10 Ways to Leverage Mobile Technology for Marketing

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Kipp Bodnar
Kipp Bodnar



 ways-to-leverage_0 The following is a guest post by Joe Marcallini, Vice President of Internet Strategy at SteadyRain .

What do you think of when you hear “Mobile Marketing”? It might be difficult to think beyond the two obvious choices: a mobile website and mobile application. However, mobile marketing is much bigger. Here are 10 ways to incorporate mobile technology into your marketing strategy:

1. Mobile Friendly Website

Statistics claim that by 2013 more people will be accessing websites via their cell phones as opposed to desktops and laptops.  This means that mobile optimized websites are more important now more than ever before.

2. SMS (Text) Alerts/Reminders

SMS has many useful applications in the mobile technology realm, one of which is alerts and reminders.  Having the ability to contact your customers with simple text messages is non-intrusive and convenient.  Two current examples of industries utilizing SMS alerts and reminders are banks and retail chains. Banks use this technology to alert customers of balances on their accounts.  Retails chains can alert customers when certain products are discounted or available.

3. SMS Voting/Polling

Many of you may be familiar with this technology already.  Television shows like American Idol and America’s Got Talent already utilize this technology to rank contestants.  However, this technology is also helpful in the business world, where users can poll or vote on various products and services.  What a great way to get valid feedback on your business!

4. Mobile Commerce

60% of consumers are purchasing goods and services on their mobile phones.  They are also able to compare prices with competing vendors.

The invention of Near Field Communications (NFC) in the mobile commerce arena is going to explode.  NFC allows you to wave your phone over a compatible device at your retailer to purchase goods or services. This ability to purchase products with your smartphone is a convenient technology that may one day “eliminate” the need for a wallet.

5. Mobile Applications

There’s an app for that, and that’s no joke.  Companies and organizations worldwide have adopted the use of mobile apps to help increase awareness and revenue streams.  Mobile apps can provide data such as product information, account information, games, scores to a sporting event, streaming audio, and this goes on and on.

Studies show that users prefer mobile games, social media, maps and music in the form of an app,  as opposed to a web based interaction.  There is a sense of security with an application that is installed and trusted by a relevant source on your mobile phone. This does not mean that mobile websites do not have their place, they do, and it’s up to the organization to determine the best use of a mobile web or mobile app. 

6. Mobile Coupons

The ability to have a retail clerk scan your phone for 20% off of a product does not sound like a bad idea right?  Currently, this technology is widely used by retailers all over the world.  Mobile coupons can be available through search advertising, in mobile apps, on mobile websites and in many other ways.

7. SMS Rewards and short codes

Text WINNER to 123456 and get a free voucher for a round of golf, or free fries with your burger, or tickets to a local concert.  Companies are rewarding mobile customers by having them participate in short code communications via SMS.  And these codes appear everywhere - billboards, radio, television, print publications.

8. QR Codes

QR Codes are similar to UPC codes.  They contain information that can be used for a variety of applications such as sending a text, making a call, or going to a website.

The idea is simple but the impact potential is huge! Place a QR code on product packaging and once the customer scans the QR code with a mobile device, the code can link to anything from videos that explain how to use the product to a company’s promotional website.

The United States is seeing more and more of these funny shaped squares with black dots.  From Macy’s to Target, retailers across the country are using QR codes to promote products.

9. Mobile Search Advertising

Mobile users are searching for establishments to eat and relax while on the go.  Google Places provides quick mobile search results that will show detailed information about your establishment as well as ratings and pricing. 

Have an AdWords account? Google Mobile Ads allow you to post coupons and upcoming deals through your campaign.  

10.  Location Based Services (LBS) Marketing

Apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook and now even Google are allowing users to “Check In” to your place of business.  Check in enough times and get coupons, discounts and rewards.  Rewards can be physical, such as a hamburger or discount on next purchase, or virtual such as a badge that makes you the Mayor of that establishment.

What other ideas would you add to this list?

Photo credit: Yutaka Tsutano

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