Though there’s much excitement around mobile marketing’s rapid progression and advanced features, there are still a number of organisations that are in the dark about the immense benefits of a mobile marketing campaign in these technology-driven times. Some of the most asked questions I receive from such members of various industries regard the basics: What is mobile marketing? How do I get involved? What mobile marketing tactics should I utilise? What tactics are best suited for my brand category? Who do I call to get started?
We are still in the early days of the mobile marketing industry, so the market must continue to be educated on the options and opportunities available to it. Although there is a large base of providers experienced in all marketing tactics, many are just starting to dip their toes in. It is interesting to hear how many brands across various industries are recognising that mobile has become an integral element in their campaigns, due primarily to the ability to connect with the consumer in real time.
The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) defines “mobile marketing” as “the use of wireless media as an integrated content delivery and direct response vehicle within a cross-media marketing communications programme”. This means mobile is one of many media channels and the key to success is integrating mobile with other traditional and digital media elements. Mobile integrated with print, on-pack, TV, radio, and so on, drives interest and response from your target demographic. Today, mobile marketing doesn’t stand alone; it’s best when integrated into those other media channels.
Define Mobile Marketing Goals
One of the most important places to begin in defining your mobile campaign or initiative is to clearly identify your campaign’s strategic goals and objectives. Once these objectives are determined, it will be easier to determine what mobile tactics work best – as well as what measurement criteria can be used to evaluate the campaign’s success. Some goals or objectives for mobile marketing are increasing brand awareness; generating a customer opt-in database (although the database can only be used by the brand for the specific purpose that’s confirmed with the consumer); driving attendance or participation in events, visits, or purchases; increasing revenues; and improving customer loyalty.
Select a Mobile Marketing Partner
After you define your goals, you must select a mobile marketing partner. The mobile partner can be in one of the following areas:
• An agency or a mobile-specific agency
• An aggregator
• A mobile application service provider (MASP)
Be wary: carriers have a number of relationships (direct connections) with aggregators and will counsel you to approach one of the folks in the above categories. You can choose to partner with an MMA member instead. This ensures your partner will adhere to and be aware of the industry’s best practices and guidelines.
Select Mobile Marketing Tactics
Next, select your mobile marketing tactics. The most common tactics to date include sweepstakes, instant win, polling/voting, picture messaging, WAP, text to buy, participation TV, trivia, alerts, coupons, text to screen, and mobile content promotions (ring tones, videos, wallpapers). Each of these will deliver a different value and experience to your target consumer. Work with your mobile marketing partner to determine what’s best for you to achieve your specific goals and objectives.
Keep the following in mind when choosing your tactics:
• Mobile is a unique medium, and campaigns should be developed and designed with that in mind. The mobile medium has its own unique set of interactions and learned behaviours. Leverage them in your executions.
• Don’t just repurpose content from other media. Create experiences that are mobile specific.
• Don’t forget the user. Make it usable! Rather than create complex applications which require the consumer to learn new technologies or new ways to access information, keep it simple. Use the tried and true, the mobile technologies with ubiquitous coverage – text, mobile web – and keep the consumer interaction and engagement short.
• Exploit Mobile Behaviour. Remember when consumers are accessing your services, they want value and they want it now (facilitate spontaneity). By using the mobile channels that are driving volume, you can reach the mobile consumer whenever and wherever they are.
(A) Mobile users are time poor
(B) Lots of youth users
(C) Integrate into cross-media campaigns including print, out of home, etc.
(D) Provide a mechanism to buy or gain more information (value exchange)
(E) Guidelines & Best Practices: Stick to the industry guidelines that help to ensure consumer privacy and a positive, consistent consumer experience.
Your mobile marketing partner will not only help you define your tactics and ensure your approach to the consumer is sound but also help you define promotion flow; manage the database; procure a short code, if required; conduct testing; provide ongoing customer support and monitoring; and provide campaign reporting and analysis. Most important, however, your partner will help ensure your campaign follows industry rules and best practices to protect the consumer experience and consumer privacy.
Rohit Dadwal is Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Mobile Marketing Association and is based at the MMA’s regional headquarters in Singapore. He joined the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) in November 2008, having spent 8 years at Microsoft, during which time he was also a Board Member of MMA.