Having a mobile marketing strategy is pivotal to promotional success today. An increasing number of purchase decisions are influenced by marketing on mobile devices, which makes the trend impossible to ignore.

Mobile marketing plays a huge role in how customer decisions are made, and its reach is expected to expand rapidly. In its 2018 Retail Best Practices: Mobile Web study, Forrester forecasted that retail sales made on a smartphone in the United States will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18% over five years. The study also found that mobile phones impacted one-third of all U.S. retail sales. In monetary terms, that’s more than $1 trillion worth of transactions.

If you’re building an integrated marketing campaign, creating a mobile marketing strategy must be at the top of your to-do list.

What is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing is reaching your target audience through their smartphones or tablets as well as other handheld devices. Many forms of mobile advertising and promotion are aspects of traditional marketing that has been adapted for mobile users.

There are different types of mobile marketing that can be added to your promotional mix depending on your needs and objectives. Here are a few to consider.

SMS Marketing

Marketing through text messaging, also known as SMS marketing, often proves profitable for businesses. It’s frequently used in conjunction with other tactics for increased success. According to Gartner, on average, companies that use SMS marketing are 79% more likely to use other mobile marketing tactics.

Gartner pointed out that text messaging allows businesses to communicate directly with a broad base of customers. The company stated, “Virtually every mobile phone is able to natively send and receive SMS messages. Subscribers need not possess a smartphone, download an application or include a data plan in their mobile subscription.”

“Mobile phones impacted more than $1 trillion worth of transactions in 2018.”

Because of this, text messaging is one of the types of mobile marketing that has the largest reach. Gartner stated that sources report open rates as high as 98% compared to 20% for email. The personalized approach combined with added ease allows SMS marketing to shine as part of an integrated marketing campaign.

Organic Mobile Search

Today, customers are searching for businesses and services in real time on their mobile devices. Making sure your company shows up to relevant searchers is a pivotal part of any mobile marketing strategy. Google recognizes how important local search is and puts a big emphasis on results being mobile-friendly.

Optimizing for mobile search requires a different approach than search engine optimization on a desktop. First, mobile device users often rely on assistants like Siri and ask questions verbally. Voice search marketing impacts how to optimize for mobile search. The way someone asks a question in voice search is different than the way they type in a query.

Second, mobile users are looking to make fast, real-time purchase decisions. In 2016, Google pointed out that 76% of people who conducted a local search on their smartphones visited a business within 24 hours. More than a quarter of those people made a purchase. In fact, a Google study showed a more than 900% increase in “near me today/tonight” searches on Google from 2015 to 2017. If your company isn’t coming up in an initial search on a mobile phone, it’s likely that customers won’t have time to consider your business before making a purchase decision.

Search Engine Marketing

According to a recent study, many marketers turn to paid search on mobile devices. In Q3 of 2019, $5.5 billion was spent on paid search, according to a report from Kenshoo. More than half of that paid search spending was on mobile devices.

The report stated that search engine marketing (SEM) is thought of as a mobile-first experience. Advertisers paying for their search placement can target the right customers at the right time in the right places with mobile paid search, resulting in the same quick purchase decisions mobile users make using organic search.

These are just a few of the different types of mobile marketing. Social media, applications, games and more can all play a part in your mobile marketing strategy. Examples of mobile marketing vary depending on industry, audience and goals. The key is to find the avenues that work for your customers, product and budget.

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Create Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

When creating your mobile marketing strategy, keep in mind how it fits with your overall integrated marketing communications. Consider mobile marketing’s strengths, including speed, relevancy and convenience when putting together a strategy that works for your brand. Here are some steps to work through when putting together a mobile marketing strategy.

1. Define Your Audience

With mobile marketing, knowing your audience can have unique advantages due to the ability to influence people close to their buying decision. Different types of mobile marketing in your mix may relate to different audiences.

In addition to demographics, consider your audience’s device type and how they interact with it. Catching people where they are at a time that’s convenient for them is the key to mobile marketing. Understanding your audience’s actions on mobile devices is essential in reaching them efficiently.

2. Set Clear Objectives

Your mobile marketing strategy should have clear, measurable objectives. The nature of mobile marketing makes it easy to measure and adjust. Neither is possible, though, without concrete objectives to strive toward.

Keep in mind how your mobile marketing strategy works with your other marketing channels when setting goals. Objectives can be as simple as increasing mobile traffic by a certain amount to as complex as making a finite number of conversions with a specific target audience.

3. Consider Your Tactics

Not all mobile marketing tactics will work for every business. Your mobile marketing strategy will likely include many tactics. Ensure that each one is chosen for a reason. No mobile marketing option should be used simply because it’s available.

Think about your audience and goals to determine the best way to reach them. If your customers make a lot of purchase decisions on social media, consider making social media marketing a focus of your mobile strategy. If your product is local, contemplate focusing on organic search or SEM. Looking to build customer loyalty? Coupons and SMS marketing might be the best mobile marketing approach.

4. Optimize for Mobile

There are technical and creative aspects to being prepared to market your products on mobile devices. Some things to consider are:

  • Are my websites/landing pages responsive? If you don’t have a responsive design, which means your webpage was developed for multiple screen sizes, your online marketing will not appear correctly on mobile devices.
  • Is it simple to navigate my website? If your website was designed for a desktop, chances are your navigation is too complex for mobile devices. Ensure that everything can be found easily without clunky dropdowns and tons of scrolling.
  • Is it easy for customers to convert quickly? Allowing customers to pay directly via mobile devices can speed up transactions. On the other hand, making users create an account and enter their credit card information can bog down the process.
  • Is my site fast enough? Companies find that even a second delay in loading time can cost them a big percentage of sales. In 2018, Google stated that 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
  • Do I provide answers that are easy to find? Mobile users likely want a quick answer to their query and aren’t looking to read thousands of words. Make sure the answers they seek (and your call to action) are not buried in text or graphics.

5. Track Results

When setting your objectives, consider what metrics you’ll need to track success. Make sure the correct tracking is in place to keep an eye on those metrics. Tracking codes and Google Analytics, as well as many other services, can provide important insight into which mobile marketing tactics help you meet your goals.

6. Repeat

As with all marketing strategies, your mobile marketing strategy should not be stagnant. Look at your results and the objectives you set to ensure that you’re using the correct types of mobile marketing in your mix. Adjust regularly by rethinking your audience, objectives and tactics.

To learn more about creating your mobile marketing strategy and ensuring that it fits into your overall marketing goals and message, consider an online bachelor’s in integrated marketing communications from the University of West Alabama. If you already hold your bachelor’s degree and want to become an expert in creating cohesive marketing campaigns, consider our Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications.