As a self-proclaimed mobile gadget maven, practicing marketer and NFL Football junkie, nothing could interest me more than Super Bowl commercials, especially about mobile devices.
Though I had other favorites including the Samsung ad, I wanted to steal the concept of the Blackberry ad, which shows their newly-launched phone doing all manner of magic — short of doing your laundry then asking how you’d like your shirts starched. Blackberry figured it was easier to show the world what it doesn’t do, because it actually does so much. Recognizing what something isn’t helps to gain understanding of what something is.
So, what is mobile marketing and what is it NOT?
Mobile marketing can be defined as a brand or product engaging their customers and prospects through mobile devices.
Below are five things mobile marketing is NOT. They’re based on questions, statements and even directives coming from very talented marketers at some of the biggest consumer brands on the planet.
1. Tech Gimmicks.
While tech gimmicks have their place, too many marketers require that their campaigns be based on them — call it the flavor-of-the-month shake your phone, blow into the mic, place a digital beard on your photo type-gimmick (otherwise known as iPhone accelerometer, speech/facial recognition and augmented reality). A solution looking for a problem is not the best approach, and the audience tires of it easily.
2. Angry Birds.
“Let’s get users by building an Angry Birds type-game,” says a real-life brand manager.
I don’t disagree with him, but if I could do it, I’d build it sans said brand manager and keep all the merchandising and feature film rights for myself!
For every Angry Birds, there are another 100,000 game apps that wallow in obscurity. Tough odds, but there is wisdom to be found here. Add this term to your Silicon Valley mashup vernacular: Gamification.
3. Your Web Experience as Your Mobile Experience.
“Just link to our website through the smartphone.” Sure, it’s possible. With the new smartphone/tablet browsers, higher resolution screens and faster data speeds, it’s easy to get lazy and direct users to a standard website.
It might actually be a decent experience — if your website has a total of two buttons and two links. It’s easy to fat finger five different objects on a smartphone, and these are only the user interface issues.
More concerning is the use case, which completely changes. Browsing is at a minimum; utility and speed are crucial.
4. A Standalone Campaign.
Unlike traditional marketing media that is “pushed” to prospects, mobile engagement occurs only after a “pull” from the target audience in the form of a download, web link, QR code, etc.
Though there’s certainly “organic” discovery and viral growth, an initial awareness “boost” is highly recommended and a dedicated launch campaign preferred. The approach should be geared like a product launch rather than a marketing campaign.
An integrated plan with a mobile call-to-action weaved in doesn’t require much space, it’s contextual, and there are many ways to elicit that download or web link. Mobile marketing has created it’s own specialized promotional discipline devoted solely to marketing mobile apps.
5. Using Downloads as Sole KPI.
While number of downloads is the most obvious method to gauge success of a mobile app (or page views for mobile website), it can by myopic and even distract you from your objectives.
The selected KPIs must measure performance against your goals — and there’s a host of mobile KPIs that do better. Are you focused on events, such as a movie premiere? Are you more interested in moving prospects beyond awareness to consideration? Is frequency or duration more important to you?
How should you think about mobile marketing?
When formulating your next mobile marketing strategy, keep these five things in mind. Stay tuned for a series of posts on mobile marketing tips, that is, how you should do it. I’ll cite some cool examples where technology enhances, not inhibits, a promotion. I’ll dive into more specifics on “gamification,” how to market mobile apps and explain the variety of mobile marketing KPIs.