Mobile Myths Busted
Mobile devices have become one of the most important players on the marketing scene. Just look at everything people use them for—communication, leisure, Angry Birds…the list goes on and on. One of the most important things people use it for is research. From looking up deals in neighborhood restaurants to deciding whether to buy product A or product B, it’s become an indispensable tool for many consumers. But behind the shiny buttons popping out from your touchscreen is a field that’s still clouded in a lot of mystery. Even expert marketers are still trying to get a grasp on it. So to help you understand it better, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest mobile marketing myths.
1.) It’s for Millenials Only
True, it was a millennial who invented Facebook, and the 18-33 set are a much more tech-savvy group than others. But according to Digiday, over half of the individuals using mobile technology are over 35. In fact, a 2011 Nielsen study showed that baby boomers are adopting mobile technology faster than their younger counterparts. So if you think that you shouldn’t bother with mobile marketing because the group you want to attract belong to an older set, think again. Older generations are toting their smartphones and tablets around with them, and you can’t afford not to miss out on reaching them because you think they’re behind the times.
2.) It Doesn’t Matter
“Mobile’s not important.” That’s what Barbara Williams-Pamplin, the mobile marketing global practice lead for Microsoft, touts as one of the biggest mobile marketing myths. According to Pamplin, some businesses believe that their normal sites can be seen easily enough in mobile devices. Therefore, mobile optimizing isn’t needed. But that just isn’t true, and it’s a dangerous pattern of thought. For one thing, users are likely to turn to a business with a website that is primed for mobile content. For another, not all users may use their devices in the same way, so tweaking your website’s appearance for different devices can only help your business. As Pamplin says, “content and input methodology needs are different.”
3.) It’s Only for Apple Devices
Sorry to tell you this, Apple users, but contrary to popular belief, you’re not the top dogs of the smartphone world. As of August 2012, Google’s Android phones ranked as the top smartphone platform, owning 52.6% of the market share. What this means for your business is that in addition to thinking about your customer’s buyer personas, you also need to think about the different devices that are dominating the market. If you’ve been optimizing only for Apple products, it’s time to start shifting focus to Android products, too.
4.) It’s Only Good for Big Businesses
Au contraire, friends. Mobile marketing can actually be a great boon to business for smaller companies. Having a smaller base of customers makes SMS marketing easier. You can also enable check-ins so that customers can receive special discounts in exchange for reporting that they stopped in on sites such as Foursquare or Yelp! Mobile marketing can be a great way to connect with customers outside of your regular social media efforts—plus, using advertising with QR codes will help curious customers learn more about your company.
5.) It Only Involves Apps
Mobile marketing goes beyond just apps. It also includes mobile-optimized websites, QR codes, and even text messaging. We’ve covered the importance of mobile-optimization and touched on the benefits of QR codes—here’s how text messaging marketing works: just like with an email list, users can opt in to receive marketing messages from you via text. According to Forbes, it’s as of yet a largely unexplored terrain, but it could be something for your company to consider. Text message marketing expert James Citron says that out of 100 customers who opt in to a business’s text program, 95 of them open and read the message within 3 minutes of receiving it.
6.) Mobile Is All About the Device
Mobile marketing is more about the context it’s used for, rather than the device itself. Jim Cuene, director of interactive marketing at General Mills says, “It’s about a mindset, a user context and need states. The phone is just a tool.” Essentially, you have to think about the person behind the device—the user. One great way to get a sense of the person behind the phone? Ask them what their experience using your site on mobile devices has been like. Ask if there’s anything that could be done better.
Mobile marketing is a powerful tool for attracting business and getting your name out there. We may not know everything about it yet, but we do know this: If you’re not taking advantage of mobile marketing, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. You want your customers to be where you are, so why not optimize your website for mobile? You’ll never be more than a few touches of a screen away.
image credit: Witthaya Phonsawat/freedigitalphotos.net