==== ====Hello from user.www.example.com==== ====Gone MobileThe world is not going mobile, it has already gone!There are more than 4.6 billion mobile phones in the world today; one each for 67% of the worldspopulation. This is about four times the number of desktop and laptop computers. More than 50%of internet search worldwide was conducted from mobile phones in 2010 (T.Ahonen Consulting).SMS Text messaging is the most widely used data application on the planet today - by far!Most people simply will not go anywhere without their mobile phone. A lost credit card is reportedwithin one day but a lost mobile phone is reported within 30 minutes (VISA 2009).What does this mean for Australian businesses? Firstly it means understanding the implicationsand opportunities of the mobile phone and mobile marketing is critical now. For example anybusiness that has a website needs to ensure it is compatible with mobile search. Approximately 10- 15% of all internet searches in Australia today are done via mobile phones. Beyond that it meansthat a mobile phone communications strategy needs to be embraced and implemented, now.Many Australian customers and clients are already using their mobile phones to find services, tosearch for products, to make purchases, and as a way of staying informed about their favouriteplaces and brands.The speed at which these changes have taken place, particularly the adoption of smart phonesand mobile internet browsing in the last two years, has left many, many Australian businesses inits wake. There is a general understanding that the mobile phone is strategically important andpresents new opportunities, but the question is: "What does it mean for me and how can I startusing it to benefit my business?"Mobile Marketing: Where to start?The first thing to know about mobile marketing is to not think about it as marketing. A much betterdescription is mobile engagement. This is not just semantics, it is important to think differentlywhen considering how to incorporate the mobile phone into todays communication strategy.The word communication suggests having a direct conversation with your customer. Marketinghas traditionally followed the broadcast model: tell your message to as many people as possibleand hope that it will be relevant to a few. That model is rapidly becoming less acceptable to manycustomers and certainly less effective in todays crowded and diffused media environment.
The opportunity exists today via mobile systems to have a direct one-to-one relationship withevery individual customer in a way that has never been possible before and at a cost that hasnever been possible before.We all know that there are now more mobile phones in Australia than there are people. We knowthat no-one leaves home without taking their mobile phone and that it is seen as a personal andprivate space.It is not necessary to market to customers via their phone, by engaging with them instead theresults and rewards can be well beyond what can be achieved through any other media. It isimportant to remember that the customer has given permission to engage directly with them intheir personal space and that must be respected.Your customers have given you permission to contact them via their mobile phone because theywant to hear from you. They want to know what is happening with your brand and products. Theydont want to be sold to because they are already sold. They are loyal, engaged customers thatwant to be kept informed.This goes to the heart of what is different about engaging with customers and clients via themobile phone: you know that they already have a relationship with your business and that bygiving you their mobile number they have said "I am interested and want to hear from you. I amtrusting you." If this is the case, and given that it is seven times easier to sell to an existingcustomer than to a new one... it is time to start talking!Most Australian business owners and marketing managers, when asked, say they want to startusing mobile marketing, but many dont know how or where to start.The easiest way to put a toe in the water is by using SMS. It is fast, easy, inexpensive, veryeffective and widely accepted. It is possible to stay in touch with a customer every month for lessthan $2 per year using SMS. That means putting your brand in their hand, and in their head, everymonth for just a few cents! If just one of those messages influences their behaviour once duringthe year then your payback will be very significant. The ROI from SMS engagement is shown to bewell above any other form of marketing.The primary use of the mobile phone is no longer for voice calls, it is for text messaging. InAustralia we send, on average, five SMS messages per person every day. It is very widely usedand accepted. SMS messages are quick, easy to consume, personal, immediate and notintrusive.Most of us have by now experienced receiving an SMS appointment reminder or a reminder for abill that needs to be paid. These are personal - they relate specifically to me - relevant and helpfuland as such we are happy to receive them. Applying the same rules when thinking about mobilecommunications with your customers will ensure that SMS messages are welcomed and seen asdelivering improved customer service.A simple "Thanks for purchasing from us yesterday. If you have any questions about yourpurchase please call us on..." can have a powerful impact on your customers: increasing theirloyalty, repeat purchase and recommendation to others. Dont imagine that you must type this out
each time on your phone and send it manually; there are systems available today that will do thisautomatically.Mobile WebsitesEvery SMS message can also include an active link to a mobile website. More than 60% ofphones in Australia today are internet enabled and approximately 10-15% of internet searches aretoday from mobile phones, up from near zero a couple of years ago. Within another 1 - 2 yearsthese numbers will have again grown exponentially.The simple SMS message now becomes the starting point for much broader and deeper customerengagement. The mobile site can include information about new products, promotions,competitions, or contain photos and videos. Alternatively you can ask for feedback, request asurvey to be completed, or provide contact details and a map showing your location.Mobile internet is not used in the same way as desktop internet. Over 50% of mobile search todayis used by people wanting to either call or locate a business they already know: they are not doingresearch, they just want to find you. So the mobile site needs to have contact details and Click toCall and Click to Find buttons prominently displayed.This also means that the best way to get visitors to come back regularly to a mobile website to seeupdated information is by sending them a regular SMS with a link to the site.Things to watchOne of the most often asked questions regarding Mobile Marketing is: "How frequently should ISMS my customers?" The correct answer is of course: "It depends". Communicating too frequentlyor not frequently enough can both be bad.For some businesses sending a message every week is OK. If there is something new to say eachweek then customers will not mind hearing about it. The overarching principal still applies that allmessages must be relevant, helpful, timely and engaging.On the other hand too infrequent communication can look like the relationship is not important,that messages are only sent when you want something, for example when another Sale is on. Formany businesses a message once per month is well accepted and appreciated by customers.The first time a business uses mobile marketing it is very important for their customers to knowthat they are in control of what arrives on their personal mobile phone. Tell them how to opt-out.Be clear that receiving the messages is not costing any money and they can easily opt-out ofreceiving them at any time. This puts your customer in the drivers seat and they are more likely tostay happily opted-in.It is also a requirement under the Australian SPAM legislation that people must have opted-in toreceive communications from a business and be able to easily opt-out of any electroniccommunications. If you use one of the SMS Marketing service providers it is important to checkthat they are SPAM Act compliant in all areas.
When to startThere is no question that engaging with your customers more often is a great thing to do and thatusing the mobile phone is a great way to do it. It is personal, cost effective and widely accepted. Itimproves customer service, loyalty, repeat sales and the bottom line.So, whether we call it mobile marketing or mobile engagement one thing is certain: every businessshould consider the mobile phone as an important part of their communication strategy in 2011 -because the world is not going mobile... its already gone.James Robinson has spent 25 years in marketing consumer goods businesses in Europe, Asia,New Zealand and Australia. He is the founder of SMS Solutions Australia, one of the pioneerMobile Engagement agencies in Australia, and is passionate about the benefits of using mobile forcustomer engagement and retention for businesses of all sizes. He is a regular presenter on thetopic of Mobile Marketing. For more information about SMS Solutions Australia visitwww.smssolutionsaustralia.com.au or call 03 92793986.Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=James_E_Robinson