Cell Phone Articles: Mobile Marketing
tips for Small Businesses !
Welcome to the next frontier in marketing – wireless
or mobile marketing, also known as m-commerce.
Analysts predict that 2005 will be the year that mobile marketing
really takes off and that companies will take advantage of
this medium in much the same way as they did in the early
days of the Internet.
>> The benefits of mobile marketing
The key benefits of mobile marketing are clear to see. Most
mobile users carry their phone or keep it within easy reach
at all times, which means that mobile marketing offers a very
personal way for marketers to communicate their message to
customers. Messages are almost guaranteed to be read, unlike
e-mail marketing or direct mail. It also allows companies
to build a relationship with their customers, track preferences
and highly target their marketing.
>> And the dangers
There are of course dangers in using such a personal medium
and a badly thought-out mobile marketing campaign could easily
be considered intrusive and cause the sender to alienate or
>> Can any business do it?
Is mobile marketing just for big companies then or can small
businesses do it too? If you are a small business person then
the good news is that mobile marketing is a technique that
companies of every size can employ. There are of course several
points you need to consider before embarking on your first
mobile marketing campaign.
>> What technology is involved?
The options available to you are primarily WAP and SMS. WAP
(Wireless Application Protocol) is essentially a cut down
version of a web browser that enables people with WAP enabled
mobile phones to access very basic versions of web pages.
SMS stands for Short Messaging Service and is also known as
text messaging or texting and allows mobile users to send
and receive text messages of up to 160 characters long. Most
small businesses will find it easier to use text messages
to communicate with their customers rather than WAP.
>> Mobile marketing – how do I do it? What does
a small business need in order to carry out a mobile marketing
Firstly of course you need to get your customers to agree
to disclose their mobile numbers (they must opt in to receiving
messages via their mobile phones in order for you to comply
with privacy and distance selling regulations). While on the
subject of privacy, you must ensure that when you do market
to people via their mobiles, you give them a way of opting
out of receiving further communications from you. Allow them
to text you back with the word ‘Unsubscribe’ or
‘stop’, for example.
>> What’s the best way to collect mobile numbers?
The simplest way to get customers’ mobile numbers is
to ask them. If you run a bricks and mortar business, ask
customers for their numbers when you are talking to them or
in your newsletter, brochure, advertising or direct mail.
Similarly, if you run an online business serving the local
area, ask them for their number when they inquire or purchase
or when you email them. If necessary, incentivize customers
to give you their number by, for example, running a competition
or draw and offering a prize. Bear in mind that if you are
a small business, mobile marketing using text messages will
work best if you are targeting your local market. If you run,
say, a dry-cleaning business, there is little point marketing
to people on the other side of the country.
>> How can my business use mobile marketing?
It depends on your business but, for example, you could use
it to inform customers of new product ranges that may be of
interest to them, or special offers and special events. Or
you could invite them to participate in a competition. Just
make sure your messages are targeted.
>> What does mobile marketing cost?
Mobile marketing costs are low – it doesn’t cost
a lot to send a text message. However, costs may vary depending
on the mobile network used. Talk to your phone company.
>> What should I say in my message?
The message length available to you is 160 characters so plan
your messages carefully, keep them brief and to the point
and make each word count. Include a call to action in each
message such as “call now” or “come into
the shop now” (and the opt-out instructions).
>> I’m still not sure
If you are not sure whether mobile marketing will work for
your business, why not try it and see. A small campaign will
cost very little (especially compared with something like
direct mail) and your business could be in for a pleasant
surprise as a result. by Chris Smith