Mobile Marketing – What is it exactly?
What is Mobile Marketing?
Mobile marketing is a term created with the advent of cell phones. Specifically, it is the activity of advertising
designed for mobile device users. Creating appealing promotions is an art form in itself. Mobile devices can
include, but not limited to smartphones, tablets and another other hand held devices that can connect to the
internet. Today’s mobile marketing tactics to employ mobile marketing techniques can range from a wide variety
of channels. The most popular channels in use today are mobile websites, Email, SMS, MMS, Social Media or
Mobile Applications. Mobile marketing usually involves some type of offer or value proposition that promotes
goods and services to users on mobile devices.
The History of Mobile Marketing
Did you know the first portable handset was invented in 1973 by Martin Cooper? It wasn’t until almost 20 years
later, when Neil Papworth, in 1992 sent the first text message from his computer to a friend’s mobile phone.
Thus, the birth of Mobile Marketing was born.
Mobile marketing started to become popular in parts of Europe and Asia in the early 2000’s. A Finnish news
provider offered free news headlines via SMS and was considered cutting edge technology at the turn of the 21st
century. The headlines were accompanied by sponsored advertising. This started a whole industry of mobile
marketing as marketers experimented with various streams of mobile marketing techniques. In 2003, SMS
marketing became an effective way of advertising by way of sending loyalty offers and other offers. These SMS
messages used something called shortcodes. Shortcodes are five or six digits numbers that are set up by
mobile carriers to be used specifically for mobile marketing campaigns. Messages could be sent directly to a
users mobile device via SMS (Text Message). When a user sends a message to the shortcode, they are
subscribed to a list. The owner of the list can then send SMS messages to an entire subscriber list. The user can
then text a word such as STOP back to the shortcode to stop all future messages. This became an effective
method of advertising to reach users. The read rate or open rate , when a user opens or reads your message was
very high and continues to be an effective method.
Today’s Methods of Mobile Marketing
SMS marketing (short message service marketing) also referred to as Text Messaging is a method where users
of cell phones opt in to receive messages on their devices. Usually, they send a message to a shortcode or cell
phone number. This process then subscribes them to receive messages via text message to their mobile device.
Owners of the list can then send promotional messages, such as offers to their list. This technique is very
effective with an industry average of 98% of users open and read SMS messages. SMS messages are also read
within three minutes of receiving them. Which makes it this technique one of the preferred methods of mobile
MMS (Multimedia Message Service) marketing is very similar to SMS marketing however, it can contain much
more rich content than just text. It can include text, images, audio and video. It is a much more rich content
experience that can play better to a users senses. It can also send more text characters of up to 1600 characters
in a single message. Due to the larger bandwidth needed to send such messages, it is typically more expensive
to send MMS messages.
Push notifications are the result of an application being installed on the users mobile device. The alerts are
pushed through the application. Mobile devices run an operating system that controls the hardware of the
device. Each operating system manufacturer have their own way of implemented push notifications. For
example, iOS, Android, Fire OS, Windows Mobile and Blackberry all have their own way of implementing push
notifications. A push notification is a message or alert that appears on a users mobile devices’ screen.
The benefit here is that the creators of the application can send the notifications at any time, and as many as
they like. There is NO cost to the user or to the creator. The messages are sent via the internet as opposed to the
cellular network like SMS and MMS. This is also a great way to send offers to users. It has a very high open rate.
Another effective technique is to create a mobile app that gives the users some type of value. A user will
download and install an app that they deem to have some value to them. It could be a free or a paid app. Mobile
applications allow marketers to include advertising in the app as an exchange for the value given to the user.
Finding the right app to build is key.
The Future of Mobile Marketing
With more and more users turning to mobile devices to shop and consume information, its obvious that today’s
businesses should be beefing up their mobile marketing strategy. In fact, one may argue that today’s businesses
should only be using mobile marketing as a way of gaining more customers and retaining existing ones. An
effective plan would be a strategy that encompasses all the techniques mentioned above. Using a service such
as Grapevine Club which offers all theses techniques at a low flat rate cost would be beneficial to any business.
The number of mobile users has surpassed the number of users on desktop browsers for searches and
commerce. This is mind, the number is only expected to grow even further. If want to beef up your strategy or
start using mobile marketing, now is the time.