According to Morgan Stanley Research, in 2011 there were 835 million smartphone users and 5.6 billion feature-phone users. Sixty-four percent of a mobile phone consumer’s time was being spent on apps (rather than talking on the telephone). In 2012, the United States saw a 55 percent increase in smartphone users alone.
While these statistics are pretty staggering, a good marketer shouldn’t need them to understand the importance of building a mobile marketing strategy. With so much consumption and consumer dependence on real-time information from a mobile device, it is imperative that local businesses build a presence that increases visibility and engagement with the on-the-go consumer because they are the game changers when it comes to building and maintaining a loyal community.
1. Make your websites mobile friendly
The attention span and patience of a consumer when they’re on their mobile device is virtually microscopic. While this is an issue for brands when it comes to capturing the attention of your customers, it can be easily solved by optimizing your mobile presence for quick and efficient consumption. Rather than building a website that takes even 20 seconds to load, build a simple mobile friendly version where the content is up front and easy to digest – otherwise, you’ll usually lose that interaction for good. When it comes to building your mobile website, less is more.
2. Utilize QR codes correctly
QR code scanning in 2011 increased by 300 percent. That said, many of the QR codes you see around town are either placed in awkward places, on subways with no cell reception, or don’t have any call to action. When posting a QR code to your marketing material, be sure to have a clear benefit for the user and that the destination can be loaded quickly on the spot – otherwise, QR codes are pointless.
3. Take advantage of location-based apps & communities
With foursquare now integrated in some way into most social apps, location-based engagement and sharing is becoming increasingly relevant to any marketing strategy. Your strategy should focus on how you can leverage these networks and your customer base to inspire them to utilize these tools to spread the word about your business. By offering a real-time value to your customer with as little friction as possible, you are empowering them to not only be a happy customer, but one who shares their joy with others.
4. Factor in all of your customers – both new and old
With mobile marketing, you have the element of surprise and real-time action on your side. Whether it’s a foursquare deal or exclusive deal for those using your app, mobile consumers are usually pleasantly surprised when finding out about a benefit while they’re doing something. So when you’re drawing up your “wow” factor, be sure not to alienate your current customers in favor of new ones, and vice versa.
When creating these strategies, make sure that the benefits you are offering can be experienced by both sets of consumers, otherwise you risk losing your current consumers or losing one-time users. If the real-time experience is beneficial and memorable, your users will continue to come back for more.
Bio: Harrison Kratz is the Community Manager at MBA@UNC, the top online mba program offered through the University of North Carolina which also offers one of the nation’s leading executive MBA programs. Harrison also sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive.
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