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8 mobile marketing ideas

Mobile is an exciting new frontier in marketing, providing a meaningful way to reach the right person at the right time with the right offer or message. With the sale of mobile devices equalling laptops and PC in 2011 mobile marketing is a critical element in any marketing plan. 

After the basic considerations for a successful mobile marketing campaign including compliance with the Privacy Act, SPAM Act and the Do Not Call Register, here are some some interesting ways mobile marketing can be used to boost your business.

1. SMS vouchers and coupons

This is one of the easiest ways to get started with mobile marketing! Why not try sending your loyal customers a voucher or coupon which entitles them to a discount or gift next time they make a purchase from you? Recently, a well known doughnut chain in Australia increased their sales through an SMS coupon campaign. They asked people to respond to their radio, outdoor advertising and in-store promotions via mobile. As people responded, they received an SMS coupon for free gifts and special offers, which could then be redeemed at any outlet.

2. Alerts, updates and appointment reminders

This is particularly good for service related industries and can feed customers back your sales cycle. For example, some mechanics and dentists are now sending clients an SMS to let them know their car is due for a tune up or their teeth are due for a check up. I also know that some banks and mobile phone providers send reminders via SMS to check and pay your bill online.

3. SMS voting and polling

We’ve all seen these before. Some examples that immediately spring to mind are Australian Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, where viewers are given the opportunity to vote via SMS. SMS voting and polling is a great way of getting people to participate and engage with your brand or business.

4. SMS and MMS competitions

Recently, Australia Post held an SMS competition whereby customers who purchased a specified item from their stores could enter into a draw to win $1000 by texting in a code word, their contact details and the serial number of the purchased item. Australia’s Next Top Model also recently held an MMS competition, whereby viewers were asked to complete an online form via their mobiles and send in a photograph of themselves via MMS.

5. SMS payments

I don’t know about you, but for those of us who are forgetful, travel a lot, frequently misplace our letterbox keys or seem to always run out of internet download limit just when all the bills start to roll in, then SMS payments are an easy, fast, convenient and paper saving way to pay bills. Systems now exist for businesses to send payment reminders and receive a reply from the customer with the payment via SMS.

6. SMS auctions

I recently saw an interesting reverse SMS auctioning idea by Limbo Auctions Australia. Here, you bid via SMS on items like electronics, holidays and plasma tvs. The person with the lowest unique bid gets the item!

7. Bluetooth proximity marketing

The opportunities for Bluetooth are only limited by the imagination! You can send images, ads, business cards and audio direct to people’s phone without needing their number. This is especially great for tradeshows, events or activities where the recipient’s mobile phone is in close enough range to your Bluetooth transmitter. I’ve even heard of visitors overseas receiving dining menus via Bluetooth as they walk past the restaurant!

8. Mobile phone applications

Finally we get to our favourite… mobile phone applications! The popularity of mobile apps has grown fiercely in recent times for a number of reasons. Influencing factors include the growth of smart phones (mobile phones with advanced capabilities such as the iPhone and Blackberry Storm) and their quick uptake by users. But most importantly, mobile apps provide a new model of engagement between creator and users. They are doing for mobile what social media has done for the internet – enter the age of mobile 2.0! In the days of yesteryear, the internet was a one way communication tool and acted much like a brochure. Lately, we have seen the rise of web 2.0 with social media and other advances that enable greater interactivity through collaboration, sharing, community building and much more. The same is true for mobile phones. No longer are mobile phone users just passive sponges for communications and content. They use and want their phones to provide an experience and relevance. And so we see the popularity of mobile apps. This experience may be in the form of a new benefit, reward, entertainment, creation, collaboration, community connections or a shortcut for daily needs.

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