Mobile Marketing Basics

Mobile Marketing Basics

Thanks to smart phones, tablets, Wi-Fi, and the increasing ability for us to access the Internet on the go, mobile advertising and promotion is becoming an essential part of marketing.
Mobile marketing offers companies, agencies and marketers the opportunity to connect with consumers outside of traditional and digital media directly on their portable devices. In this article, we outline some ways small businesses can use these mobile strategies to deliver more meaningful brand engagement and interaction.


Communicate via text message.

Depending on your business model, you may want to consider communicating with your customers and potential customers via text message. Text/SMS messages are cheaper than direct mail and the communication is instant. It also provides a higher readership (about 75% more than email, and 95% more than direct mail). Text message communications are better for time sensitive matters and it encourages an immediate response or action.

Some ways you can use text messaging to communicate with your customers include:

Getting information out quickly.
For example, if you are a real estate agent, you can set up an auto-reply text message shortcode. When texts that shortcode plus the address of one of your listings, they can receive instant information about that property. This is great for realtors because it allows customers who may not be near a computer to get your listing information.

Reminders for time-sensitive situations.
An example of this may be encouraging renewals, reminding customers about appointments, or just confirming delivery times.

Offer exclusive promotions and measure success immediately.
For example, if you have the text message equivalent of a mailing list, you can text a special promotion to your mobile users. If you enable SMS responses, you can monitor the success of that promotion.

Use discounts to reward participation via check-ins.
More and more mobile consumers are sharing the the things they care about online and they look to their social networks to learn about what their friends and contacts care about as well. Because of this, it is easy to see why a business could benefit from having a mobile consumer check-in to their location via Facebook, Foursquare, or Gowalla. That check-in instantly becomes viewable on their network. A great way to encourage these check-ins is to offer a promotion or special for those customers. For example, let’s say you run a bookstore that offers a $5 coupon to anyone who checks in to your retail location on Facebook. By doing so, you may have encouraged a mobile consumer to make a purchase that they may otherwise not have made. Even if the consumer doesn’t make a purchase, the possibility of a discount may have been enough incentive for them to check-in, which effectively means they advertised your bookstore on their Facebook page.

Deliver crucial, relevant information and/or entertainment via a mobile website or app.
This is how most small businesses can effectively use mobile marketing. Just having an easy to use mobile website or mobile application can engage mobile consumers. Offering relevant information in this way can be as simple as providing a map to your store that user can access on their mobile. Or it can be more sophisticated. For example, let’s say you run a small training center that has frequent training seminars in different locations. Your customers may have forgotten to look up where a seminar is being held before leaving their home or office. It is essential that you have a list of your seminars, their venues, and directions to the venues on your mobile website. Let’s also assume that your students tend to arrive early to the seminars. Having a class syllabus and instructor bio posted online could be helpful information for them to read while they wait for the seminar to begin.

Engage customers with QR codes
You may have seen these weird black and white square barcodes in all sorts of places. These QR codes allow mobile users to scan them and be taken to more information about the ad or location from which they saw the code. There are so many great uses for QR codes.

Use QR codes on advertising for more info.
For example, say you place an ad in a local magazine, billboard or on a bus bench. If you include a QR code, potential customers can scan that code and be taken to a special landing page that funnels to your website. This landing page allows you to track the effectiveness of the campaign and offer special promotions. You can also use QR codes on product packaging where full product information may not fit.

Use QR codes to increase Facebook ‘likes’ and Twitter followers.
You can include QR codes on your promotional materials that will drive traffic to your social networks and increase your following.

Use QR codes to encourage purchasing.
You can include a QR code on your product packaging or store signage to send consumers to your Yelp or Citysearch reviews. If you have good reviews, this will likely encourage purchases.


There are many creative ways to market to mobile consumers, but there are also some guidelines that are crucial to encouraging commerce without risking alienating customers. Here are the most important things to remember:

Access to information easily and quickly is critical.
Remember, mobile consumers are out and about and are usually not in a area where they can spend time waiting for information. It is essential that you know what your customers are looking for and find easy ways to deliver that content. One of the best ways to do that is to implement a search feature on your mobile website.

Engagement should be meaningful.
Customers and potential customers need to feel important. If they are going to engage with your company, they should feel good about the outcome. Make sure that any information or correspondence you offer is relevant and has value for the customer.

Always ask permission and manage frequency expectations.
When it comes to communicating with your customers, make sure you have permission. Don’t overstay your welcome by communicating to frequently or you may find many potential customers jumping ship.

These are just a few ways to begin engaging your mobile audience. If you implement a mobile strategy, make sure that it makes sense for your business model and your goals as well as providing value for your customers. Have fun with these ideas and be creative. Creativity is the best way to engage your audience!


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