Will the real mobile marketing please stand up

Let’s face it, mobile marketing is so new and so vague to the majority of the business and consumer population how could it do anything other than become more relevant?

Is this really mobile marketing?

True, we have seen some great mobile marketing implementations over the past year but they have been few and far between. If you would like a demonstration, head to most any website of your choosing on a mobile device and take a look at what you find. Some companies have migrated their websites to a mobile friendly look and feel but most have not. Next, scan a QR code in your local newspaper, magazine, bus stop or, egad, on television. For the most part you will end up on an improperly formatted for mobile website without a clear call to action. And, lastly, click on an in-app banner advertisement and be whisked away to an ill-formatted website without a precise call to action again.

The simplicity of mobile marketing

Mobile marketing is a simple concept – seriously simple. Think of it as an aid to a decision: Where should I eat, what camera should I buy, where should I fill up my car, what coffee shop has WiFi. There is a dance most of us are in with our mobile devices today – in and out of our pockets – and the savvy mobile marketer knows the nuance of fitting into that dance. Time of day, weather, location, proclivities, penchants, habits and distance (among others) play a role in our decision making process without us even knowing and good mobile marketing should fit into our usage patterns to help us to this effect.

We all have to undo the traditional marketing baggage that most of us bring to this new medium. It isn’t quite like anything we’ve seen before.

Therein lies the opportunity

This is a greenfield challenge. We are all making this up as we go and it looks like that – one does, the others follow even if the fit isn’t perfect, the strategy hasn’t been baked and the customers don’t care.

For example, how can a small coffee roasting house in Vancouver, British Columbia influence you to buy their coffee in the highly competitive super market world when they aren’t on a shelf at eye level? Mobile marketing.

Ethical Bean Coffee uses QR codes to do a few things right. They are a fair trade coffee roaster and most of us are in the dark when it comes to what that means. Lloyd Bernhardt started using QR codes to tell that story. He also started using QR codes on all their marketing materials to help you find where their coffee was sold based on your location. Simple, effective use of mobile without having to force their customer to learn something or change a behaviour. For more on Ethical Bean, see the full length episode: Ethical Bean Coffee: How a fair trade coffee roaster is using mobile to sell product – with co-founder Lloyd Bernhardt.

Many companies are not getting it right yet or aren’t even trying and for good reason – it’s confusing for most who aren’t engaged daily in the mobile world. This didn’t stop Lloyd and his team from starting at a natural spot, nor should it stop you.

Mobile marketing is NOT broadcast television, radio or the web. It is a narrowcast, just in time, nuanced influencer. Treat it well by giving it some thought and you will open up the greatest treasure trove of customers we’ve ever seen.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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