Whether you’re selling computer tables or computers, it only makes sense to explore all the possible means by which you can promote your business. One currently emerging method worth looking into is mobile marketing. Essentially this refers to any form of marketing where the central medium is the mobile phone.
It’s not just that more people are acquiring phones, but rather the devices themselves are getting more powerful. The web is no longer exclusively accessible through desktops and laptops.
Processors, storage capacities, screens and many other phone hardware components have increased in capacity. The latest smartphone models are basically computers that fit in your pocket. It’s not surprising that people are now getting into the habit of going online through such devices.
Looking at how major tech and web companies are moving, the fact Google and Apple have acquired large mobile advertising networks signals that mobile devices are becoming a significant platform.
Web and application developers are adapting to the growing presence and importance of mobile devices. Browsers now have versions optimized for a phone’s relatively smaller display.
Social media and networking sites have come up with mobile versions of their services and features. It’s now quite possible to stream live video from a smartphone and share it with your established online social circles. Imagine what you can do with that if you want to publicize a product launch or store opening.
There are also online tools that are particularly geared for mobile marketing. Two quite popular location-based services are Foursquare and Gowalla. The idea behind these two services is to combine social networking with game mechanics. Local businesses have used this to their advantage by implementing a reward system to maintain long-time customers as well as attract new ones.
Because of their connectivity, these powerful new mobile devices play an instrumental role in influencing the purchase behavior of their owners. Let’s say someone walks into a store but isn’t fully decided yet on what to buy. He or she may take a picture of the items on display, send it to his or her friends currently online on Facebook and ask for recommendations. Meanwhile applications have now been developed that allows phones to facilitate credit card purchases.
An Addition to the Mix
Mobile marketing is not a replacement for online marketing. It’s an additional channel you can use to extend any existing efforts you’re already doing online.
Mobile devices are a new venue where you can distribute content to your target audience. Make sure you offer something fresh and unique that still stays on message. Don’t just duplicate what you already have on other channels.
One way to grasp the great potential of mobile marketing is to think of it in this way: people don’t always stay in front of their laptops or desktops, but they always carry their mobile devices with them wherever they go.