Why Mobile Marketing?
One of best and only ways to reach your customers and key stakeholders where and when they are 24/7 is via their mobile devices. Mobile phones and tablets have quickly become our primary source of information, entertainment, social media, brands we have an affinity for and other immediately accessible functions and tools. It’s no wonder that smart brand marketers of all sizes are taking note and figuring out ways to best communicate with customers and key stakeholders using mobile marketing.
Unfortunately, small business owners and professionals don’t have the luxury of time, money or skillset to quickly learn yet another form of marketing (heck, getting a return on social media is hard enough), develop a meaningful strategy and utilize the best-in-class tools that are available to quickly get up to speed and gain a competitive advantage with mobile. Following are three of those tools to get you started on not just mobile marketing but an integrated strategy of text (or SMS), mobile website conversion and mobile apps for any phone. Each of these services are low cost, easy to use and require no programming/coding skillset.
EZ Texting Text Messaging Service (http://www.eztexting.com)
It’s likely by now, you’ve come across a call-to-action in some marketing encouraging you to “Text some word to some number…” to receive some offer/incentive. This form of mobile marketing is called SMS Marketing or Texting. If you followed through on the call-to-action (this service is most desirable because nearing all phones have text messaging capabilities meaning you’re not excluding any of your customers), you were likely immediately texted with an opt-in message subsequently followed by the pulled in offer, albeit a coupon, ongoing communications, or other. Texting as a form of mobile marketing has its advantages of being non-exclusive, easy to implement and helps build a mobile database of mobile numbers from customers who are interested in hearing from you. The disadvantages are that messages are limited to 140 characters or less and, similar to email communications, need to be frequency-dripped to your customers so not to be too intrusive or annoying.
One of the best-in-class SMS Texting services for small businesses is EZ Texting. It’s a powerful and easy to use SMS Marketing service that allows users the ability to easily:
- setup short codes and keywords,
- build and manage a mobile database of customers and/or key stakeholders,
- broadcast SMS messages,
- and track/report on the success of your campaigns.
Pricing is as low as 2.5 cents per text credit (pay as you go model) and they have plans that start at $29/month with bulk discounts available the more text credits you purchase per month. If you’re familiar using email engines like Constant Contact or Vertical Response, you’ll find EZ Texting as a similar service (opt in, campaign management, reporting/tracking, etc.). EZ Texting is a great way to get started building a mobile database of customers and sending out information via text message to their devices.
DudaMobile’s Mobile Website Conversion (http://www.dudamobile.com)
Hyper local and social searching on mobile devices is exploding. Customers are looking for your business not just online but online via their browser-equipped mobile devices. And, the quality of customers doing this, are of great value to your business. Here are some stats to prove that from Jason Spero’s “The Mobile Playbook”:
- 95% of smartphone users have searched for local info
- 61% called a business after searching
- 59% visited in person
- 90% of these actions happened within 24 hours
Bottom line, if your website is not optimized for mobile, meaning the experience is not readable or a user can easily interact with it on the small screen, it’s likely you’re missing out and potentially losing customers.
Dudamobile is a mobile website conversion kit that allows you the ability to quickly and easily convert your existing site to a mobile optimized one. Simply go to dudamobile.com, type in your website and off you go. There are several templates to choose from and several features to make your mobile site functional and a great experience among your customers. Most website platforms like WordPress are supported. There’s even redirect information on how to include code in your existing site that detects when a user is finding your site on a mobile device ensuring that they are served with the mobile optimized one vs. one that isn’t. DudaMobile is supported by Google. Cost is $9/month with the first year free.
Magmito App Creation Tool for Any Phone (http://www.magmito.com)
Apps are a great way to maintain a relationship with a customer and/or key stakeholder and stay top-of-mind. In other words, if someone has enough affinity for your brand or wants to access your content regularly, having your app on their phone allows them that while keeping you/your business and brand top-of-mind.
Magmito is a best-in-class app/webapp creation tool for any phone including Symbian, Java, Blackberry, Droid, Windows, and Apple. Content also renders for tablets making it a perfect tool for restaurants that want to convert menus to an interactive digital format or even point of sale displays. It’s easy to use (no programming skills required), inexpensive (as low as $4.99/month), and content is immediately publishable/accessible (no long waits for platform specific app stores). Magmito is great for creating targeted campaigns and specific content relevant to your brand and/or audience (check out the GoToU article on Introduction to Mobile for more information). There’s Constant Contact integration and other tools to help distribute your app via text, social media, app stores and even QR codes. Magmito is the only app creation tool endorsed by a major North American carrier, Sprint (http://sprint.magmito.biz) and has nearly 20,000 other SMBs and consumer groups turned developers, to date.
Do I Need All Three?
Text Messaging, Mobile Web and Apps all have a unique purpose and a set of benefits that make an integrated mobile strategy including each a great value to a small business. For example, using a text messaging service is a great way to attract mobile customers and build a mobile database across all platforms. It also allows you to stay top-of-mind with push messages (offers, incentives, etc.) on a regular basis. Having a mobile optimized website is an imperative for the vast number of customers that will search for your site on their mobile device. However, most will likely not bookmark your website. Therefore, having a mobile app for easy download and ongoing communications and marketing is imperative.
To reiterate, all three of these tools are inexpensive and require little time and no programming skillset. Use them together wisely and your business can benefit from integrated mobile marketing success—ahead of the curve, while there is still time and before your competition does.
About the Author
Angelo Biasi is General Manager of SMART Marketing Solutions, LLC, a leading full-service integrated marketing company in Florida and New York since 2001. He has helped create and execute marketing plans and integrated marketing solutions for companies such as Playtex, Bic, Rogaine, Tauck, and over 35 colleges and universities, to name a few. Angelo has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut and teaches Marketing at New York University where he has for over six years. He has been quoted and/or featured in USA Today, Mobile Marketer magazine, Mobile Commerce Daily, Luxury Marketing magazine, BNET TV and Business Currents magazine, to name a few. For more information or to learn more, email him at abiasismartmarketingllccom (abiasismartmarketingllccom) , visit www.smartmarketingllc.com, call him at 239.963.9396 and follow him on Twitter @angbiasi.