Mobile Marketing 101, the Entrepreneur Edition
Many years ago, when your father, or your father’s father were the CEO of their company they were scratching their heads talking about direct mail. Wondering if a piece of mail, which was used primarily for communication, would be an effective way to market goods or services. It was. I assume that is why there was zero hesitation for marketers to get involved when text messaging started catching on as a form of communication in the early 2000’s. The problem was that they did it all wrong. They didn’t value the relationship you need to have with someone to market to them in today’s world. Instead, they treated it like e-mail, they sold lists of numbers, pumped generic marketing messages and caused tons of complaints. Who did the phone owners complain to? To their carriers of course, carriers who had nothing to do with the spam, extra charges, or problems that text message marketing were causing. It took a few years, but that is all cleaned up. Having worked in Mobile Marketing for the past 4 years, I’ve not only seen the amazing results it can produce, but how adopted it is by the consumer when the relationship is treated with respect. Because this results in such successful campaigns, the price tag on Mobile was fairly expensive. Well just like everything else, the technology has caught up (for most companies) and Mobile Marketing can now be adopted by virtually any type of business.
So how does it all apply to you? The under 30, entrepreneur. Short of me doing several hundred thousand “Needs Analysis’,” I’m not going to be able to answer that question. But you’ve had the determination, knowledge, and business skills to get you this far so I’m confident that with the simple education I’m going to provide you on Mobile Marketing and its capabilities, you’ll be able to do your own needs analysis.
SMS Campaigns. This means text messaging campaign. SMS Stands for Short Messaging Service. Through advertising and marketing you would tell your potential clients to text a Mobile ID (aka keyword, trigger) to a short code. (shorter than a phone number, easier to remember. For example, whip out your device and text the word CEO to 88500.) The end user who texted in will then receive the desired information on their mobile device through what is most commonly referred to as a “Bounceback Message,” it’s just a return text message. Perhaps the desired information was contact info, a coupon, or entry into sweepstakes, either way that mobile phone number is now part of a database of numbers that have texted that Mobile ID. A database that lives on your mobile marketing providers secure servers, and only you can market to. However, you must value the relationship because that end user can opt out and be removed from your list at any time, legally. Also, you can insert a unique Mobile ID into each advertising campaign you run, this will allow you to monitor the effectiveness of those ads, based on how many people text in after hearing or viewing it.
Best common practices for SMS Campaigns: Keep messages to one text message: 160 characters or less. When doing an offer or coupon try and stick to the “buy one get one free” formula. Never push a text message to your database more than once a week; ideally you should try to stick to no more than twice a month.
WAP Site. WAP stands for Wireless Application Protocol, but in the simplest term, it’s a mobile website. And yes, I promise that there is a big difference between a regular website, and mobile website. You must consider that there are over 5,600 mobile phones that are web enabled. Not many of them are the upper tier smart phones. So if you’ve ever considered an App for a smart phone, (iPhone, Blackberry, Droid) you must recognize that you’d be only catering to a small portion of your audience. Should you have an App and a Mobile Website? Some people think you should, others think you should just have an App for each smart phone and call it a day. Having done this for so long, and watching the importance and usage of the mobile internet skyrocket recently, I urge everyone I speak with to have a Mobile Website first. Establish your presence on the mobile web that everyone and anyone can see. Then if your budget allows, you can cater to the upper tier of phones.
Gateway App. This is very cool, and very cost effective. A gateway app is an application icon on a smart phone that launches…. Are you ready for this… your mobile website…. Do you have an iPhone or Blackberry? Text MOBILE to 88500. The link in the bounceback text message will bring you to our WAP site, which will prompt you to download the Gateway App. So basically you get to achieve your goal of having an App, but for the cost of a mobile website and a gateway app. Take it from me, it’s much less expensive.
Social Networking. Sure you have a Facebook fan page, a Twitter account, maybe even a YouTube channel or MySpace page. You are putting your in all social networks so that a potential client or customer will be able to find you no matter which network they are on. Using mobile technology (Text Campaign that links to your Mobile Website) you can simplify this for you, your marketing, and your potential customers. To view a 20 second flash video about “Connecting Your Links,” go here: http://mobilecardcast.com/social/ or text CONNECT to 88500 to view a mobile web demo on your phone.
Pricing and choosing a mobile marketing provider. As many companies are 3rd party resellers of another companies mobile platform, you want to avoid paying those extra “middle man” charges. The world of mobile is still a bit “unknown,” to the majority of businesses so many companies are over charging for their services. An easy way to determine if a company is a reseller or not is to text the word, HELP to their short code. The company who owns the short code will be listed in the return text message.
Just like anything else in this world, there is plenty more to learn. Especially with the technology changing at the rate that it does. You should now have the basic knowledge of mobile marketing that will kick start the creative part of you to come up with unique or specific ways that your business can apply it. Also, it’s very customizable. Our technology powers market updates for specific types of businesses, or weather alerts, it allows information on demand, and the ability to help businesses database and market to consumers where they don’t receive spam and they will still give you some piece of their attention. Mobile marketing may have started off on unstable grounds, but now that the foundation has been fixed, when used correctly it’s the only true form of direct marketing.
By Michael Batiste.
VP Business Development at Mobile Card Cast
Join Mobile Card Cast for a free online webinar on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 4pm – 5pm EST. The webinar will be an education/information style presentation of the use and advances of the mobile internet. In addition the CEO of Mobile Card Cast, John Lim will be speaking on Mobile Strategies and how to increase ROI using mobile technology.
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