As mobile devices account for more and more website traffic, ignoring the value of mobile marketing becomes a riskier proposition for any business seeking growth. Whether you believe your basic webpage is adequate for use on mobile devices without being optimized or you don’t think that mobile advertising can convert leads, you are likely to be surprised.
These 10 common misunderstandings should convince you of the value a properly applied mobile marketing campaign can add to your business.
1. Mobile Marketing Doesn’t Convert Leads
It’s true that traffic on smartphones convert at only a 0.79 percent rate, or one-third that of PCs, but it should be noted that in 2013, tablets overtook PCs as the device with the highest conversion rate. Smartphones are typically used for browsing/research but that doesn’t mean later purchases made on a traditional platform didn’t begin with mobile marketing.
2. How to Properly Place QR Codes
One advantage of mobile marketing is its adaptability for use within traditional marketing campaigns. A Quick Response (QR) code on a poster that can be scanned with the user’s mobile phone. To be effective, however, a QR code needs to be placed where it can actually be used. For example, a QR code on a poster in a subway station is essentially useless since mobile users may not have wireless access. Worse still are mobile codes placed in impossible to reach spots.
3. A Mobile Site Only Needs the Same Information as the Regular Website
This may be even worse than not having a mobile site at all, since it is a tactic that misses the potential of mobile marketing entirely. A mobile app or website should not merely direct users to the standard webpage. To drive use there needs to be fresh content and a website that is not merely a copy of the standard page.
4. Mobile Marketing Can Be Used to Keep Customers In Store
As mentioned, mobile marketing converts at lower rates than a standard webpage, but put this in context: 60 percent of shoppers use a mobile device before or during their trip, according to Maxymiser. Consumers often browse mobile websites on their phone while they are physically shopping, allowing them to compare prices with competitors. This is called “showrooming” and it has become a major problem for retailers like Best Buy and Target: customers come into the store to interact with the physical product but then find a cheaper price by searching online. Offering discounts to users who check in on their phone, or price-matching offers are good ways to capture this segment of the market.
5. Websites Don’t Need to Be Designed for Mobile Devices
Look at the screen on a standard laptop or desktop computer and then at your mobile phone. Ignoring any other constraints such as definition, you can easily see there are vastly different sizes and shapes. Too many campaigns fail to even test the webpage on a mobile device and see if Flash and other features work.
6. The Time of Email Has Passed
Email is the oldest mobile marketing strategy around, and one that has become under-appreciated. Email is a valuable nurturing tool—if used correctly.
7. Social Media Only Works for Certain Demographics/Industries
Mobile marketing will be particularly unsuccessful if you don’t even try. Although smartphones are predominantly used by young adults, the Pew Research Center estimates 55 percent of those aged 45-54 own a smartphone. Smartphone use is growing among all demographic groups, making mobile marketing an increasingly important marketing strategy.
8. Having a Social Media Account is Enough
Just having a Facebook or Twitter account won’t help you market your business. The increasing theme in mobile marketing is that customers need to be engaged: ask questions, make offers, or entertain your customers.
9. Mobile Marketing Only Needs to Be Entertaining
As an inverse to point number eight, it doesn’t matter how widespread and popular your mobile marketing campaign is if there’s no call to action. Make sure that your mobile campaign always contains a link, coupon, or some other way to allow a customer to make a purchase.
10. Mobile Marketing Costs Too Much Time and Money
Mobile marketing can cost as much or as little as you’d like. At the most basic level you can spend 15-20 minutes per day updating your social media websites, answering emails, and being engaged in the mobile market. Even something as simple as paying to have your website optimized for use on a mobile phone is relatively inexpensive and can result in large dividends.
Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a firm that helps accept credit cards for small business. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing to the company and also serves on its Board of Directors.