The average smartphone owner will interact with their smartphone in some way over 200 times per day. US consumers are spending 25% of their media time on their smartphones. It stands to reason, then, that US businesses would be spending around 25% of their marketing budget on mobile, but they aren’t. Companies are only devoting 13% of their marketing budget on mobile advertising. Budget allocation isn’t the only disconnect between the opportunity mobile presents and the effort that businesses are putting in. For instance, the majority of video advertisements are simply repurposed from TV commercials and many text messages are simply emails sent via text. The problem is that many advertisers group mobile marketing in with the larger category of digital advertising. But in this day and age, it’s more beneficial to view mobile marketing as completely separate.
Mobile marketing: a whole different animal
Each marketing channel has different rules of engagement. The people who consume these various media have different expectations about the advertisements they’ll encounter. When marketers treat mobile as a subset of digital, they’re bringing their perceptions of one marketing channel and trying to force it to work with a different one.
The reason traditional digital marketing doesn’t work for mobile consumers is because mobile is non-linear. When people watch television, they might channel surf for a while but eventually they settle on a program and watch until it either gets boring or it ends. With mobile devices, consumers are jumping between video content, web browsing, social media, mobile apps, shopping, and texting/calling. The attention span of a mobile user interacting with their mobile device is much shorter that someone sitting in front of the television. Videos and text messages must get to the point faster.
The wrong metrics
Businesses also need to look at different metrics when developing their mobile marketing strategy. For a long time, businesses have tracked the success of an advertisement by looking at the metric of how many people made a purchase after clicking on a link to the product. This doesn’t work as well on mobile though, because they might encounter an ad while using an app, open up a web browser to do additional research about the product advertised, then open up a shopping app like Amazon to read reviews and then finally complete a purchase. Traditional metrics often overlook this journey the consumer takes before completing a purchase. Businesses have to look at many different metrics to get a sense of how their strategy is working.
Many businesses are now experimenting with location-based marketing that will automatically send special offers via text when people are near that business location. This is one of the most promising mobile marketing strategies and it’s proving to be especially effective since it takes advantage of one of the most unique features of mobile: its mobility.
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