A Mini-Guide To Get Your Business Into The Hands Of Potential Customers – Part 1: Making the Case for Mobile Marketing Strategy

It might not appear as such, but mobile penetration is a reality. The humble cell phone morphed into a generation of smartphones and tablets. Today’s consumers literally have information at their fingertips, and that’s news for businesses, because every consumer’s search for a solution could be potential business for smart businesses that manage to tap into the lucrative, surprisingly untapped mobile marketing.

According to Neilson, smartphone penetration grew to a whopping 54.9% of all U.S cellular subscribers, and at least 2/3 of all mobile phones purchased in the second quarter of 2012 have been smartphones. Thanks to the helpful graphic below (courtesy: Nielson), Android is the leading mobile operating system followed by iOS, Blackberry and others.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone, however, leads the pack when it comes to sheer number of smartphones purchased. Samsung follows surefootedly with 17.5% (17% Android and 0.5% Windows). HTC and Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) trail with 17.4% and 9% respectively.

What do these numbers mean for businesses? Apparently, everything!

Let’s talk marketing outreach

Mobileyouth.org claims that the youth mobile market alone has 1.8 billion cell phone accounts, and the mobile phone market for the youth alone stands at a staggering $360 billion each year, and this number is expected to grow at a whopping 50% for the next 4 years.

An Infographic from iStrategy reveals interesting numbers: more than half the population of the planet (4 billion and counting) has its fingers on the mobile phone (for comparison sake, there are just 1.5 billion television sets, 1.4 billion Internet users, and 480 million daily newspapers worldwide).

SMS Direct Marketing & Customer Engagement

There are over 3.05 billion SMS users worldwide, and there are almost 49 mobile phones for 100 hundred people in the U.S. SMS is still the undisputed king of mobile-based communications with close to 10 trillion messages by the end of 2013, according to Portio Research.

Would you like a few examples?

The English National Opera spends 500 GBP on SMS campaigns to rake in 8,000 GBP of gross profit. Dunkin Donuts delivered highly-targeted, well-planned SMS coupons – each worth $0.99 – to about 7500 opt-in customers, aided with some other forms of advertising – and rapidly saw 21% increase in footfalls across its stores in the U.S, according to Callfire.com.

Every customer who opts-in for mobile messages from a business is another golden opportunity for targeted campaigns, and high-value customer engagement.

What are you going to do?

Linking Offline Advertising With Online Marketing

QR codes are small, seemingly inconsequential, barcode like square-shaped elder cousins of the humble 2D barcode. Yet, there lies the potential for businesses to be able to finally link their traditional advertising methods – from newspapers, magazines, business cards, flyers, brochures, all the way up to tickets, and even airline boarding passes – to online marketing campaigns. Every smartphone with an app that can decode a QR code is the gateway that businesses can use to route customers to sign-up pages, landing pages, e-commerce sites, or perhaps just a simple webpage with more information about an offer (originally made traditionally).

A squarecode.biz feature reveals the following examples: L’Oreal got this unique, and quirky, idea of placing QR codes inside taxis during the New York fashion week, which saw an increase of 80% more L’Oreal mobile app downloads and 7% more purchase rates. In another interesting example, Heinz deployed a QR code campaign that saw more than 1 million scans, which led customers to a page that explains how Heinz does eco-friendly packing, an opportunity for customers to indulge in games or quizzes, etc.

One code. Multiple benefits. Innumerable opportunities. Interesting, isn’t it?

Mobile marketing is here to stay. In part 2 of this mini-guide, I’ll take you through an idea list for launching campaigns on mobile, some resources, and tons of ideas to put your business in the hands of billions of potential customers.

Are you ready?