Planning a Mobile Marketing Strategy

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Introduction

When it comes to executing a successful Mobile Marketing campaign, planning is half the battle. Using the right channels to reach your market is important to ensure a rewarding investment.

The first part of this planning is to ensure that you aren’t labelled a spammer. Much the same as email, content received via mobile needs to be solicited. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be selling or promoting generic pharmaceuticals or fake Rolex watches to be considered a spammer. Though rules and regulations differ between countries and service providers, it’s important to ensure that your content and campaigns are always above board.

Key terms and concepts

419 Scam    A common scam, gaining it's name from the Nigerian Criminal Code, 419 scams involve requesting money from an individual on the premise that they will be exponentially reimbursed.
Banner      An online advertisement in the form of a graphic image that appears on a Web page.
Browser    An application used to access and navigate through the Internet.
CGM    Stands for Consumer Generated Media. Another term for Social Media.
Data broker     Merchant of user data, including phone numbers or other information.
Landing Page    The page a user reaches when clicking on a paid or organic search engine listing or a banner advertisement. The pages that have the most success are those that match up as closely as possible with the user's search query.
Opt-in    Also known as subscribe. Explicitly requesting to receive information from a company. All responsible marketers ensure that only users who have opted in receive their communication. If you haven't opted in - it's SPAM!
Opt-out    Also known as unsubscribe - The act of removing oneself from a list or lists so that specified information is no longer received.
 ROI    Stands for Return on Investment. The ratio of cost to profit. An example of this is advertising spend as a percentage of the revenue that it generates.
RSS    Really Simple Syndication. RSS allows you to receive/syndicate information without having to constantly open new pages in your browser.
Social Media The media that is published, created and shared by individuals on the Internet, such as blogs, images and video.
Social network   In the online sense, this refers to a type of website model where individual members become part of a broader virtual community.
Spam    Unsolicited promotional content.
Syndicate Making content available for publication and distribution.
Traffic    This refers to the visitors that spend time on a website.
URL    Stands for Uniform (or Universal) Resource Locator. The unique address of a site or web page on the Internet. For example http://www.gottaquirk.com
Usability   Usability is a measure of how easy it is for a user to complete a desired task. Sites with excellent usability fare better than those that are difficult to use.
W3C     Stands for World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3c.org). An organisation which oversees the Web Standards project.

Mobile Strategy

 When considering your mobile strategy, there are a number of things that you need to take into account. These things need to be planned in advance and implemented as your campaign takes shape.

  • Define your goals: What would you like to achieve, sales leads, newsletter signups. Remember to think SMART (Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely.)
  • Research your market: Gain as much market understanding as possible to ensure that your approach is correct.
  • Plot your presence: Decide what mediums to use (MMS, mobile website, Social Media), and how to cross-pollinate between them.
  • Define your message: What tone and angle are you going to take to inspire your target audience to get involved?
  • Create sharing opportunities: Create share points, and invite users to share your content or information between handsets or platforms easily.
  • Feed your campaign: Fan the flames by releasing updates and encouraging renewed interest.
  • Track, analyse and optimise: Mobile Marketing is great in that it allows for precision analysis and tracking, making campaign optimisation an ongoing process.

Permission Based Marketing – Not Spam

Spammers use wily tactics to bypass filters which could be set up by the Internet service provider, the mail provider or the individual. Often, these messages don’t even contain sales content.

In fact, they are often simply blank or containing misspellings, conversational text and other ‘disinformation’ in an effort to bend the rules, confirm the validity of addresses and generally make filtering the channel almost impossible.

Permission based marketing involves building up and communicating with a database of consumers who have agreed to be included in your contact list. This cuts out the irritation of obtrusive, interruption marketing and advertising for the consumer. What this means for companies is that there’s a need to drive voluntary signups and commit to the eradication of spam.

Permission based marketing has a high return on investment (ROI) as the audience are expecting your communication (e.g. weekly newsletter), while the content itself is easily measurable, segment-able and customisable on a mass scale.

Bluetooth Messaging

Because restrictions and limitations vary, we often find that the 'rules' of Marketing are based in best practice guidelines, not laws. These rules are often the subject of much debate. Bluetooth messaging, for instance, is a medium with little in the way of prescribed etiquette. 

Because the broadcasting of Bluetooth messages, or Bluecasting, is made available to mobile users in close proximity, there is much opportunity for Location Based Services (LBS, also sometimes termed 'proximity marketing') at shopping centres and other commercial hubs.

But at what stage are location-specific Bluetooth messages deemed solicited? Globally, the conventions vary, depending on the local laws, market and consumer expectations.

Like cold calling, people don't necessarily want to be bothered with a sales pitch from a complete stranger. Despite this, in some countries, just having Bluetooth enabled on one's handset is enough to be seen as open to marketing messages.

Other locations use signs to warn patrons of the services, much like locations with CCTV security cameras are required to inform the public. Calls to action are used on posters and at other promotional points to inform and encourage users to switch Bluetooth on and set their phones to ‘discoverable’ mode.

Users do have to accept to pair with a device to receive content (although certain older mobile models didn't have this setting), thus some argue that Bluetooth marketing is less invasive than TV or Radio ads.

While the pairing confirmation itself can contain a branded device name (e.g. “Would you like to pair with Quirk eMarketing to receive content”), emphasis is also placed on how a user can op-out, often adding themselves to a list of those who do not wish to be bothered.

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