Reaching a Mobile Audience

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As previously discussed, mobile Web users and desktop Web users tend to display different characteristics. Aimless browsing and extended text input aren’t typical behaviour patterns of a mobile user, meaning that they are less likely to enter a URL or stumble across a website.

In keeping with these user trends, a direct approach is often more effective in the success of a mobile site or campaign.

Chapter 7 covers advanced tactics in reaching a mobile audience, from coaxing a passer-by to diverting traffic between devices.

 Key Terms and Concepts

2D Code Two dimensional barcode which can be scanned to navigate to a particular URL. Also known as a QR or Quick Response code or a semacode.
Bluetooth A short distance wireless transfer protocol for connecting devices.
Geotag    When content is tagged with the physical location at which it was created or uploaded.
Geotag When content is tagged with the physical location at which it was created or uploaded.
GPS Stands for Global Positioning System. Satellite-based positioning technology that allows a GPS receiver to calculate its (and therefore your) position anywhere on earth with great accuracy.
LBS Stands for Location Based Services. An entertainment and information service that is accessible on mobile networks using mobile devices. It returns information based on the geographical location of the device.
MMS Stands for Multimedia Message Service. An extension on SMS, allows picture, sound or low quality videos to be sent on a wireless network.
MXit A popular mobile Instant Messaging application.
Remote Scripting The communication between a particular device as it retrieves the relevant script from the server.
Segmentation Used to filter visitors into distinct characterised groups to analyse visits.
CSC Stands for Common Short Code. Users send messages to shortened numbers, usually to get something in return, like a competition entry.
SMS    Stands for Short Messaging Service. SMSs are text messages that can be sent to mobile phones from the Internet or from other mobile devices.
Spider A piece of search engine software which crawls and indexes websites periodically for PPC and SEO search results.
TLD Stands for Top-level Domain, such as the ‘.biz’ extension in
USSD    Stands for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data. Works on all existing GSM phones. Provides session-based communication, enabling a variety of applications.
Viral Marketing The spread of a message quickly across the Internet, largely by word-of mouth. It mimics a virus because of the speed at which is transferred and the number of people that it reaches. Viral Marketing is an effective form of marketing that yields a good ROI if successful.
WAP Stands for Wireless Application Protocol. A technical set of communication standards for the way wireless devices (like cell phones) connect with the Internet.
WURFL Stands for Wireless Universal Resource File, an open source database of devices.

Mobile URLs

Mobile URLs are sometimes a subdomain of the website’s URL: or Some organisations prefer to use a mobile specific Top-Level Domain (TLD), such as

Lenghty URLs may be easily clicked on by desktop Web users, but can be difficult for mobile Web users to manually type in. While many custom short URLs redirect to a lengthier URL (just type in and have a look at the URL), it is also possible to use a URL shortener.

If a URL is simply too long to pass on, a URL shortener such as can significantly reduce the length. While these can include a descriptive keyword, they could reduce the credibility of the destination compared to a customised mobile domain address.

The debate continues about the search engine significance of shortened links via social networks such as Twitter, so it may also be wise to use redirects for frequent use.

2D Barcodes

2D barcodes have been developed to encode more data than 1D barcodes and are particularly useful for encoding URLs for mobile campaigns. 2D barcode reading software has been developed, and is widely available, which allows users to photograph a 2D barcode with their mobile phone camera. The software reads the barcode and shows the URL which has been encoded, allowing a user to navigate easily to the mobile webpage.

There are several technologies in use. Some of the better known are QR Code (an open format developed by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994) and Semacode (founded in 2003 in Canada).
 2D Barcode for









It may look like a hybrid between a crossword and Sudoku puzzle, but it’s really the 2D barcode for These codes are multifunctional and very useful to marketers. We can use ours to encourage people to register to receive our newsletter or fulfil any number of other goals.


  • Avoids the hassle of text entry.
  • Eye catching, fun and instantly recognisable as a 2D code.
  • Can be displayed offline and decoded on the fly.
  • Takes mobile user directly to the URL.
  • Variations include sectional divisions and multi colours to include more information.
  • Handy for long mobile URLs (especially for pages deeper in your domain architecture), USSD codes etc.

Common Short Codes

Otherwise known as Short Message Codes or Short Numbers, Common Short Codes (CSCs) are 4 or 5 digit numbers with which users can perform advanced functions at premium or even shared rates. The short numbers make them ideal for mobile campaigns, as a user does not have to remember (or type in) long numbers.

Typically, a user will send a text to the CSC number containing keywords to subscribe to services, request a download, enter a competition or cast a vote. Standard keywords on all services include STOP to unsubscribe from a service or HELP to request more information.

CSCs can be shared by multiple advertisers to reduce costs, which is why keywords are so important. They are used to filter the messages to the CSC. CSCs also have the benefit of being seen as a value service, meaning that users can be charged more than standard SMS rates for sending a message to such service. This makes them a useful payment device, as payments can be deducted immediately from a user’s mobile phone bill.

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