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Mobile: Why ALL of Your Digital Strategy Must Change

How Smart is Your (Mobile) Digital Strategy?

I read this afternoon that more than 40% of Canadians that have cell phones actually carry smartphones in their pockets.

That’s 8 million people in Canada.

Impressive.

So … if you’re already comfortable with SMS marketing software like that at Tatango.com and just starting to get more into digital marketing, is upwards to 40% of your digital strategy focused on mobile tools or applications that are designed specifically for smartphones?

If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a list of activities:

Select Mobile Content Usage
September 2011
Total Canada Mobile Subscribers and Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0%
Sent text message 67.4 88.1
Used downloaded application 40.9 84.2
Accessed news and information 39.5 79.3
Used browser 36.9 74.8
Used email (work or personal) 32.7 69.3
Accessed Social Networking Site or Blog 29.2 60.7
Played games 28.0 53.2
Accessed weather 27.5 60.2
Accessed search 24.2 51.2
Listened to music on mobile phone 20.8 40.7
Accessed maps 20.1 44.4
Accessed sports information 14.8 31.5
Accessed entertainment news 14.2 29.5
Accessed bank accounts 13.5 28.8
Scanned QR/bar code with mobile phone 8.1 18.1

Again, wow.

Games, weather, apps, texting, news, email, maps, locations, reviews and music are all just a few colours of the full palette of opportunities with mobile marketing, so again, I ask the question: what specific strategies are you working on to ensure that these 8 million people find you while they’re doing the ‘Blackberry prayer’ (ie. the walk and text coddling that you see with most digerati)? A small hint: You can take help of mobile marketing platforms for discoverability. How? Contact them and avail their expertise on mobile landscape. If you are a mobile game developer, you might keep in mind that engagement is the key to monetization. How can you engage players? Through offerwall advertising services from various marketing platforms like AdAction! ‘Offerwalls’ support both- engagement and app monetization. Your player may be on her way to a new level but finds she’s low on currency. To keep her in the game, an offerwall appears. If the player completes the task, she gets the reward. It’s not a disruption but a way to maintain engagement. To cultivate this kind of experience, you can take help of the experts.

Digital & Mobile Tactics for Getting Found … on SmartPhones

If you’re not sure about how to address this audience, here are a few quick recommendations:

  1. Google Places: make sure your Google Places account is claimed, up to date and ready for mobile interaction.
  2. Mobile version of your site: Is your site mobile-ready? I got busted by a friend who pointed out that a mobile directory didn’t have its own mobile site. Even the Bottree site has its moments, but it’s something that’s worth investigating if you’re a retailer with even one location.
  3. Reviews: use any local engine (including Places) to ensure that as information is aggregated into an average of stars and comments, you’re there shouting out from someone’s Samsung or Sony.
  4. Click-to-call: if you’re doing a Google AdWords campaign, be sure to allow click-to-call tracking. It’s a buck per click and it’s worth every penny because the call is tracked for you and custom mobile stats are recorded with both AdWords and Analytics.
  5. QR Codes: to what extent are you using QR codes or other formats to let users quickly find out more about your product or service? Don’t forget that a quick snap can validate a print ad or other media format with a click.
  6. Custom Local Sites: don’t shy away from GroupOn, FourSquare or other local deal engines, as they help mobilize traffic for your service as people are in the mood to buy your goods. Think impulse.
  7. SMS Codes: while not as popular as they once were, they are still used by those who want to avoid the bandwidth charges associated with maps and browsing and are great ways to address that whopping 88% number listed above.
  8. A Good App: Don’t build an app that just repositions your brand. Post something in the app universe that’s actually got a use to it. If you’re a food retailer, how about something that gives me coupons of the day that I can scan at the point-of-sale (POS) or recipe ideas related to specific produce?

A lot of these are pretty basic, don’t cost a lot and just need a little time to set up. If you’re not sure how to go about any of the above, contact me. I’ll be happy to get you pointed in the right direction.

For those of you who have done something with mobile, what are some other tactics that you’ve used for your campaigns that have worked (or not) when it comes to mobile? What are some technical limitations behind the implementation or success of any campaign?

For example, some mobile game app developers are said to have allowed their apps to be downloaded to PC from sites like Cult of Apps to help increase their reach. The implementation of something similar to this would require some knowledge in mobile emulation.

Please share your campaign tactics and technical limitations below.

Conclusion: Mobile is a Must

If anyone that you speak with talks about banner buys and filling little tiny boxes on even smaller screens, tell them to go somewhere else.

Mobile marketing is here and you have to be ready to communicate instantly with people that are going to be shopping, researching and finding you, mostly on impulse.

This new age of new age marketing is going to force a lot of marketers to rethink their strategy even before it’s begun.

As such, more attention will need to be placed on your online resources, such as any mobile apps, social media profiles, or websites that you have.

Of course, receiving additional help from a ux agency that specializes in these areas is always a good idea, especially if you want to keep up to date with the latest marketing trends that are becoming much more popular.

You don’t want to get left behind, after all.

It’s OK though: because of the rate of change, most people are on the same page!