that email marketing is most definitely a mobile marketing strategy.

I agree that email marketing can stand alone. I also agree there are other mobile strategies, just see last week’s post for a full list.

But I can’t see an argument against email marketing as mobile marketing. If you are engaging in email marketing, you are engaging in mobile marketing, whether you mean to be or not. And if you want email to continue to work for you, it’s imperative that you acknowledge that most of your recipients are opening and reading your emails on their phones and tablets.

Getting Started with Mobile Marketing

It doesn’t take another blog post from me on the importance of mobile to convince you that it’s a topic critical to your marketing strategy. I hope not, at least.

But for most people, the concept of mobile marketing is still a confusing one. It’s vague, and broad. And even though I know that I need to be thinking mobile, I’m not totally sure what that means.

When people talk about mobile marketing, they could be talking about any number of things. So let’s list them all here:

  1. Mobile websites – you should have a mobile version of your website, or build your website in a responsive design template, to attract and keep more people who are searching and browsing on their mobile devices.
  2. Email – email marketing is essentially a form of mobile marketing today. That’s because so many people are using their phones as their primary email consumption method. So you should make sure your emails are optimized for viewing on smartphones.
  3. Text messages – many companies now allow prospects and customers the ability to sign up for text message alerts. It’s referred to often as SMS marketing.
  4. Search marketing – search is more and more becoming a mobile activity. And if you’re advertising through Google or Bing, you need to be thinking about how your ads are targeting people searching on their phones and tablets.
  5. Native apps – companies are creating apps to reach people on tablets and smartphones in a more effective way. If your products or services lend themselves to an app, think about investing in one.
  6. Third Party apps – you can leverage popular apps that are already out there, like Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook to attract people on their phones to your brand via advertising or organic participation.
  7. In-app ads – iAds is Apple’s advertising platform for iPhones and iPads and there are others like it for all devices. You can create banners that pop up while people are using apps to promote your brand.
  8. Location management – smart companies with brick and mortar locations are actively managing their locations on Google Maps, Yelp and other popular location-based sites to attract more people who are using their mobile devices to find places or products on the go.
  9. Telemarketing – there are specific rules around calling cell phones vs. landlines and if you’re in the telemarketing business, you need to know what they are.

Every company needs a mobile strategy. But that does not mean that every company needs to do all of the above. Pick the areas that are most important, that offer the biggest opportunity, and move forward. Do not let a lack of understanding hold you back any longer.