Mobilizing Your Marketing Efforts

Mobile usage has drastically increased in the past few years and its future is looking brighter. In this day and age it seems like everyone owns a mobile device, most not being able to function without one. Mobile devices have become so advanced that they not only are used for calls and texts, but they now have Internet capabilities, cameras, navigation, email, and many more applications, literally making your mobile device smart. Over 4 billion people own a mobile phone, which is predicted to increase by 50% in 2015. Landlines and desktop computers will be a thing of the past in the coming future as new technologies are being invented everyday to make mobile devices better and more advanced. We have grown and been molded into a mobile society making mobile devices the perfect technology for our busy lifestyles.

The vast amounts of people who own a mobile phone gives marketers a wide array of opportunities to develop a mobile marketing plan. Two of the most widely uses of mobile devices are to socialize and surf the web. Social media networks, most popular being Facebook and Twitter, have developed mobile apps to make socializing easier and in the palm of user’s hands.

Marketers have a wealth of potential to attract customers to their brand, products, services, and their company. A mobile marketing campaign has an opportunity to attract a widespread market of people, a market consisting of an upwards of 4 billion people. This gives marketers room to experiment and try a variety of marketing ideas to cater to that group of people, with one major thing in common, they all own a mobile device.

Here are 5 steps to help mold a marketing plan to fit a mobile lifestyle:

1. Prioritize: A mobile marketing plan is something that will take time to develop and implement. Marketers should have goals and a time line set up before starting. This is not something that can be thrown together in one day. A detailed plan should be prepared for a mobile marketing plan.

2. Utilize: There is an extensive amount of information that is available, it just needs to be looked for. Take advantage of the knowledge others provide. A mobile marketing plan will be easier to create when you have information to help you along.

3. Recognize: Be aware of what others have done in the past and the present. If that information is obtainable, it will become a very useful tool to see what other have tried and if it worked or failed.

4. Characterize: A mobile marketing plan should be exciting, creative, and full of energy. If it is boring, no one will pay attention to it. The idea to keep in mind is to give a mobile marketing plan a personality so that users can feel like a company has a soul. Keep in mind that a company that portrays themselves as fun and refreshing will have a better chance of being seen and heard. Also remember that this marketing plan is being catered to a mobile device and if the campaign doesn’t catch the eye of users it will be quickly dismissed.

5. Initialize: After goals have been made, information has been collected, and a plan has been formed, it is now time to put that plan into action. This is the most exciting step because this is when you find out if your hard work and planning will produce results. A plan to track progress should be put into place at this time.

The Creative Side of QR Codes

QR codes are springing up everywhere you look. They are becoming a simple way for marketers to engage consumers. All a consumer needs is a mobile device with a camera and the ability to download the code reader application. With the amount of people owning a mobile device, marketers have vast amounts of people to reach. QR codes also allow marketers to unleash their creative side. These codes can lead a person anywhere a marketer wants. Whether the destination is to their website, a contest page, or even a separate page solely created just for the code, the possibilities are endless and creativity can really shine.

Need some creative ideas for your QR code? Here are some ways to add some spark to the black and white code:

* Link your business card to your Facebook profile, Twitter stream, or Linkdin account
* If you have t-shirts for your business, link from your t-shirt to you blog
* Link to a contest
* Link to a Google map that shows your location and provides directions and contact information
* Use ads to connect to mobile shopping
* Link clues to a treasure hunt to engage customers to become interested in your business
* Use a coupon to link to a special discount or sample/freebie
* Link to a product demonstration
* Use codes to link to fan forums, inventory, surveys, or mail in rebates
* Link to homepage to increase traffic on that website
* Link to a newsletter, press release, or promotions page
* Use a code on a printed catalog to link to an online catalog or an online store
* If you have a product that requires installation, link to how to videos or online manuals
* Link from a product to the product’s commercial

There are many ways to use QR codes.  See how many QR codes you see in a day, week, or month and look for how businesses are being creative using these codes.

It’s Not an Optical Illusion, It’s Mobile Marketing

Mobile tags (also known as 2D barcodes) are stepping out into the spotlight as the new way to engage customers.  What looks like an optical illusion is actually a barcode that is designed to attract the attention of customers, inviting them to try, discover, share, save, and interact with brands. These tags are apart of a new concept in marketing called mobile marketing.

There are two types of mobile tags: QR codes and MS tags:

A QR (quick response) code is a matrix barcode that consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. These codes were created in Japan and used for tracking vehicle manufacturing. Now these codes are used in applications such as commercial tracking and convenience-oriented functions aimed at mobile users. The intention of this code is to allow its contents to be decoded at a high speed.

A MS (Microsoft) tag was created by Microsoft and features small, brightly colored triangles in geometric patterns. These tags were designed to work with the capabilities of a typical camera phone. MS tags can connect almost anything in the real world such as information, entertainment, and interactive experiences using a mobile phone.

So how do these tags work you ask? These codes can be found on products, posters, ads, packages, boxes, the list is endless. Using a mobile phone, download the application to read tags. When you see a tag, using the read tags application, point your camera at the tag, and within seconds the information will be unveiled. The tags are filled with encoded information and links, that when scanned by a mobile device, it is revealed to the customer. Tags can be linked to whatever the business wants a customer to know. Whether its their homepage, other related links, or a site specifically made for the tag, the capabilities of what these tags can do is limitless.

Why use these tags? The usage of smartphones are growing exponentially. 285 million Americans are mobile subscribers, which is 91% of the population. By integrating mobile usage and marketing, mobile marketing is becoming a great way for marketers to increase brand engagement and meet customer needs and expectations. Tags are able to be fully customizable to fit the individual needs of businesses. They also provide the ability to:

  • integrate print advertising with mobile devices
  • manage customer experience
  • measure campaign effectiveness
  • maintain brand identity
  • maximize information delivered

These tags allow offline pieces to connect with online experiences. The ability for marketers to customize these tags result in personalized interactions with customers via a mobile device. Mobile marketing will continue to grow as mobile usage does. Keep your eyes peeled for these tags and remember its not an optical illusion.