No Longer a New Concept: Mobile Marketing a Must for SMBs

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    Leveraging Technology to Enhance Customer Experience

    As one of the fastest growing marketing areas, mobile marketing is becoming a necessary aspect of small to midsize business (SMB) digital campaigns. Recent data places the newest marketing trend solidly at the top of the marketing mountain when we consider mobile usage, mobile ad revenues and mobile shopping trends.

    Laurie McCabe, a partner with the SMB Group, recently cited the “SMB Group Perspectives Report: Top Trends in Marketing Automation and How Vendors are Helping SMBs Capitalize on Them” in helping her rank technologies that SMBs “must consider” in 2015. According to McCabe, the increased use of mobile devices by consumers means that SMBs “must optimize the buying journey” for smartphones and other mobile devices:

    At a basic level, this means, for instance, that email campaigns and websites need to be automatically rendered and optimized for devices from laptops to smartphones. But many more areas also need to be addressed. For instance, should an SMB develop mobile apps or mobile websites, or use text messaging to connect with customers—or all of the above?

    A lot of these answers will depend upon the SMB’s budget, internal marketing resources, and recommendations from vendors that help bring mobile marketing tactics to life.

    But there’s no arguing the fact that mobile marketing is on the rise. MobileMarketingWatch provided an infographic filled with data on how quickly mobile marketing is overtaking digital marketing for many businesses. The graphic shows that when searching for information, 50 percent of mobile consumers begin their searches from their smartphones, and 46 percent of smartphone users say they rely on their mobile devices as “their primary search tool.” Other important mobile data includes:

    • 91 percent of smartphone users check email at least once per day from their phones.
    • 76 percent use their smartphones for social media at least once a day or more.
    • 62 percent rely on their mobile device to read daily news.
    • 35 percent of in-store shoppers comparison check prices of items on their smartphones.
    • 31 percent of consumers look up product information from their smartphones while shopping in-store.

    According to the same infographic, Emarketer has predicted that mobile ad spending will “hit $64 billion in 2015 and $158 billion by 2018.” Those are huge numbers in the advertising world.

    But besides predictions, are there more concrete numbers on the effectiveness of current mobile marketing campaigns? The results of a recent Smart Mobile Cross Marketing Effectiveness (SMoX) study give an insightful look at the power of in-market campaigns. Though the campaigns include giants such as Walmart, Coca-Cola and MasterCard, the study may very well convince many digital marketers to sink more money into their mobile markets. The report originated with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), which told Mobilestorm that:

    “The study also showed that mobile is a strong driver of campaign performance across the entire purchase funnel. From upper funnel metrics like awareness and image, to purchase intent and actual behavior (foot traffic or sales), the empirical evidence proves that mobile has a fervent contribution to campaign results, justifying a double-digit allocation of the entire media budget (not just digital) to mobile.”

    Though MMA provided some data from its report via news release, the full report is only available for attendees of its NY Forum and SMoX Roadshows in Chicago and San Francisco in April.

    Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

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