There is no denying the ways that smartphones have changed our lives. It’s difficult for me to remember a time when I couldn’t settle any argument anywhere by "Googling" it. Googling is an action verb by the way, just in case there are some reading this that have not heard. This week while I was catching up on my newsletter reading I came across this stat - on average people look at their phones once every 6.5 minutes which is 150 times in 16 waking hours. While the stat is not new (it's from 2012) I usually try not to think about my smartphone addiction by the numbers. Of course part of me immediately wanted to throw my phone out the window (after uploading one last Instagram pic of my lunch) but the marketer in me was reminded of how integral mobile marketing is to your businesses marketing efforts.
If you aren’t already utilizing mobile marketing in your marketing strategy there are a number of options to consider. Mobile websites are a good place to start mobile marketing. Making sure that your website looks as pretty on a mobile device as a computer screen is a must for any business with a website. I often use my phone to look up restaurants and the sites are rarely optimized so I can see the menu. Beyond mobile websites there are a number of other ways to comunicate with your customers using their phones.
1. Mobile Apps
Mobile apps can be downloaded by your customers on their phones and tablets. Along with mobile apps are push notifications which allow you to communicate to customers that have your apps and have allowed your notifications.
Pro – You can customize your app to be specific to your business, send promotions directly to the customer's phone or deals when they are nearby using GPS.
Con – Many smartphones users are overwhelmed by apps and even if you can get them to download your app they may never even use it.
2. Text Messaging
A few weeks ago my colleague Scott wrote a post about text marketing called 7 Advantages of SMS Text Marketing that goes into more detail about why you should be texting your customers. Everyone is familiar with texts, even if they aren’t an avid texter.
Pro – Text messages are sent immediately and are read right away.
Con – Not all of your customers will want the kind of interuptive marketing you get from text messaging or may be paying for a plan that does not include unlimited texting.
3. Location-based marketing
Apps like Foursquare and Facebook not only allow customers to check in to your business but also share their location with their network.
Pro – Businesses can create deals and users can leave tips or rate your business for other customers, creating a commmon forum for your cusotmers and a broader network.
Con - Currently the only location-based marketing that can validate the proximity of customers is Bluetooth. Bluetooth is not very popular since customers do not opt-in to receive communications which means customers have to decide to use location-based services.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to utilize mobile marketing for your business and while I am a smartphone addict, I am definitely not a mobile marketing expert. Luckily there are a number of resources for mobile marketing from associations to companies who know how to execute it well. New ways to market to your customers using their phones pop up all the time. If you are looking for a way to reach your customers there is no better way than through mobile marketing.