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Why Mobile Marketing Matters

Mobile marketing uses cell phones and other mobile devices to reach consumers on the go — and is the latest rage for marketing professionals. Today’s mobile phone, after all, is much more than a mobile phone; it’s a constant connection to the online world, wherever you may be. This makes the Internet less and less of a computer-specific activity. It also makes it imperative for you to reach these mobile users as part of your web marketing activities — which means reconfiguring your marketing tools to work with mobile devices, and adjusting your web marketing strategy to better target mobile consumers. Learn why mobile marketing is important in this article by Michael Miller, author of The Ultimate Web Marketing Guide.
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As technology evolves, so does the art (or is it science?) of marketing. The invention of the printing press presaged the development of print advertising; the invention of radio and television brought us broadcast commercials; and the onslaught of the Internet gave rise to all manner of Internet-based marketing, from email campaigns and PPC advertising to search engine marketing and social media marketing.

There’s always some new technology to exploit for marketing purposes, and the latest and greatest new thing is the mobile phone. Everybody has one, which makes it ideal for serving up promotional messages in the palm of your hand.

Today’s mobile phone, after all, is much more than a mobile phone; it’s a constant connection to the online world, wherever you may be. This makes the Internet less and less of a computer-specific activity. It also makes it imperative for you to reach these mobile users as part of your web marketing activities—which means reconfiguring your marketing tools to work with mobile devices, and adjusting your web marketing strategy to better target mobile consumers.

Understanding Mobile Marketing

You don’t need fancy definitions to understand what mobile marketing is. Mobile marketing is any activity that reaches out to users of mobile devices.

While “mobile devices” can encompass both cell phones and tablet PCs, such as the Apple iPad, most mobile marketing is targeted at cell phone users. That’s important because of the form factor; you’re looking at a very small display for your messages, and that has to be taken into account.

By the way, note that I said “cell phone,” not the more restrictive “smartphone.” That’s because any phone that can send and receive text messages is ripe for mobile marketing via text messaging. Mobile marketing isn’t limited to just web-based activities; mobile marketing can be done via text message, as well.

Just what are these mobile marketing activities? There are actually quite a few approaches to consider, including the following:

  • Text message marketing. This is one mobile marketing activity that targets all mobile phone users; everybody texts, after all. This activity uses outgoing text messages to deliver your promotional message.
  • Mobile website. That is, sa version of your company website optimized for display on the small mobile device screen.
  • Mobile advertising. These are ads you purchase on mobile websites—ads specially formatted for the mobile screen and targeted to mobile customers. Most mobile advertising, as with most web advertising, is of the PPC nature.
  • Mobile search. This is similar to traditional web-based search marketing, but fine-tuned for users searching from their mobile phones. (The fine-tuning has a lot to do with location, as mobile searchers tend to search for local businesses while they’re on the go.)
  • Mobile applications. This is exclusively for smartphone users, specifically for users of the iPhone and Android phones. Users can install small applications on their devices; businesses are increasingly creating apps to server their customers and promote their brands.
  • Mobile email. Smartphone users can receive email on their devices; mobile marketers are learning to take advantage of this opportunity.
  • Mobile social networking. More and more Facebook and Twitter users are accessing their social networks from their mobile phones. Again, savvy mobile marketers are exploiting this new usage model

And please forgive me if you notice other forms of mobile marketing that I haven’t mentioned here. That’s okay; mobile is a relatively new medium for marketers, and there’s a lot of experimentation going on.

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