With around 6 billion mobile device subscribers globally the growth of mobile marketing is inevitable. We already see it trending in the digital landscape with the rush of app developments, each one promising to be better than the last release, or trying to outdo the competition. The mobile market in developed nations is now saturated with a device-user ratio of 1:1 that it doesn't take so much of a genius to figure out the potentials of this marketing channel.
So what exactly is mobile marketing? It is simply the process of how companies or businesses communicate with their markets with the use of a mobile device, smart phone or tablet. Given that this practice is relatively new and somehow unexplored, it is difficult at this time to gauge which mobile marketing strategy works best. Businesses are drawn to it because of its two most apparent advantages: they can communicate to their target audience anytime and anywhere. Clients and prospects do not have to be confined to any time or space to receive messages.
Marketing activities do not have to end just because a person has to go to a mall. In fact, one of the strategies called Location-Based Marketing enables the delivery of messages through built in GPS chips in mobile devices. On the other hand, in no instance has a business been able to interact with a prospect or client on a more personal level. This engagement results to one-to-one marketing, a very personal interaction between the brand and the consumer.
While there are number of mobile marketing strategies that can be applied to any business, two of the more popular strategies are mobile websites and apps. Others are Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Media Service (MMS), Quick Response (QR) Code, Location-Based Marketing, among others.
Mobile websites are the expected and natural recourse for businesses to leverage their existing websites. It does make a lot of sense since these websites have already been up and running and just have to be configured for user-friendly resolution and navigation in mobile devices. While mobile phones in the early '90s were slick and compact, the smart phones that have been flooding the market in the last three years have wider screens to meet the needs of users who are increasingly browsing mobile web content for local listings and search engine queries (similar to web browsing behavior in front of a PC).
Meanwhile, mobile apps are a way for businesses to directly engage their audience in an interactive manner and more personal level. Marketers develop apps to bring brands one-to-one with their target markets. This strategy may not be advisable for all businesses, but recent market research indicates an increasing use of mobile apps for known smart phone brands such as iPhone, Android Samsung Galaxy, and Blackberry. Tablets such as Apple's iPad, Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7 from these same brands are also equipped with downloadable apps designed to enhance the shopping experiences of consumers.
Looking at mobile devices industry trends it is apparent where businesses should invest to better engage and reach their target audience if they do not want to be left behind. For best engagement results businesses should only trust expert mobile marketing strategists.
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August 4, 2012
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