Business Analyst LIMRA Europe
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Debunking the top five mobile marketing myths

27th May 2013
Business Analyst LIMRA Europe
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As the rate of smartphone adoption continues to escalate, mobile is fast becoming one of the most important channels in the marketing industry. You only need to consider how people are now using their mobile phones – from communication and shopping, to gaming and leisure – to see just how big a resource it really is. The problem is that many brands have been slow to understand the necessity of incorporating mobile into their wider marketing strategy, mainly because mobile marketing is riddled with misconceptions. Here we separate fact from fiction and look at the biggest and most common myths.

1. A mobile marketing strategy is unnecessary

A lot of organisations believe a mobile marketing strategy is unnecessary, simply because they do not know its true value. Mobile communications is dominating the global landscape and is providing organisations with an opportunity to set new trends and transform how they engage with their customers. TV, radio and newspapers may have been the key marketing mediums at one time; however as a recent report from Google revealed, 77% of the time spent watching TV consumers are using a simultaneous device, with smartphones being the most common. As a result, the use of mobile is expanding significantly. Indeed, the Mobile Marketing Association has predicted that sales via mobile devices will rise from $139 billion in 2012 to more than $400 billion in 2015. These numbers alone indicate that this is not a market to overlook.

2. It’s only for big companies

This is completely untrue, yet it is something a lot of smaller companies tend to believe. The fact is, a local coffee shop has just as much chance of running a successful mobile marketing campaign than a high-end retailer. Smaller businesses can actually sometimes find it easier as they are more likely to have loyal customers who will opt in to receive marketing messages. What organisations need to realise is that any company, big or small, is able to forge a closer relationship with their customer using mobile. It is about brands knocking down existing barriers and building a more personal connection with the customer – and size has nothing to do with it.

3. It’s all spam

This is one of the biggest misconceptions, however while many brands once had the ‘one size fits all’ strategy, involving the use of generic messaging, this is no longer common practice. By adopting a much more sophisticated, targeted approach, brands can make sure that the right message is sent to the right customer at the right time, when they are in the right place. Today’s mobile marketing campaigns are becoming increasingly relevant as a result of identifying customer actions, demography and location. Building a 360 degree view of the consumer is now possible, as brands combine past behaviour with real-time insight, such as what they do in their everyday lives, how they move around their environment, where they go and how they want to interact with brands. This allows organisations to offer products and services that are highly relevant, putting them one step ahead of their competitors.

4. Mobile marketing means developing an app

There’s no doubt that apps have value and are a great way of attracting customers via mobile. However, this makes up only one part of a mobile marketing campaign. Other elements, such as highly targeted mobile messaging, location-based marketing and mobile coupons also play a big role. Today’s smartphones are not just designed for apps and calls, and with user engagement a big priority, it would be foolish to ignore the marketing opportunities that these other elements can have.

5. Traditional marketing will always be better

The adoption of smartphones shows no sign of slowing down, therefore it would be unwise to overlook mobile as a passing phase. While there is certainly still a demand for traditional marketing, there is no getting away from the fact that mobile marketing is becoming more and more important. As such, we are actually beginning to see a shift in the allocation of larger marketing and product development budgets towards mobile spend within enterprise organisations and brands. Although still at a relatively early stage for most organisations, mobile offers a new way to engage with the audience and, more importantly, creates a new media channel. Mobile is effectively facilitating a change in the way goods and services are sold from physical retail outlets to mobile devices that are available anywhere and anytime.

As mobiles fast become the most personal devices we own, they provide an unprecedented opportunity for brands to forge a closer relationship and connect with customers outside of regular social media efforts. While mobile marketing and advertising can be a little daunting, this new space can offer substantial rewards. Interacting with brands is becoming increasingly a key differentiator when it comes to influencing customers decisions in purchasing and consumption, and this can be a lot more difficult to achieve when using traditional marketing techniques. Mobile marketing fills that gap, and if implemented correctly, using an approach that considers customer demography, location and behaviour, it can be hugely powerful.

Nicola Moss is head of marketing at Brainstorm.

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