Tuesday, March 24, 2009

RECESSION? Going mobile can be the answer

Mobile marketing is no longer a forte or fashion.

The popularity of mobile phones means that the mobile channel will become more than a vehicle for sending texts and receiving calls. Mobile is still considered an up-and-coming channel by some, susceptible to uncertainty and hesitancy among late adopters. But smart marketers are integrating trackable, quantifiable mobile components within campaigns to extend their reach and increase efficacy. Mobile applications, known as apps, are the latest phenomenon. Web-based apps gained notoriety in May 2007 when social networking site Facebook opened its application platform to third-party developers. But it wasn’t until July 2008, when Apple launched iPhone 3G and App Store, that mobile apps became one of the most accessible and popular avenues to brand a business, popularize its services, pull teenagers to retail outlets, convince women to tread in during shopping carnival or even position a political party and woo the mindsets of voters. Even Hollywood these days are reaching audiences where they live- on their mobile phones.

Few things to be held in reserve when pursuing a successful mobile marketing inventiveness:

(a) One needs to think beyond the text: While SMS is the most recognized format of marketing via mobile, it is important to think beyond the traditional "BUY2DAY" such as content downloads, product alerts, surveys, loyalty messages, even wake-up calls, all designed to provide value and compelling content to the customers.

(b) Go forth and integrate: Customers may be provided with content and services that fit their lifestyles and improve their lives. The communications should be integrated across all channels, including mobile. In other words, mobile phones should be used as a complement to other media, and vice versa.

(c) Put the consumer first by balancing respectful communication and ease of use. Mobile users expect instant gratification, and do not want to jump through hoops to get the information they need. And they will bristle fiercely at any perceived invasion of privacy.

(d) The consumers should be given something they want. For example, if a marketer thinks of Mc coupons or other financial prompts; to text for more information or log on to a mobile site, the marketer can combine a mobile coupon with a store locator to add more value.