Mobile marketing for startups


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Mobile marketing for startups

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  2. 2. Table of Contents Mobile Marketing for Dummies.......................................................3 Mobile Marketing Using Texts/SMS................................................4 The Advent of User-Controlled Media............................................5 Mobile Codes Make Mobile Marketing a Breeze............................6 Advertising through Apps ................................................................7 Bluetooth Advertising Hits Hard......................................................8 Get Ready To Play With Advergames .............................................9 Mobile Video Brings Video Advertising to Phones........................10 Get Flashy With Flash Lite............................................................11 Making Mobile Web Count............................................................12 2
  3. 3. Mobile Marketing for DummiesKeeping track of the many different ways that companies can market their products andbrands in the modern age is getting more and more difficult. Itʼs getting to the pointwhere there is no conceivable shortage of ways to market your products, but the biggerproblem is that thereʼs so many ways that figuring out the best ones for your businessand how they all work can be quite a chore. Weʼre here to help.Mobile marketing is the cutting edge of advertising right now. The term “mobilemarketing” tends to refer to one of two ideas: the first one being marketing throughmobile devices such as cell phones, and the second one marketing through physicallymoving objects, such as moving billboards or road shows.For the intents and purposes of these articles, weʼre going to spend most of our timediscussing the first variety of mobile marketing. Getting on board with the second varietyis simple enough – at its very base, you could just nail a sign on the side of a truck andthat would fall under the second variety of mobile marketing.The first kind of mobile marketing, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly popularand breaking into it as a startup company is one of the best ways to hit the marketplacewith a bang. Mobile marketing has entered the stage where itʼs still consideredsomewhat revolutionary and a definite novelty, but is also mainstream enough that mostof the younger crowd will be receptive to the marketing.Most forms of mobile marketing are centered around mobile phones. Part of thereasoning why mobile marketing has taken off so much in the past few years has beenthe advent and popularity of smartphones. With the technology of phones andcomputers merging as rapidly as they have over the past few years, it should come asno surprise that the marketing wave generated by the spread of personal computers andthe increasingly ubiquitous nation of the Internet is starting to spread out into the mobilephone.If you are a startup company, particularly one who is trying to market to the thirty five andyounger set, taking a foray out into mobile marketing via cell phones and smartphones isan excellent choice if youʼre looking to make your products and brand stand on thecutting edge. Itʼs important to keep up with the times when it comes to marketing,particularly when youʼre working as a startup. Itʼs more important than ever to make aserious impression on the market when youʼre first launching yourself into it as abusiness – and mobile marketing is one way to make that happen. 3
  4. 4. Mobile Marketing Using Texts/SMSWhile this is not the most popular form of mobile marketing in the United States by along shot, the popularity of marketing via text message or SMS is so strong that itʼsdefinitely worth a mention. There are companies in the United States that do engage inmobile marketing through texting as well, but the restrictions on place in the UnitedStates have made this a harder avenue of media marketing to break into unless you area startup that has a lot of money to spend on advertising.Mobile marketing through text messages is exactly what it sounds like – a companysends out advertisements and other form of communication to customers through atexting service. This has been a very effective and popular form of advertisingthroughout Asia and Europe in particular, despite being unpopular at the onset due topeople being concerned about spam.If youʼre an American company, you might shy away from mobile marketing throughtexting, as it might give the impression that youʼre “bothering” the customer with yourtexts. While this might be true if mobile marketing through text is handled the same wayas “spamming” somebodyʼs inbox is through email, the reality of it is that mobilemarketing has found a great deal of purchase as an effective communication medium.The trick is making it an opt-in system. In fact, in the United States itʼs a legal obligationto make mobile marketing an opt-in, opt-out system, but this is the linchpin that keepsusing texting as a marketing medium from becoming spam. Using texts to get a hold ofpotential customers is actually a great way to engage with customers in a similar waythat the customers engage with their friends on a regular basis – through text. If youwatch commercials, youʼre likely to come across a company or two advertising theirmobile marketing through text methods. Most companies who use this sort of method inthe States put out print, television, or radio ads advertising the fact that interestedconsumers can contact the company through texting and get discounts and other suchpromotional offers through texting.If you as a startup are looking to take advantage of this version of mobile marketing,youʼll need to contact a mobile operator for whatʼs called a short code, or the numberthat your customers will have to text if theyʼd like to opt into your text marketing scheme.Short codes can be prohibitively expensive for smaller startups, though – often they costat least 600-1000 dollars a month to maintain. To waylay costs, though, you can teamup with another startup and split the cost of the short code. This is one great way youcan introduce text marketing into your repertoire without it costing you a mint. 4
  5. 5. The Advent of User-Controlled MediaOne of the major differences between mobile marketing and other forms is that itʼsconsidered a form of user-controlled media. What this means is that mobile media isentirely based on an opt-in scheme. With other forms of advertising, customers usuallydonʼt have much of a choice about whether or not the advertising is going to turn up intheir lives. For example, should a consumer be watching television, commercials areconsidered an inevitable part of the process. The consumer can always mute thetelevision or change the channel when the advertisements come on, of course, butthereʼs nothing the consumer can do about the commercial break taking place. Print adsand radio ads are similar – consumers can avoid them if they so wish, but thereʼs no waythat they can “opt out” of the radio playing commercials or the magazine advertisingproducts.With mobile marketing, however, the entire premise is based off of opt-in services.Should a consumer wish to join your text marketing campaign, theyʼre the ones thathave to dial your companyʼs number to start receiving information. If the customer neverdoes so, then you as the company can never send them advertisements through mobilemeans. Thanks to privacy concerns as well as the popularity of the “do not call list” inaddition to other anti-advertising factors that have become prevalent on phones in thepast few years, itʼs entirely impossible to go about sending unsolicited advertisements tocustomers through mobile devices and have it be a legal operation.This presents a unique challenge to the company that is trying to get its message outthrough mobile media – namely, often companies must advertise the fact that theyʼredoing a mobile media campaign. This might seems somewhat counterintuitive given thatthis boils down to advertising the advertising, but the gains that can be reaped fromusing mobile media advertising are so attractive that any startup with the money tospend on a mobile media campaign will almost certainly see results.The great thing about mobile media is that it allows companies to get in contact withusers the way that friends contact each other. Texting is considered a non formalmedium of contacting, and being able to establish a rapport with customers on thispersonal level goes a long way toward building brand affinity and a more personalrelationship with the customer.If youʼre a startup looking to get into the area of mobile marketing, understand that thebenefits might not be as immediate as those you might experience with other kinds ofmarketing. However, this avenue can give you a long-lasting personal relationship withcustomers. It really helps if you can find another company to help waylay the costs withyou and enter into mobile marketing as a joint venture. If you do this, then youʼre likelyto see more immediate returns on your investment sooner. 5
  6. 6. Mobile Codes Make Mobile Marketing a BreezeMore traditional forms of mobile marketing might involve strapping an advertisement tothe back of a van and driving around. Thankfully due to the relentless drive of technologystartups and others companies can now work with more advanced methods of gettingthe message out to their customers in a mobile manner. Text message advertising isone of the more basic forms of using this type of technology to get the point across toconsumers, but now thereʼs even more advanced ways of doing so.One of the increasingly popular methods of mobile marketing can be found in QR mobilecodes. You might have seen strange little white stamp-like stickers around that possessblack squares and flecks printed on them. These arenʼt strange little works of graffiti art– theyʼre actually methods of advertising!With a QR mobile code, a certain message is inscribed within that pattern of white andblack. The way that a consumer accesses the advertisement is to take a picture of thebox with a mobile phone. The mobile phone accesses the data in the code, and then thecustomer is taken to a certain point of advertising. This could be anything from a phonenumber that the ad signals the phone to call, a website, or an embedded video.The great thing about this kind of marketing is that itʼs relatively inconspicuous and hasan aura of mystery about it. The consumer, confronted with this strange little sticker, isoften compelled to take a picture of it and see what, exactly, the sticker is advertising.Itʼs a non-invasive way of advertising that definitely gets the attention of potentialconsumers and often whets their appetite for adventure.QR mobile codes can be used in a number of ways. Thereʼs the ubiquitous sticker, oftenfound on telephone poles or message boards, sometimes with no other advertisingmedium around it. If youʼd like to take a more proactive approach with it so that thecustomer knows what the mobile code is advertising, you can put a mobile code in printadvertising or even on a television screen. All the customer has to do is take a picture,and you can continue your advertising scheme though this unique and innovativemethod of mobile advertising.QR mobile codes are becoming increasingly popular among startups due to theirsomewhat secretive nature and the way that they can pique curiosity among theconsumer. Itʼs a less in-your-face method of advertising that consumers enjoy – itʼsalmost like going on an Easter egg hunt and seeing what might be inside of the egg. Ifyouʼre a startup looking for an innovative way to get your message out on the waves,consider QR mobile codes! 6
  7. 7. Advertising through AppsSmartphones have become a ubiquitous part of daily life, particularly for the younger set.Those of us who remember when cell phones first came out, roughly the size of a brickand just as heavy might be a bit bemused by the latest advances in technology.Nowadays, it seems as though the latest smartphones can do everything but physicallymake you dinner. There are definitely enough apps out there, however, to have thephone tell you how to make dinner, at the very least.On that note, apps are another way to harness the power of mobile marketing. This isan especially good one for startups to consider, as app development and implementationis actually one of the best ways to get the most out of mobile marketing for your money.For those who arenʼt exactly in the know, an “app” is short for the word “application.”Since smartphones are like mini computers but donʼt work in the exact same way, thereare certain programs that companies have developed to help smartphones functionmore like a traditional computer. These programs are the apps.Apps are extremely popular in todayʼs day and age, particularly given the prevalence ofsmartphones. There are apps that specialize on everything from coupons to fashion tolocating others in the area for potential dates. What does this mean for people who areinterested in mobile marketing? Creating an app is a great way to get your messageacross to users and help enhance your overall marketing presence.Companies can use apps to great advantage. Many larger companies either sell or giveaway apps to interested consumers, and then they pack those apps with either deals orgreat content to share with the consumers who have installed the apps on their phones.Having an app that centers around your business and products is a great way to keepyour loyal customers up to date on what your company is doing and how they can servethe consumer better.Not to mention, apps are definitely cutting-edge insofar as technology is concerned. Ifyou are able to offer you consumers an app for their smartphones, youʼre signaling tothe consumer that both you and your company are hip to the technological savvy of thepopulace. Youʼll be able to get your customers information on an as-needed basis.Apps can even help customers locate your stores or outlets if they should happen to bein an unfamiliar area and have a sudden Jones for your product.So if youʼre looking to break into the world of mobile marketing, you should mostcertainly give app development a second look. If you can get your idea into an app andonto the phones of your consumers, your consumers will most certainly be giving you asecond look as well – and a third, a fourth, a fifth, and as many more as fast astechnology can travel. 7
  8. 8. Bluetooth Advertising Hits HardOne of the newest ways of mobile marketing is through a device known as Bluetooth. Ifyouʼre not familiar with Bluetooth, itʼs time to get out from under the rock and back on topof the mountain of advertising. Bluetooth is a method of transmitting wirelessinformation from one device to another. If youʼve ever heard of wireless mice andkeyboards, the secret to their magic is Bluetooth – when a key is struck on a wirelesskeyboard, the Bluetooth connection registers the information and transmits it to thecomputer wirelessly, much in the same way that a wire would function to moveinformation in a traditional computer setup.This method can also be harnessed effectively for advertising purposes, particularly withthe development of smartphones. All smartphones these days come with Bluetoothprogrammed in so consumers can use wireless headphones and transmit informationfrom the device in a way other than traditional wireless communication. This Bluetoothtoggle is nearly always on, so the smartphone is receptive to information that could becasting around the area.This is a perfect way to step in for advertising. Bluetooth advertising works by setting up“hubs” in areas where you believe that interested consumers might be hanging out. Agood example of a Bluetooth hub might be at a mall, or a dining hall at a busy collegecampus. Any place where thereʼs a high density of people is a great place to set up aBluetooth hub. When a customer with a smartphone walks by that has Bluetoothactivated on his or her phone, the hub will pick up on it. At that point, the hub sends aquery to the customerʼs phone, asking if he or she would like the information that the hubis sending.The information sent by the hub can be anything from a screensaver to a coupon to alink to your website to ringtones to a multimedia display. Anything that can be sentwirelessly can be sent to a consumer through Bluetooth. The range of an individual hubcan be between 200 and 300 feet – so if youʼre at a convention or any place where thereare a lot of people wandering around, think of all the customers that can be queried byyour hub!If youʼre a startup who doesnʼt have a whole lot of money to spend on constant mobilemarketing campaigns, using Bluetooth technology can be a great way to get started,since it doesnʼt require constant costs. If youʼre heading to a convention or you have abooth in a mall, you can have a Bluetooth hub set up for that particular event. Evenbetter, you can track the amount of people who accept your Bluetooth-sent queries, soyou can effectively figure out how interested consumers are in your information andmake adjustments regarding the broadcasting of information and your Bluetoothofferings. 8
  9. 9. Get Ready To Play With AdvergamesPeople love video games. Even those who shy away from considering themselves“gamers” enjoy a bit of gaming every now and then – all you need to do is go sit onpublic transportation for a couple of hours to see the masses of people playing Tetris ontheir cell phones. Even those who havenʼt made the transition to the fanciersmartphones likely know how to play the snake game on their cell phones and probablyuse it to wile away the empty minutes every now and then.A savvy marketer sees this and starts dreaming of the possibilities. Bored consumers inlocations where they have nothing else to do but tinker with the video gamesprogrammed into their cell phones are a prime market to start dropping advertising hintsto. The numbers also back up the simple observations – over one third of cell phoneusers play video games on their cell phones at least occasionally. With this in mind, itʼseasy to realize that this is a gigantic portion of the population. In marketing terms, this isa gigantic portion of the population that could be looking at your advertisements.This is where the Advergame comes in. The name might be a little strange, but thereʼsnothing weird about how an advergame can help you get your marketing messageacross to an audience who often has nothing better to do than sit around and play yourgame. An advergame is exactly what it sounds like – a video game thatʼs beendeveloped with your products in mind. Advergames come in all levels of complexity –one advergame might just be simple Tetris with an advertising banner across the top ofthe screen, while another company with a larger budget might develop an RPG typegame that cleverly involves their products and services while offering the player acompetitive gaming environment.Advergames are a great avenue to explore if youʼre at all interested in using the verybest of technology to get the message across to your consumers. You also donʼt needto be very tech savvy in your own regard to get the ball started on advergamedevelopment – a simple search online will produce hundreds of companies who arewilling to help you design your very own advergame. All you need to do is come up withthe idea for it, and let the programmers take care of the rest. Even if youʼre looking for amore complex advergame, there is likely a storyboard artist who works at advergamecompanies who would be more than happy to help you create an advergame of yourvery own.Remember, the more compelling your game, the more contact youʼll have with thecustomer since theyʼll be inclined to play it longer. Come up with a compellingadvergame and you could have potential customers interacting with your advertisementsfor hours! 9
  10. 10. Mobile Video Brings Video Advertising to PhonesWhat if you could combine the very best of television advertising with a smartphone?Many companies are looking into doing just this, by developing what can only be called acell phone commercial. The basic tenants of this are exactly what they sound like – avideo clip is sent to a customerʼs cell phone, where they can watch your advertisementson the screen of the device. Consumers donʼt even have to have smart phones to bereached via this method of advertising, as even the most basic phones these days havecolor screens and are capable of viewing video.This might leave you scratching your head a bit – how would you get the mobilecommercials to your customers? And since mobile marketing is based so much on anopt-in system, how could you convince your customers to “opt in” to seeingadvertisements? In general, people dislike commercials on television and radio, so whywould using a mobile phone device make it different?The thing about mobile video commercials is that they are generally best paired up withother forms of mobile marketing so you can get the commercial to the consumerʼsphone. Itʼs true that you just canʼt start spamming the phones of customers withadvertising, even if itʼs the coolest mobile video ever. However, there are certainmethods that you can take to get this information to the customer, and get the customerto undertake the consumption of mobile video readily.One way is through the aforementioned QR mobile codes. With this method, theconsumer takes a picture of the mobile code and is then taken to the mobileadvertisement. In this way, the customer “opts in” to receiving the mobile video ad.Another way to do it is through Bluetooth projection, wherein a Bluetooth hub contacts ausersʼ cell phone and asks permission to input information onto the device. Should thecustomer accept, then the hub transmits the mobile video to them.If this is a method of advertising that youʼd like to undertake as a startup, it helps to pullin the advice of the professionals in order to do it appropriately. You donʼt want yourmobile commercial to be any longer than thirty seconds, or you risk annoying theconsumer. There are also specialty editing processes that go into making a mobilevideo show up well on a phone and also project good audio.Mobile commercials can include anything from real-life footage to animation to a straightup audio track. Itʼs all about how youʼd like to project an image of your company to themobile consumer. With the advent of increasingly complex technologies itʼs only rightthat the humble television commercial advance as well - and moving onto the mobileplatform is the next step along in visual, multimedia advertising. 10
  11. 11. Get Flashy With Flash LiteWhen most people think of advertising, they tend to think in more traditional terms of theword. This is natural, given that technology has advanced very rapidly in the past tenyears, and most people canʼt keep up with it as much as theyʼd like. While thistechnological advance has been going on, however, some things have remainedconstant in the world of advertising. Television ads and radio ads, for example, haveremained as a staple of advertising throughout all the technological upheaval that thelast twenty years have been. Aside from film and video quality getting better, the actualtenants of the advertising itself have been the same.However, when it comes to mobile marketing, itʼs more important than ever to thinkoutside of the box; given how new all the technology is that surrounds these devices.When people think “mobile marketing,” they often spend a lot of time wondering the bestways to convert traditional means of advertising onto a mobile format. While thiscertainly has its place and has been done with great gusto – the upswing in mobilecommercials is proof enough of that – there are other ways to advertise specifically tomobile phones that donʼt translate over into other devices.Flash Lite content advertising is one way of doing just that. You might be familiar withthe program Flash that creates animations for computers – Flash Lite is the mobile formof this art. What many companies are finding great success in is using Flash Lite tocreate animated wallpapers and screensavers for mobile devices and using these tomarket their products and services.Flash Lite content advertising is a great place for startups to begin if theyʼd like to makea foray into mobile advertising but donʼt have millions of dollars to spend on some of themore complex ways of doing so. A Flash Lite animation might cost a couple hundreddollars to produce, but then can be handed out to customers over and over again. Mostwho work with Flash Lite content advertising say that itʼs one of the most cost-effectiveversions of mobile marketing that is available right now.Also, consumers are much more likely to enjoy having animated background on theirmobile phones as compared to their desktop or laptop computers. Cell phones are stillseen more as entertainment devices as anything else and consumers are more forgivingtoward devices and apps that might be seen as “distracting” by computer users.So in the event that you are a startup company looking to enter into mobile marketingbut you donʼt have a limitless budget, consider looking into Flash Lite advertising. Itʼs agreat place to start with mobile marketing that wonʼt break your wallet. 11
  12. 12. Making Mobile Web CountMany people who own cell phones surf the Internet using them. Smartphones are nodoubt the best arena to be surfing the web in, but the truth of the matter is that even thesimplest cell phone these days likely has Internet capabilities. With this in mind,remember that more and more people are sitting around, stuck in traffic or waiting fortheir date to show up, tinkering with the Internet on their phone.If youʼre a business with a marketing mindset, then this information is doubtlesslymaking you wonder how you can best turn this to your advantage insofar as getting yourmessage across to the consumer is concerned. Having a website in general is one ofthe best ways to get yourself out there to the masses, and business websites are all butconsidered necessary these days to any business who wishes to get off the ground andadvertise to a wide range of potential clients. But what about clients who are surfing ontheir cell phones?The truth of the matter is that no matter how good your site looks on the computer orhow well organized it is, itʼs likely a little awkward for those who are working with mobilebrowsers. Regular websites are simply not calibrated to handle mobile browsers, andthe result is often squished graphics and confusing layouts.What can assist in this matter is a website that is specifically calibrated for the use ofInternet surfers using mobile phones. These specialty websites are often known as“WAP” websites, and generally project a truncated version of the companyʼs full website.WAP websites are a great way to get headlines and multimedia downloads to yourconsumers in a mobile format.Spending the money to develop a website that is specifically calibrated for a mobile webbrowser is another great way for a startup to break into the mobile marketing craze. Lotsof people surf the Internet on their phones, and being able to reach out to these surfersis a great way to make your mobile marketing dollar stretch farther than with othermethods. Also, if youʼre worried about certain kinds of mobile marketing being too“intrusive,” having a mobile website is a more latent way to take advantage of mobilemarketing while still getting in on the trend.In order to find people who can help you calibrate your businessʼ mobile website, youcan search online for companies that specialize in “mobile web development.” Thosewho do work in this department are different than traditional web designers, so be surethat you know who youʼre working with and what their capabilities are insofar as mobileweb design is concerned before making a commitment. 12