Mobile Marketing for Small Businesses

What Is Mobile Marketing
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There are over 5.6 billion cell phones in use globally, which means that close to 80% of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants has access to a mobile phone.  With that kind of reach, businesses can no longer afford to ignore the opportunities presented by mobile marketing.  In particular, small business owners should also consider how the mobile market can benefit them.

What Is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing involves marketing and advertising strategies that are focused and conducted on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.  Mobile marketers communicate with consumers by sending text messages or SMS.  Smart phone owners can also be targeted by marketers via mobile internet, social media, and mobile applications.

With mobile marketing, you can send a simple marketing message to consumers or ask them to participate in a contest, survey or poll.  Smart phone users can also visit a mobile website.

Mobile marketing was not feasible just a few years ago but now that consumers can receive text messages and view images on their smart phones, marketers and business owners must adapt and embrace this new medium or fall by the wayside.


Mobile Marketing: What It Means For Small Business Owners

In the US alone, billions of text messages are sent every day.  The number of mobile phones in use actually exceeds the total population in the United States.  Mobile marketing using text messages is the fastest growing advertising medium.  The use of mobile phones for text messaging now exceeds voice and internet access combined.  This is clearly a call for small businesses to go into mobile marketing if they want to reach more customers.

In recent years, subscriptions to newspapers and magazines have declined.  Radio stations are finding it a challenge to attract listeners, and direct mail is not getting a lot of response.  Gone are the days when your fingers did the walking on the Yellow Pages.

But just because the traditional channels for advertisements are on the wane does not mean that there is no need to advertise or market your products and services.  Businesses still need to advertise, and this need is greatest in small business owners who must market more aggressively if they do not want to be swallowed up by big corporations.

For the past few years large corporations have been using mobile marketing in the form of text messaging.  There is a shift in advertising strategies from traditional media to mobile, and global brands are using mobile advertising more aggressively.

Small businesses do not have the resources and marketing budget that big corporations enjoy.  Luckily the cost of text messaging has gone down considerably, making text message marketing more affordable for small business owners.  Previously, only big companies could afford a mobile marketing campaign because of the difficulty and cost of launching one.  Today, it’s more affordable and easier than ever for small businesses to advertise on mobile devices.

National chains and large corporations have the resources to take customers away from you.  But with the availability of mobile marketing, you can level the playing field and reach your customers directly with great offers and special deals that they can get only from you.

These days, mobile marketing is not for big corporations only.  Owners of small businesses must take advantage of mobile marketing strategies if they want their business to succeed.


Benefits of Mobile Marketing for Small Businesses

Mobile marketing is the fastest growing form of advertising today.  It gives business owners an opportunity to easily reach their target audience and interact with them.  But despite its popularity and widespread use, many people are not aware of its many benefits and advantages over traditional marketing strategies.  Here are some of the benefits offered by mobile marketing:

  • Deliver timely messages.  Immediacy is one of the primary benefits of mobile marketing. Mobile phone owners have their device within easy reach for the most part of the day, so they can receive and read or view your message within seconds of receiving it.  If the cell phone happens to be turned off, the message will be received and seen as soon as the phone is turned on again.
  • Creates a personal connection.  Marketing messages are sent directly to customers’ phones, which creates a personal connection with the recipient.  The personal touch that it adds to advertising is perhaps the most important benefit of mobile marketing.  Unlike billboards, TV commercials or print ads, an advertising message sent to someone’s personal phone will grab the attention of your target audience.
  • Opt-in form of marketing.  Unlike direct mail or email where business owners can purchase a mailing list, customers must signify their willingness or desire to receive mobile ads and offers by providing their phone number.  This means you’ll be sending your advertising messages to people who want them, resulting in less waste and higher conversion rates.
  • Mobility.  Your target audience does not have to be tied down to a computer, television or radio to receive your marketing message.  Customers can receive your ads and offers on their mobile device at any time, even when they are on the go.  There are even applications that can automatically generate an offer whenever a customer is within the locality of your business.
  • Effective.  According to many surveys, mobile marketing campaigns that utilize text messaging have higher consumer response.  Over 90 percent of text messages are opened and read.  Mobile marketing allows small businesses to reach a larger audience in a short span of time.  Up to 83% of customers read the text messages they receive within one hour.  The personal approach in mobile ads also helps increase customer response and sales conversion rates.  Consider this: response rates to mobile ads average 15% while the response to direct mail is about 2.6% on average.
  •  Affordable.  Another benefit that the mobile market brings to small businesses is its affordability.  The cost of text messaging has gone down considerably in recent years and it doesn’t cost much these days to launch a text message advertising campaign.  A mobile marketing campaign can be integrated with other marketing programs to help increase response rates.
  • Easy to Track. Customer response to mobile advertising can be tracked immediately.  Unlike traditional forms of marketing, mobile advertising allows a two-way communication between the marketer and customers.  The one-to-one nature of communication in a mobile device makes it possible for marketers to profile and identify those who are most likely to become prospective customers.  By utilizing mobile marketing, small businesses can track delivery rate, response rate, and sales conversion.  The ability to track and assess the effectiveness of their marketing campaign is critical especially for small businesses that must keep a watchful eye on their advertising dollars.
  • Potential to go viral.  Mobile marketing is easy to share and forward to friends and family. Mobile users who receive valuable information or special deals are often eager to share these messages within their group.  When mobile users share or forward mobile marketing to others, marketers get more exposure at no additional cost or effort on their part.  Mobile marketing campaigns have the potential to transform into viral marketing.
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