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  1. Understanding Mobile Marketing
  2. What Makes Mobile Marketing a Big Deal
  3. How Mobile Marketing Differs from Traditional Web Marketing
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How Mobile Marketing Differs from Traditional Web Marketing

What makes mobile marketing different from traditional web marketing? It’s all about the size of the presentation and the local nature of the message.

Let’s talk size first. When it comes to mobile marketing, bigger is not better. In fact, small is all—as in, adapting your marketing to the small size of the cell phone screen.

Most web marketing is designed with traditional web browsers and the computer screen in mind. Web pages keep getting wider and wider to fill the space on widescreen monitors; we employ banner ads and full-screen graphics and fill every inch of screen space available.

That is not the tack to take with mobile marketing. What works on the big computer screen doesn’t play at all on the small screen of a typical mobile phone. You don’t have much width, nor do you have much depth if you want to avoid scrolling. Your visual message needs to be simplified and smallerized, pure and simple.

You also have to make sure your images and text are readable on the small screen. What looks good on a 19” computer monitor running at 1280 x 768 pixel resolution appears downright ant-like on a mobile device with a 3.5” screen running at 240 x 320 resolution—all of which argues for a rethinking of your visual presentation. You need to present less information on a smaller screen. It’s a challenge.

In addition, the information you do present needs to be tailored to the mobile market. Mobile users, while they have their phones with them all the time, aren’t constantly connected as are computer users; they connect to the Internet on an as-needed basis. Your ability to communicate with them, then, depends more on them reaching out to you than the other way around. (The exception to this is text message marketing, which is by nature a push activity.)

Letting your customers contact you isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When you think mobile marketing, think target marketing, not mass marketing. Instead of broadcasting a promotional message to thousands or hundreds of thousands of people, most of which are wholly uninterested in what you have to say, you can send out a very targeted message to those few mobile customers who are interested in what you’re promoting.

That’s in part due to the local nature of mobile computing. Most people use their mobile devices to get the information they need while they’re on the go. Quite often, this information is locality based—where’s the nearest coffee shop, which store has the lowest prices, how do I get from here to there, that sort of thing. That makes mobile marketing synonymous with local marketing.

So if you have a local business, mobile marketing is the way to go. Optimize your mobile website for local search, in order to rank high when local consumers search for what you’re selling. Place PPC ads that are triggered in select locales only. Reach out to local mobile users with targeted email campaigns. Encourage customers to sign up for text message promotions. It’s an ideal marketing environment for local businesses.

And even if your business is more global, you can still reach out to local consumers with products and services of specific interest to people in a given location. For example, if you sell clothing, you can promote winter coats in Minnesota and Bermuda shorts in Texas. If you sell athletic apparel, push Peyton Manning jerseys to customers in Indiana and Lebron James jerseys to customers in Miami. If you sell home goods, offer window air conditioners to city dwellers and riding lawnmowers to suburbanites. You get the picture.

When it comes to mobile marketing, targeting is everything. It’s the best way to reach specific audiences, even (especially) when they’re on the go. Just remember, everybody has a cell phone in his or her pocket; it’s your job to put your message on all those screens.

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