Mobile App Hysteria: Prioritising Your Mobile Marketing
What does mobile marketing mean to you? I would like to know. Does it mean mobile apps? Mobile advertising? SMS marketing? Location-based services?
There has been a lot of movement from high street brands on mobile apps. As consumers, we are slowly becoming comfortable with the idea of downloading an ‘app’ on our phones, and most smartphone users at some point have downloaded an app.
The big problem with apps is that they are device specific (or at least device operating system specific). So if you know beyond any reasonable doubt that the majority of your customers use an iPhone for example, and you can present a clear profit strategy for the app, then it may make sense for you to invest in app development.
It is doubtful that most of your customers are going to be using the same device. While Apple has sold a lot of iPhones to the consumer market over the last four years, they have been less successful breaking into the corporate market. The most widely used smartphone operating system worldwide? Symbian – controlled by Nokia. Second most popular? Google’s Android (and rising). Third most popular? Samsung’s Bada. IOS (Apple), Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, etc. all come in afterward. Feel like you’ve just been bombarded with technical terms? Don’t worry!
As their range of Mac computers, the iPhone is a luxury phone brand. Just because you use and love your iPhone, please don’t make the mistake of assuming your customers do.
So where should most businesses focus their mobile marketing efforts?
For most businesses, mobile marketing should not mean delving into HTML5 or developing apps. In general, your mobile marketing efforts should be prioritized like this:
Recommended: Mobile Marketing: Introduction & Overview
Develop a mobile web presence
Unlike apps, the majority of handsets (including feature phones or ‘dumbphones’) can access the mobile web. Only a small percentage of businesses either have a mobile web presence or really ‘get’ how it can help increase profit. Using a mobile site builder, you can be set up with a mobile-friendly website in a matter of hours. Additionally, Google is also being more open about the way they index mobile websites, meaning you no longer need to have your mobile site in a separate domain or subdomain.
Make sure your emails are presentable on mobile
We are increasingly reading our emails on mobile devices, and your emails should always go with a plain text version included. Many email marketing programs will do this automatically, sending the email in something called a two-part MIME format (meaning the HTML and text versions are sent alongside each other, optimizing the presentation of the email depending on the device.
Text (SMS) messaging
Unlike apps, all phones can send and receive SMS messages. Consumers are comfortable with the technology, and as a media, there are three times as many devices capable of sending/receiving text messages as there are emails. Additionally, under the right circumstances and under the right conditions (when there is something ‘in it’ for them), consumers want to interact with businesses via SMS.
Regardless of the hype, those are the three areas of mobile marketing at the moment that will provide you with the most significant gains, either in reduced costs, more customers, or increased customer retention.