The way we look for information continues to evolve quickly. A few years ago a mobile marketing strategy was nice-to-have. Now it is a must-have. In fact, it should be your marketing strategy, not an addition to it.
Customers are on the go and inundated with possible sources of information. To succeed now and into the future you need to be able to engage them seamlessly across social media, your website, and email. You also need consistency across all the devices they use. For small and mid-sized business people that can be a big, complex task.
Your customers may be at home on a desktop, traveling with a tablet, or walking or driving in your neighborhood with a smartphone. Will they find you? Will their experience with your brand be good on each device and each touch-point? Let’s try to boil it down into a some easy steps to think about to create your (mobile) marketing strategy.
- Get insights into your customers’ buying behaviors. Marketing and strategy start with understanding exactly who your target customers are and their behavior for making a purchase decision.
- Who are they?
- What kind of devices do they use when?
- When do they make a decision to contact you or come into your business?
- What information is most helpful to them to engage with your business?
- How do they most often contact you?
- What times of day do they look for information about you?
Answering these questions will help to guide your strategy. Don’t know the answer to these questions? Then it’s time to start asking. Ask your customers individually. Conduct an online survey. Look for market research online relevant to your location and industry.
- Only invest in a mobile app if you have business justification. Most small and mid-sized businesses will find the cost and usage of a mobile app to have a negative return on investment. While smartphone users spend a lot of time using apps, they primarily use about five very popular ones, like Facebook, Google, etc. Don’t worry if you don’t have a mobile app. Many people prefer to use a mobile web browser rather than load up their device with niche apps.
- Create a consistent experience across channels. Your brand image and value proposition should be the same across the web and social media platforms. Your customers interact with you across multiple channels even for one purchase decision. Make sure they can easily link back and forth. And make sure the key information about location, phone number, and email are consistent.
- Time some content posts to customer behavior. Do you have customers streaming off a cruise ship at certain times? Do you see most of your business late afternoon and early evening? Timing some of your content posts to those times may engage people in social media or email at just the time they want or need to interact with your business.
- Run mobile ads on social media. Facebook is now a pay-to-play platform for businesses and other are moving that direction. But you can reach your on-the-go audience by running pay per click mobile ads on the social media platforms where they spend their time.
- Test and refine. Try out your strategy. Use the data on what works and what doesn’t work to refine or modify your strategy. Ask customers for feedback in person and online to guide what adjustments you may need to make.