Today’s phones have advanced far beyond the simple devices used to make telephone calls. With text messaging, internet connections, camera and other applications available anywhere in the world – all in the palm of your hand – the cell phone has become more than a communication device, it is a full service piece of technology. In an effort to leverage every avenue of reaching potential customers, companies and marketing experts have begun using mobile marketing campaigns.

Mobile Marketing for Dummies

© | Julia Tim

This article will explore 1) the types for mobile marketing, 2) facts and figures of mobile marketing, 3) tips for optimizing mobile marketing, and 4) strategies for mobile marketing.


Mobile marketing is more than simply sending advertisements to a mobile phone. There are specific regulations that must be followed, and different types for marketing. Some of the types of mobile marketing are: SMS / MMS, Mobile App, Location-based marketing, QR barcodes, Pay per Call, Mobile banner ads. Below there are described some of the most successful types of mobile marketing strategy:

Permission Based Marketing

As mobile marketing is considered a branch of internet marketing, the idea of mobile marketing seems easy enough – send advertisements and notifications to potential customers via their cell phones. However, the reality is that mobile marketing has specific requirements and regulations that users must follow to take advantage of this service. Because of this, mobile marketing is dependent on permission based marketing.

Permission based marketing relies on collecting the customer’s phone number through various means; either requesting it in return to a service, or as a subscription that generates rewards, as an example. The customer must opt-in to receive marketing material on their mobile device, and must be given the opportunity to opt-out of future messages.

Text and multi-media messages (SMS & MMS)

Text and multi-media messaging, often known as Short Message Service (SMS) and Multi-Media Service (MMS), is the process of sending out information to customers in quick, large batches. Text and multi-media messages can be used to tell of upcoming events, daily coupons, new products or sales that may be of interest to customers. In exchange for allowing the company to send marketing via text and multi-media, many companies offer free services or discounts to customers.

SMS and MMS marketing is extremely cost efficient; one text message can be sent to large numbers of people at one time. Generally handled through a marketing service for a low monthly fee, text message reports can give the company immediate information regarding the success or failure of the marketing campaign.

Push Notifications

A variant on text message marketing, push notifications are alerts that are sent through apps on the customer’s phone. To receive push notifications, the customer must first download a specific company’s app, and then must agree to receive their notifications. Once the customer begins receiving the alerts, they have the option to turn notifications off if they find the messages intrusive or bothersome.

Push notifications that have the highest rate of success are relevant to the customer, personalized and offer enticing information that keep customers engaged. In order to improve even more the the relationship with already established customer, the company can use GPS location to send notifications based on their location or build on customer behavior.

Location Based Services

Skillful mobile marketing strategies include a combination of push notifications, text messages and location based services. Location based services are already being utilized as a means of identifying contact information and location details of a company. For mobile marketing purposes, location based services goes beyond the standard phone book information and combines the act of shopping with the use of online marketing.

Location based services can include click-to-call options on an app, QR codes, mobile coupons, or Geo-Fencing. These specialized offers and marketing methods can engage with the customer based on their physical proximity to a company’s location – making it more likely that a customer will take advantage of the offers presented.

Quick Response codes

QR codes are the square barcodes (black & white) that can be scanned by a customer using a mobile phone. Whenever the code was read and recognized by a mobile phone, customer can read more about the product behind the barcode, as well as getting information on promotions, discounts, business informations, and so on.

What is Mobile Marketing?


When considering embarking on a mobile marketing strategy, one must determine if the ROI is worth the initial effort and investment. Careful examination of recent statistics gives an indication of how pervasive the use of mobile devices has become, and can provide motivation for starting a mobile marketing strategy.

Number of People with Mobile Phones

According to Pew Internet Research, over 90% of American adults own a cell phone, and over 58% have a smart phone. Of those users, 67% of those users report checking their cell phone for messages, alerts and notifications – even if their phone has not vibrated or rung.

Globally, over 14 countries have cell phone subscriptions that number over 100 million. These 14 countries account for 61% of the world’s mobile subscribers.

Of the 6.8 billion people on the planet, over 4 billion report owning a cell phone while only 3.5 billion people own their own toothbrush. Interestingly, 90% of cell phone owners report having their phone within reach 24/7.

Usage Rates of Phones

So what are customers doing with their phones? The average person sends over 400 text messages a month. An astonishing 74% of American cell users report they use their phone for directions or to find locations, and approximately 15% of users ‘check-in’ with social media at various locations.

More than simply a social tool, cell phones are increasingly being used to conduct business, process payments and more. In fact, 80% of cell phone users indicate that they plan on making a purchase via mobile commerce within the next year.


With the information you’ve gathered, how do you put the pieces of the puzzle together to create a mobile marketing strategy that works?

Optimize for Mobile

The newest form of telemarketing – using the mobile phone – has opened a whole new frontier for advertising and brand recognition. Optimize your website for mobile devices, and don’t be afraid to make drastic changes in the next year. Use a responsive design for your site. Responsive sites automatically adjust based on the size of the screen the page is being viewed on. Test your site on several different devices to make sure that the main features of the page are transformed properly.

Location Services

Still an under-used feature of mobile marking, the location services features offers a world of exciting new marketing opportunities. Use the customer’s location to generate specific offers and coupons, use additional information gathered to target specific items or services. This can be done through push-based location services.

With location services, you can ask your customers to connect with you in a meaningful way. Ask customers to check-in when they get to your place of business. Offer special deals for group check-ins that are checking in together. Provide a simple task that they must complete before receiving a bonus offer, extra discount or sale. By targeting your customers effectively, you can develop an entirely new line of customers before they even step in 6th grade.

Text Messaging

With the increasing number of people sending text messages every day, the use of this feature as a marketing tool is essential. Text message campaigns must always include opt-out features, and need to be careful to not be considered spam. Include elements of storytelling to help keep customer interest and act as a hook that brings the customer back time and time again.

The text message can be a powerful, quick method of providing customers with a chance to take action. Informing them about an upcoming sale, new store hours or polling customers about how they use your product are all interactive methods of reaching customers outside the traditional means.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps add more expense to the media marketing plan, but can be a great way to develop engagement with customers in a way that a simple website cannot achieve. Mobile apps should have their own value – not simply be a copycat version of the original site.

QR Codes

Along with mobile apps, QR codes are another tool in the media strategy toolbox that may work for your business. These special codes can be used to track analytics, give additional information or special coupons or discounts. QR codes can be printed on brochures, newspapers, special mailers and more. They are useful when the web address is long, to provide interaction with the company and share coupons or special offers.

Putting the power of the mobile marketing machine to work for your company is an effective way to maximize advertising dollars. By capitalizing in the areas where there is a high percentage of users, then you will be offering customers another opportunity to discover what you have to offer. Further, by embracing the technology trend, you’ll be ahead of the other companies who continue to rely on traditional marketing. When mobile marketing is done right, it gives customers a positive perspective on your company, and provides up to four times the likelihood that the consumer will make a purchase. In addition, the inclusion of mobile marketing to a marketing strategy is like adding layers – they overlap and intertwine and support one another. A multi-faceted strategy will provide a means for moving from text messages to the internet, from a push notification to the text; all designed to continue the engagement with the customer and convert them from a mobile shopper to a committed consumer.


No matter how great the marketing strategy may be, if there is no measurement standard, there is no concrete way to determine the strategy’s success. Using information gathered based on the customer’s requests and interaction, analytics can give you specific data about the success or failure of your mobile marketing media strategy.

Finding out what action the customer took after receiving your mobile media message can help provide guidance of how to word your campaigns, what time to send your notifications and more. The analyst can provide insight into how social media has been affecting the future for customers. If there is a good customer response, the analytics will reflect the success of the strategy. Perhaps push notifications got better results when they were preceded by an email campaign. Knowing when the customer receives their notifications can also provide insight into how the ads perform, what the reaction to the notification was and even how long the customer stayed on the page reading the information.

The copious amounts of data collected by cell providers offer more information than any company could hope to use. Select some areas that you feel strongly about and then develop a strategy to include that area in your next analytics report. If you are increasing the number of text messages being sent weekly, track the response rate in your analytics program to determine if the increased number is helping.

Effective Mobile Marketing Strategies to Get New Customers Quick!


As technology advances, customers are becoming savvier and have begun to demand more from the consumers who want their attention. Not content to simply stare at a picture of a product as a motivation to purchase, today’s marketing efforts are showcased through high quality video, relevant content, engaging storytelling and a distinct call to action.

Customers today are selective in what they will allow into their phone – and so they are even more discriminating of the material allowed onto their screen. How can you optimize the marketing strategy that you’ve developed for mobile devices?

Mobile Display

The visual appeal of a site is one of the site’s most important features. Consumers report that if a site they are visiting has a website that is poorly designed, they will simply not mention the website to their family or friends.

Make the most of the interaction the customer has with your mobile marketing. Offer the customer a clear call to action – they are in a unique position to respond immediately. Provide the customer with the chance to engage right away.

Focus on the customer. Using the latest technology tools, companies can identify customers based on their shopping habits, their location, and their recent purchases. Targeting your customer in an individualized manner automatically creates a connection, and demonstrates that your company is aware of the importance of each customer. Companies that utilize generalized, non-specific marketing methods are often dismayed with the results, as their conversion rates are typically low. To truly capitalize on your marketing method, be intentional in your marketing efforts and focus on the individual customers.

Mobile Websites

Many companies incorrectly assume that their mobile site must be a clone of the original website. The mobile site doesn’t need to outshine the internet site, nor does it require the use of bells and whistles. Of utmost importance is the optimization of the site for use on multiple platforms and devices. The site needs to load quickly, be clean and functional.

In the mobile platform, the motto of ‘Less is more” could become a standard battle cry. Instead of trying to cram everything deemed important about you and your company onto the front page of your mobile website, allow the customer to explore and engage with the company. Remember that without quality contest, the most entertaining site will quickly become meaningless. Focus on providing meaningful, rich content, and then build on entertainment and excitement.

Maintain your focus on the customer by maximizing location based services, if available. Keeping the most recent articles and postings near the top will allow users to find the newest material quickly.

Mobile Apps

Perhaps more than anything else, the most pressing issue facing mobile apps is to ensure that they work. Apps should be beta tested on a variety of devices and operating systems to make sure that they work across the board. The app should be free, easy to get and user friendly.

There are few things more frustrating than getting ready to use a feature of your phone, only to discover that the battery is dead (again!). Be respectful of customer’s cell phones. While it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of sending out notifications after notification, make sure that the person receiving the river rock will have the opportunity to opt-out as needed or desired. Large, slow apps that constantly put a drain on the battery will most likely be deleted or ignored by the customer.

Best Practices for Mobile Marketing Campaigns

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