By Guiom Peersman, managing director of mobile specialist Dialogue Communications
The traditional marketing mix is evolving rapidly thanks to the development of mobile technology. Over the past few years, mobile has proved to be a successful marketing channel for brands, complementing traditional marketing mediums and becoming a leading tool for companies to market their products and services to a wider audience.
Mobile phones are a huge part of everyday life for a wide-ranging demographic of the UK population. The mobile phone is an essential tool for the business community and in today’s society, even very young children and grandparents have mobile phones.
Mobile marketing allows interaction with all of these target customers and is the most personalized and engaging marketing tool available.
Marketing on mobile can come in many forms. Firstly, SMS or MMS marketing - this is where a company sends a marketing message directly to the customer’s inbox with information about products or services.
Secondly, mobile internet sites can also be designed to provide another platform to advertise a company.
SMS marketing has become the most popular form of mobile marketing. Mobile analysts Gartner predicted that over 2.3 trillion text messages would be sent across major markets worldwide in 2008, so the opportunities for brands to capitalise on this growth are tremendous.
Mobile marketing allows brands to:
- Send customers personalised updates, product information, alerts and promotional offers cheaply and quickly.
- Extend customer reach – the mobile channel can help brands reach new customers.
- Build on brand awareness
- Generate new revenue streams
- Interact and engage with customers, as mobile offers a two-way conversation
- Monitor and access instant measurable results and user receptiveness.
When using the mobile channel to reach your customers by SMS, it is important to remember the following points:
- Build a database of customers before starting the campaign, this will ensure that you have a database that has opted in to receive SMS updates and complies with mobile regulations. It is also possible to set up different types of campaigns for customers to opt in to, which will help target customers with relevant content.
- Ensure you only send SMS alerts at particular times of day when it may be relevant or convenient for the customer to receive them.
- The message you send needs to contain information you know may be of interest to that customer. If you send irrelevant content you may be in danger of upsetting the user. Do not spam the user, keep messages targeted.
Many brands are also driving consumers to mobile internet sites through other marketing channels such as posters, press and adverts. These sites provide another marketing channel for customers to request updates and alerts and also download product information, or mobile brochures specifically for mobile phones whenever and wherever.
A well designed mobile internet site can be an excellent marketing tool for brands and adding interactive features such as competitions, refer-a-friend and customer feedback engages the user and encourages them to return.
Mobile marketing is becoming an integral part of the marketing mix. This is because over the past year data charges have been reduced, so accessing the mobile internet is not as expensive as it used to be. Many operators are offering ‘all you eat’ data tariffs to encourage users to venture onto the mobile web so this is a major growth area for companies to capitalise on.
A study by Airwide Solutions earlier this year also revealed that the number of brands planning SMS and MMS mobile marketing/advertising campaigns has doubled over the past year to 28 percent. T
he same study also claimed that many brands are now planning to increase the proportion of the budget allocated to mobile campaigns helping to position it as a vital promotional tool – now is the time to add mobile to your marketing mix.
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