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Don’t Make These Common Mobile Marketing Mistakes

Mobile marketing – interacting with your customers via their smartphones and other mobile devices – is exploding. And it’s really no wonder. Canada is fast approaching the 100 percent wireless penetration rate, something already seen in several European countries.

Consumers want to use their phones to research product options, look up basic details like store locations and operating hours, and, increasingly, even conclude the transaction. In fact, according to research firm Yankee Group, the value of global mobile transactions, which was pegged at nearly $250-billion in 2011, is now forecast to rise to four times that amount by 2015.

The facts and figures behind this trend clearly communicate the enormous potential for your business to tap into. However, it’s important to keep in mind that mobile has its own unique requirements, so you’ll need to proceed carefully to set your business up for success.  Here are common mistakes you should avoid when launching a mobile marketing campaign:

Making your mobile site a mirror of your regular site
Not only is real estate at a premium on the tiny screens of smartphones but mobile customers are looking for different things when they access your website on the run.

For example, marketing research company QualQuant Signals recently discovered that virtually half of all visitors to a retailer’s mobile site were trying to find a store that carried a product. These visitors were exhibiting a clear intent to buy and yet well more than half of them failed to locate a store.

To ensure visitors can gain access to what they’re looking for, you’ll first need to gain a clear understanding of why customers are visiting your mobile site, and then you’ll need to streamline the site’s design to make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for.

Not modifying your advertising for mobile
When advertising first appeared on the web, many businesses made the mistake of simply running their existing campaigns on this new medium. They quickly learned that didn’t work very well. The same now holds true for mobile, so be sure to avoid simply running smaller versions of your desktop banner ads.

Mobile offers exciting new possibilities for creative strategies unique to this new medium. For example, Turkish ice cream maker Cornetto projected a game on the walls of a large building in Istanbul’s Taksim Square and allowed players to use their mobile phones to interact with it and win free ice cream. Closer to home, U.S. department store Macy’s used custom QR codes and SMSs to send exclusive video to their customers with fashion tips and advice from the retailer’s designers and fashion experts.

Letting your customers showroom in your store
“Showrooming” describes a new consumer behaviour that sees shoppers review physical products in a bricks-and-mortar store and then use their mobile devices to find – and buy – a lower-priced equivalent from an online merchant.

You can blunt this activity by inviting customers to check in on their mobile devices when they’re in your store, and then rewarding them for doing so by offering them discount codes or specials that entice them to buy from you.

Not making the most of high-end mobile experiences
Wireless speeds, like those offered by Canada’s largest LTE network, are getting much faster and the screen size of new mobile devices like the Blackberry Z10, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Sony Xperia ZL are getting much larger. This means you can make the mobile marketing experience a far more visual one, using high-quality images to show products, making the most of geo-location applications to help customers find the store nearest to them, and even using video for product demonstrations and promotion.

Failing to track the powerful analytics mobile offers

What consumers do when they’re on your site, whether web or mobile, is the sort of critical data that businesses should be collecting and analyzing. However, it’s important to keep in mind that mobile offers new layers of potent analytics that are often overlooked. Perhaps the most important of these is location, which can tell you exactly where your campaigns are most effective, allowing you to focus your resources on the right geography.

Being too intrusive

While taking advantage of the intelligence mobile marketing has to offer, the biggest mistake a business can make is being too intrusive. Never has it been more important to obtain your customers’ permission before engaging with them in the attention-grabbing and interactive fashion that mobile allows.

The bottom line
Marketing is all about building long-term relationships with customers that persist beyond a single transaction. The pervasive relationship people have with their mobile devices makes them powerful conduits through which you can interact with your marketplace. Don’t abuse that power: tread carefully, and be respectful.

Does your business have a mobile website? How do you approach mobile marketing? Share your thoughts and experiences with us via the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you.

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