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"Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work" …

"Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work"
They are in our pocket, purse, on our nightstand and never more than an arm’s reach away. While you can use them to make phone calls, most of us use them for text messages, checking e-mail, reading news articles and by 2013 Gartner predicts it will be the most common device used for browsing the web. Yes, we’re talking about the mobile device (aka “smart phone”) and how it’s changing the way we communicate with each other and providing businesses new and effective ways of connecting with our customers and prospects. But for many, developing a strategy of how to best utilize these devices remains a mystery.

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  • 1. Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work About the Author Eric Cook is a “recovering banker” of 15 years and has been working in the digital space doing web development and online marketing since the mid 1990s. A Consultant with WSI since 2007, Eric works with businesses and organizations to help them “better understand and leverage the power of the Internet,” with a primary focus on the financial services sector. An accomplished public speaker, Eric was accepted into the National Speakers Association in 2011 and presents at conferences and conventions around the United States on topics such as social technology, online marketing, digital communication, website strategy and mobile trends. In his spare time Eric competes in triathlons and has been an avid cyclists and outdoor enthusiast for many years. Together with his wife, Alicia, they operate their WSI business from Michigan where they reside with their two (very spoiled) golden retrievers. About WSI – we simplify the Internet: WSI is the world’s leading Internet franchise offering digital marketing services to suit the needs of multiple industries. The company has the world’s largest Digital Marketing Consultants’ network with its head office in Toronto, Canada. WSI Digital Marketing Consultants have helped thousands of small and medium-sized businesses realize their online marketing potential. By using innovative Internet technologies and advanced digital marketing strategies, businesses can have a WSI Digital Marketing System tailored to their individual needs to elevate their Internet presence and profitability to new levels. In 2011, WSI was the proud recipient of 7 Standard of Excellence Awards at the Annual WebAwards Competition organized by the Web Marketing Association (WMA). With the support and cooperation of its customers, franchise network, employees, suppliers and charitable organizations, WSI aims to help make child poverty history through its global outreach program www.makechildpovertyhistory.org. For more information about WSI’s offerings and business opportunities, please visit our website at www.wsiworld.com. For digital marketing tips, strategies and ideas, visit our blog at: http://blog.wsidigitalmarketing.com/. Please follow us online at: http://twitter.com/wsiworld, http://facebook.com/wsiworld, http://www.linkedin.com/company/wsi-internet-consulting, http://youtube.com/wsiworld. Whitepaper: Mobile. Simplified.Copyright ©2012 RAM. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Page 2 of 12
  • 2. Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work Table of Contents Introduction..................................................................................................................................................... 4 The Evolution of the “Third Screen”................................................................................................................ 4 Your Website’s Alter Ego ............................................................................................................................. 5 Apps and Alternatives ................................................................................................................................. 6 Turning Your Phone into a Payment Device................................................................................................ 7 Text Messaging – It’s Not Just for Teenagers .............................................................................................. 8 More Terms – Short Code and Keyword ................................................................................................. 9 Some Common Functions...................................................................................................................... 10 Industry Examples ................................................................................................................................. 10 Getting Started .............................................................................................................................................. 11 More Resources from WSI... ......................................................................................................................... 12 Whitepaper: Mobile. Simplified.Copyright ©2012 RAM. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Page 3 of 12
  • 3. Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work Introduction They are in our pocket, purse, on our nightstand and never more than an arm’s reach away. While you can use them to make phone calls, most of us use them for text messages, checking e-mail, reading news articles and by 2013 Gartner predicts it will be the most common device used for browsing the web. Yes, we’re talking about the mobile device (aka “smart phone”) and how it’s changing the way we communicate with each other and providing businesses new and effective ways of connecting with our customers and prospects. But for many, developing a strategy of how to best utilize these devices remains a mystery. The Evolution of the “Third Screen” Delivering your message visually became a reality in 1929 with the introduction of the television. This “First Screen” started off with only a handful of channels and provided a fuzzy black and white picture, but we now had the ability to display video across great distances and it changed the way businesses marketed themselves. Then, in 1992 we were introduced to the wonderful “World Wide Web” and the advent of the browser thanks to the folks at Netscape. This created opportunities for businesses to form websites and deliver information directly to your personal computer via the Internet and the “Second Screen” was born. Fast-forward to 2008 and we are now in the midst of the booming popularity of the “Third Screen”. Thanks in large part to devices like Apple’s iPhone and others that feature their own interactive screens with customizable icons and full Internet connectivity, we now have a variety of ways to engage and interact with others with these addictive devices that never seem to leave our side. When we talk about the third screen, we’ll cover the following four main areas and what they mean for businesses and consumers. Whitepaper: Mobile. Simplified.Copyright ©2012 RAM. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Page 4 of 12
  • 4. Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work • Website: Does your website have a mobile version that makes it easy to read your information without having to pinch, zoom, etc? • Apps: Are you participating in Apple’s iTunes App Store or the Android Play Market with downloadable programs people can install directly on their phones? • Transactions: Consumers are using their phones more today than ever for common banking functions and want to turn them into electronic wallets. • Messages: Learn the difference between SMS and MMS and how do you leverage a mobile communication strategy to keep connected with customers and prospects. So let’s jump in and cover these four areas in a bit more detail. Your Website’s Alter Ego Here’s an exercise every business owner should be sure to do – visit your website on a mobile device and observe the type of experience you are providing for your visitors. We said it at the very beginning of this paper; the mobile device is going to be the preferred method of browsing the web by 2013. But when visiting your website, does your it display the same as it would if they were using a full-sized monitor and it’s “squished” into the smaller resolution and default portrait layout of a smart phone? If so, chances are the text is too small, links are not easy to navigate, content may be hard to see (unless you swipe your finger to scroll right-left or up-down), and you need to tilt or “pinch-zoom” to be able to effectively interact with your site. Now, visit a site like Delta.com. The airline presents a completely different version of their website when you are visiting on a mobile device. The text is larger, links are prioritized for what a typical mobile visitor would want to find out when using a mobile device vs. someone sitting at home or in their office browsing the website on a regular-sized computer or laptop. Navigation buttons are larger, making the site easy to use with one hand (because chances are the other is pulling a piece of luggage). Are you starting to get the idea? Technology makes it very easy and cost-effective for you to have a mobile version of your website, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. You need to get inside a typical visitor’s head to understand why they are coming to your site via a mobile device and what type of information they want to access. Continuing with the Delta.com example, you’ll see they make it very easy to view your saved trips and check-in, get flight status updates and schedules, book a flight or contact a travel agent for assistance. No fancy Whitepaper: Mobile. Simplified.Copyright ©2012 RAM. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Page 5 of 12
  • 5. Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work graphics, promotion banners or other elements you get when you visit their “regular” website – you’re only presented with the options that you’d likely need to complete while “on the go”. One of the other important reasons to give strong consideration to having a mobile version of your website is that Google indicates that 1 out of every 7 searches are performed on a mobile device. Plus, it’s starting to be the case that if your website has a mobile version you’ll begin to rank higher in mobile searches because the search engines recognize that you’re providing a better browsing experience for visitors. So as the mobile device becomes our “go-to” device for all things web related, being found for the products you offer and the services you provide is enhanced by ensuring that you’re ready for the mobile revolution. Apps and Alternatives With now over 500,000 apps in Apple’s App Store and almost as many in the Android Play Market, many businesses are producing these applications that customers can download and install on their mobile phones. A visit to either marketplace reveals a variety of options in categories such as business tools, finance, health and fitness, medical, music, productivity, social networking, sports, travel, weather and of course… we cannot forget games! Each application is created and submitted to the markets and once approved has to be downloaded by visitors for use on their mobile device. One primary advantage of an app is the convenience of having an icon placed directly on your screen for one-touch access. Plus, many of these applications can be run even when the wireless service is turned off on your device, such as when you are on a plane or in an area where you don’t get good cell reception. While apps certainly are a popular way to share information, one alternative that is starting to take hold is creating mobile-formatted websites (like mentioned previously) that in many ways look just like an “app”. But, rather than have to open up the mobile browser on your device and type in the website address, they are starting to use “launcher” programs that will place an icon on your screen (so it looks like an app) for one-touch convenience, but now your ability to update and change content can take place instantly. You Whitepaper: Mobile. Simplified.Copyright ©2012 RAM. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Page 6 of 12
  • 6. Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work see, if you have an app and need to make a change it has to be re-submitted for approval and then users have to download the updated version to get access to the new content. With a mobile site (using a launcher) it maintains the one-touch convenience, but pulls new content each time it’s accessed – without relying on Apple or Android approvals. Another popular way to engage mobile users is with Quick Response (QR) codes or Microsoft’s Tags. These bar-code-like squares help to bring an offline experience online and into the mobile device in a variety of different ways. Businesses can place these codes on brochures, in posters, on the back of business cards and any other location where it would be advantageous to present the reader with an opportunity to “learn more”. The reader uses their smart phone to scan the code and it can perform variety of functions such as creating a text message for more information, re- directing you to a website (hopefully it’s mobile formatted), and delivering contact information. Turning Your Phone into a Payment Device While we’re not to the point where we can leave our wallets at home and rely entirely on our mobile device as a cash-alternative, the day likely will come when transactions are an accepted function for everything from getting a bottle of water out of a vending machine to traditional retail shopping excursions. Even the banking industry is recognizing that consumers want to get their financial information on their mobile device; Forrester predicts that by 2015, over 50 million consumers will be using mobile banking in the US alone and Deloitte’s Future of Mobile Payment Survey finds that close to 40% of Gen Y consumers prefer mobile banking over traditional channels, a demographic already actively engaged in mobile communication and social networking activities. Even from a purely economic perspective, delivering information via a mobile device is much more cost-effective for businesses. Continuing on with the banking theme, you can see from this graphic from TowerGroup and Fiserv/M-Com that it costs a financial institution an average of $0.08 Whitepaper: Mobile. Simplified.Copyright ©2012 RAM. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Page 7 of 12
  • 7. Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work to fulfill a transaction on a mobile device compared to $4.00 if a customer visits a branch office. Taking this information and extrapolating it to your business, are there ways that you can connect (and more efficiently deliver value) via a mobile device and help reduce costs and increase your profit margins? Text Messaging – It’s Not Just for Teenagers According to a recent Pew Research Study, some 83% of American adults own cell phones and almost three quarters of them (73%) send and receive text messages. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 110 messages per day, which is over 3,200 per month! But before we get into text messaging too much further, let’s define a few terms so that we’re on the same page. First we need to know the difference between SMS and MMS, with the former meaning “simple message service” or more of the traditional text-only messages that most everyone has received at one time or another. MMS on the other hand stands for “multimedia message service” and is when someone sends you a photo or video attached to their text message. While they can be more entertaining that a text-only SMS, MMS messages require more bandwidth, take a bit longer to process and sometimes present compatibility issues as older phones may not be able to support the video format being sent. For the purposes of business use, it’s recommended to use SMS (plain text) messages if you want to communicate to your customers via mobile. But why would a business want to do this at all? Well for starters, 95% of all text messages are opened and read according to CITA – The Wireless Association. Compared to traditional e-mail messages that can take up to 2 days to be seen, a text message is typically viewed within four minutes. That means not only does your message have a much higher chance of getting read, but it gets read quickly! But you may be wondering why this is the case? One key factor to communicating via a mobile device through text messages is to get permission and provide an opportunity for the recipient to “opt-in” of future messages (especially since some people still have to pay for text messages). While spam and other types of e-mail clogs our Inboxes, the mobile device Whitepaper: Mobile. Simplified.Copyright ©2012 RAM. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Page 8 of 12
  • 8. Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work and text messages services have largely been unaffected and when we get a text we know it’s coming from someone we trust. It could be a friend, family member, colleague or a message from a business that we’ve subscribed to. Text messages are very easy to “turn off” and a simple “stop” reply in most cases (depending on the platform) can keep future messages from showing up in the future. More Terms – Short Code and Keyword When someone opts-in to your mobile marketing program they will need two key elements, a short code and keyword. Think of the short code as the “phone number,” typically six characters in length and go in the “to” field in your text message program. These short codes are very expensive to buy on your own, so you typically get this from your mobile marketing vendor. In addition to the short code, you will send along a keyword that tells the owner of the short code what to do with the message once received. Each keyword can trigger a series of events (listed below) to interact and provide information automatically directly to the sender’s mobile device, making it a quick and easy way to communicate. While each vendor is different, you can likely expect to pay a one-time setup fee to get a mobile marketing account created plus an ongoing monthly fee for as long as you use the service. This monthly fee will likely vary depending on then number of keywords you wish to use as part of your mobile marketing efforts and how many messages you want to be able to send each month. Whitepaper: Mobile. Simplified.Copyright ©2012 RAM. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Page 9 of 12
  • 9. Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work Some Common Functions When you are ready to get started marketing your business online, here are just a few of the ways that you can interact via text messages and mobile marketing. While certainly not an exhaustive list, these are some of the more popular functions. Text-based voting Scheduling and reservations Polls and questions Social media syndication Mobile website linking Coupons and discount codes Auto responder and information E-mail notification Appointment reminders Industry Examples We’ve talked about the travel and banking industry thus far, but mobile marketing can be used by virtually any industry. Businesses need to be able to connect with their customers and prospects, which is at the heart of a mobile strategy, so can you take some of the functions mentioned above and see how they would fit with the following industries… Real Estate Automotive Restaurants and Bars Grocery Salon, Spa and Beauty “Mom and Pop” Hospitality and Entertainment Local Government and Civic Schools and Non-Profit Sports Financial Medical Travel and Transportation Consumer Products And Many More… Whitepaper: Mobile. Simplified.Copyright ©2012 RAM. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Page 10 of 12
  • 10. Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work Getting Started Once you’ve decided to engage in a mobile marketing strategy it’s important that you take the time to promote what you are offering to your target audience and get them to opt-in for future communication. Resist the urge of uploading all the mobile numbers you may have for your customers and start sending them text messages. Remember, some people still pay on a “per-text” basis and you certainly don’t want to be responsible for costing the recipient a fee for an unexpected message (not a good way to enhance a relationship). While it will take more time to grow your list this way, eventually you’ll have a collection of people who want to hear from you and value what you have to say. Offer helpful information that can make their lives easier, engage them with mobile-formatted content on a mobile-version of your website. Whitepaper: Mobile. Simplified.Copyright ©2012 RAM. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Page 11 of 12
  • 11. Mobile. Simplified. Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work More Resources from WSI... WSI specializes in Internet marketing for businesses of all industries across the globe. To learn how you can enhance your company’s online initiatives and grow your business online, contact your local WSI Consultant now. Visit http://www.wsiworld.com for more information. To receive a complimentary recording of WSI’s webinar “Mobile. Simplified – Understanding Mobile Marketing Strategies That Work” Get in touch with your local WSI Consultant now at http://www.wsiworld.com/ContactUs.aspx Whitepaper: Mobile. Simplified.Copyright ©2012 RAM. Each WSI franchise office is an independently owned and operated business. Page 12 of 12