Why should small business consider Mobile Marketing?
- The mobile audience is huge. I recently heard there are 5 times the number of people running around with cell phones strapped to their bodies than there are people sitting in front of computers.
- Mobile users are addicted to the media. So addicted that in a recent study uncovered that mobile users would prefer to forget their wallets than their smart phones. Cell phones are becoming more powerful every day and, therefore more indispensable to users.
- Cost of entry is low, very low. Text marketing plans begin at 2.5 cents a standard message, which should make this media very attractive to small business.
- It is the future of small business marketing with over 173 Billion texts sent per month in the U.S. Per the Yankee Group, Boston research company, businesses will distribute 70 million coupons by 2013.
- It is easy to use and it has oomph. If you can type, you can tap into the mobile marketplace. In addition to SMS (short text messaging), there is also the ability to send MMS (multi-media text messaging), which includes video and audio files to messages sent to customers.
How can small business tap into the mobile marketing scene?
It is easy, but caution does apply.
But let’s be clear about what mobile marketing is? Think email marketing but with shorter, value oriented messages with more impact.
When considering it as a tool for your marketing, you should treat mobile marketing as an extension to your current marketing activities by expanding your connections with your customers. It should not be your only connection.
Next, tailor your efforts to fit the media. What do I mean? Well, think of the screen size of a mobile phone. It is limited. This means your messages have to be succinct and to the point. Mobile marketing is not for grandiose image campaigns…it’s for short bursts of valuable information and offers.
Perhaps the best entry point for small business would be to employ mobile text messaging of exclusive offers, coupons, special invitations, etc. It’s a direct, personal and cost-effective channel to communicate and increase sales. One can send texts to their customers’ mobile phones in seconds and texts can appear in 93% of all cell phones. Unlike email, text messages don’t have to fight through the spam filters, ignored messages or automatically trashed messages. This means once a customer subscribes to your text message program, 100% of your messages are delivered straight into their mobile phone and it is estimated that 94% are opened. Many claim a mobile redemption rate of 10-30% simply because the coupon offer is always available to the customers on their phones.
Unrestricted access is a duel edge sword. Yes, it is unrestricted but the downside is that the small business marketer assumes the responsibility not to abuse this access by sending frivolous, boring texts of little value to the mobile phone user. If one does abuse this privilege, chances are high it will create a negative impression of the company and of its brand.
Rather than another boring Happy Hour or another 20% off sale announcement, think of more enticing ways to bring your customers in the door. Maybe a workshop by a popular author or a wine tasting featuring a rare year. Be creative in adding value. You want to create a bond through your texts. Remember, as easily as your customers signed up for your texts, they can just as easily unsubscribe. So, do yourself and your customers a favor and respect the access they have loaned to you. It is the respectful thing to do.
I’ll be looking for some good mobile marketing tools and will report on these in a few weeks. In the meantime, tell me how do you feel about receiving text messages from companies? Are you pleased or do you feel that most abuse the access? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.