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There are more mobile phones in Australia than people. It makes complete sense, because it’s become a crucial part of our lives for business, a social tool for many and a just in case safety tool for parents to give their teenagers.

Mobile is a game changer. People don’t understand yet that mobile’s deliver a totally new means of interaction. Mobile marketing allows you to reach an audience that are plugged in 24/7. Don’t believe me? Just look at the mobile number of mobile phones that are on the table in a coffee shop, boardroom or on public transport in the hands of travelers.

So how do you use it in the correct way? The mobile phone is a very personal domain and not everyone is receptive to having an interruption by text. My recommendation is that you need to be invited. Start by asking if your customers want to use SMS etc for messages.

Treat this medium with respect because your customer can opt out and then you have lost them for good! You can’t really broadcast messages to your customers but you can add value to your customers via this technology.

Chuck Martin is an author who has written The Third Screen, he’s a mobile expert and talks about this revolution of mobile.

He explains the third screen this way:

1st Screen: TV – 2 billion TVs now – little interaction, lean back.

2nd Screen: PC –  1 billion which we interact (lean forward)

3rd Screen: Smart Phone – 5 billion people have a phone – interact differently – pull it forward and it is highly personal.

We have moved from the cell phone to smart phones. Smart phones have increased the functionality of the phone.

Most companies don’t understand that mobile is already in the hands of our customers. They are already using these devices to read, download, view movies, find restaurants, text and look for specials and pay for things.

Chuck explains that it is not just the technology but it is our interaction with the mobile phone that is really creating a new medium. Starbucks has been quick to leverage this technology by implementing ‘Scan your phone to pay.’

So, what’s happening on the phone is terms of using them as a marketing device?

Broadcast – TV on your mobile

QRC/ D2 code -2 dimensional codes/ Quick Response codes, bar codes that mobiles can read for offers or coupons.(scan buy)

Location based services marketing allow company to contact a customer. Get close to a store and they get offered a special deal.

Location based services, like Fourquare: Customer to customer interaction Check-ins, sharing deals offers via companies that are part of this network.

Apps – tools, games – Bump technology to scan business cards

MMS – Multimedia Messaging Service – is the evolution from existing SMS services to allow messages to be sent direct to consumer handsets with rich multimedia content. MMS is getting more click through on these for campaigns

Advertising on the screen or on apps.

SMS – to leave message for appointment confirmation, offers and tracking.

Search – on the phone is more about finding things. You are looking at things based on location.

Mobile sites – websites set up for smart phone or iphone viewing

So what should small businesses be doing?

1.What % of your customers have a mobile phone? Generally it is around 100%.

2. Start to collect mobile phone numbers of your customer in your database.

3. Satisfy the customers you have. Use SMS for customer service. (You can use a computer to do SMS)

4.  Add value to your customers.

5.  FInd out what your website looks like on a mobile or ipad. Does it work or should it be tweaked?

6.  Find out how your customers are using your phones and what phones they have.

Mobile is here to stay and it is a fantastic tool if used correctly – and is also very affordable!

Danielle MacInnis

Danielle MacInnis

Danielle is the business owner and founder of MacInnis Marketing, BrainJam, BeautyBizMarketing and The Simple Marketing System. A highly sought after strategic marketer, Danielle thinks like a customer. Since young she has shown deep empathy for others and uses this customer insight to help small businesses create practical marketing strategies that work.

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