Mobile Marketing: 3 Things That Small Businesses Should Do Right Now

Guest Post by: Chad Thiele (@chadjthiele)

Mobile MarketingAs I mentioned in my last blog post on the Strategy E-ssentials blog, the number of people who own smartphones in the United States continues to rise. As a result, it is becoming essential that businesses develop strategies to help consumers find information about their products and services when consumers reach for their mobile devices.

As with any area of business, it is highly recommended that you figure out what you are trying to accomplish before you get started. If you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish beforehand, how will you know if your mobile marketing campaigns are successful?

From there, you will want to carefully plan a strategy that will help you accomplish your goals. This includes, but is not limited to, identifying your target market, determining how you want to reach those consumers with your mobile marketing messages, how you want to let consumers know about your mobile marketing campaigns via other media channels, when and how long you want to run your mobile marketing campaigns, how you are going to measure the success of your mobile marketing campaigns and whether or not you have enough money in your budget to accomplish what plan to accomplish. That’s a lot to think about.

In some organizations, it might take some time to get approval to launch your mobile marketing campaigns.

In the meantime, there are three things that you can and should be doing right now that can help you get a better understanding of the mobile marketing landscape. These three things include: Using smartphones to familiarize yourself with the technology, claiming your business on location-based social networking sites, and researching, researching, researching.

Using Smartphones to Familiarize Yourself With the Technology

I’d suggest that any and all of your employees who are involved with your business’s mobile marketing efforts actively use smartphones in their day-to-day lives. It’s one thing to read about it, but in order to fully understand how some of these new technologies work, you really need to have firsthand knowledge about how customers interact. This will help you understand how your customers and potential customers might interact with your brand via their mobile devices. It will also help you identify usability issues that might influence where you want to focus your marketing efforts.

Claim Your Business on Location-Based Social Networking Sites

While location-based social networking sites haven’t gained widespread acceptance, there are still enough people using them to warrant taking the time to claim your business on these sites—most of the time it is free to do so. (Of course, this only applies to businesses with brick-and-mortar locations.)

Some of the most frequently used location-based social networking sites include Foursquare, Facebook, Google Latitude, SCVNGR, WHERE and Yelp. These are good places to start, but you also might want to ask you customers if they are using any of the other location-based social networking sites out there. You never know, you might have some tech savvy customers who are using the latest app that not many people know about.

By registering your business with the each of these services, you have the ability to make sure that it’s not claimed by someone else who might not have your business’s best interests at heart. In the process, you also ensure that your customers are finding the correct information when they look for your business on each of these sites.

Some sites also give you the ability to see how many people checked in at your location once you claim it. This is a great way to see if your customers are using the service. If so, you might want to consider offering a special (if possible) in order to encourage repeat visits or possibly gain new customers.

Furthermore, when you claim your business, you are often able to monitor what your customers and potential customers are saying about your business on these sites. This could give you the opportunity to recognize a great customer or help convert a critic into an evangelist.

Research, Research, Research

This is pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes the best way to create a successful mobile marketing campaign is to find out what has worked for other businesses and adapt that into your mobile marketing campaigns. More importantly, you might find out what not to do.

Also, it pays to ask your customers how they use their mobile devices and what types of communications that they think would be the most helpful to them. This can be done informally or via a survey. You never know, the results might surprise you.

Key Takeaways

Before you set up a mobile marketing campaign, it is highly recommended that you identify what goals you are trying to achieve and then map out a strategy that will help you achieve those goals.

Have everyone involved with your business’s mobile marketing efforts use smartphones in their day-to-day lives in order to gain firsthand knowledge of how consumers interact with brands via their mobile devices.

If your business has brick-and-mortar locations, claim your business on as many of the location-based social networking sites that you are aware of.

By doing your research on what has and hasn’t worked for other businesses, you can attempt to repeat their successes and hopefully avoid making the same mistakes. Also, be sure to find out how your customers and potential customers currently use their mobile devices and what types of marketing messages would be the most helpful to them.

 

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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.