Given the ever-increasing numbers of people and businesses who rely on their mobile device—smartphone, tablet—to conduct business, it is no surprise that businesses everywhere seem to be doing some sort of mobile marketing. Mobile marketing means different things to different people. And, depending on your business or service offering, your mobile marketing strategy may vary, and range from something as simple as posting or sending out a coupon for a discount to a more complex action as setting up a contest or giveaway with rules and verifications users must comply with.
Regardless of how a business plans to employ mobile marketing, every business owner and/or marketer can take a few steps upfront to prepare.
- Do your homework – Using your mobile device, spend a little time actually using the mobile marketing strategies some of your favorite businesses have made available. For example, make a purchase to gain insights into a mobile shopping experience. Place an order from your smartphone to pick up office supplies or take-out lunch, and see how the ordering process works. Watch a site’s demo video to gauge quality and ease of use. Once you test a variety of mobile marketing strategies, you’ll not only gain a level of comfort and familiarity, you’ll also have a better feel for what might work for your business.
- Make sure your own website is mobile ready and user friendly. Mobile friendly means your website displays accurately and functions fully on all types of devices: desktop computer or laptop, and on a mobile or handheld device. Some businesses go the extra step of optimizing their website for mobile devices. A mobile-optimized site reformats itself—the content, navigation buttons, images—according to the device the user is using, which means consumers may be more likely to use your site when it engages them more easily and allows for efficient navigation. The most flexible of all website designs are those that have responsive design. With responsive design, a site automatically orients itself according to the screen size. If your target audience most typically shops on the go or is highly active on their mobile devices, it may be well worth the added expense involved in getting your website set up with responsive design.
- Get your business listed on location-based platforms such as Foursquare and Swarm. These platforms let legitimately claimed businesses run mobile promotions so users can “check in” and take advantage of whatever current promotion is being run.
The marketing tools available for mobile device users are similar to those used on desktop computers. Assuming, however, the right audience is targeted and the ad campaign is properly set up, some would say mobile ad campaigns actually give better results than online campaigns because people everywhere use—and rely on—their mobile devices for immediate information, gratification, etc.