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The Confusing World of Mobile Marketing

What is a mobile device?

I asked close to a dozen marketers that question over the past week to ten day and what I heard most often was “smartphone”.  Only a few included tablets.  No one mentioned a watch.  Or glasses.

So then I asked about their ‘mobile strategy’.  For most, it was focused on design – making sure the website used a responsive design and that emails looked good on a smartphone.  Only one talked about developing tools and apps specifically for smartphones and tablets and watches.

Then there are articles and infographics like this one that add to the confusion (IMHO).

44% of cell phone owners sleep with their phones next to their beds so they won’t miss a call, message or update.

So what?  Are you suggesting that it’s now okay to reach out to your audience via a cellphone at 3am because we know that almost half have the phone next to their bed and don’t want to miss a message?!  (And in the long gone days of land lines, how many people had a phone next to their bed in case there was an emergency?  Did we call them at 3am?)

There’s been a lot of content produced on mobile marketing.  For me, mobile marketing means that there are new channels and technologies I need to stay on top of so when/if it is appropriate to use them to communicate with my audiences…I can do so in an effective manner.

But before I get all worked up about mobile, I am talking with my customers and prospects and suspects about how they use their mobile devices and if they want to use them to gather, analyze data and make a decision to purchase from me.

Most don’t.  A few admit to using their phone to visit my site which has a responsive WordPress template.  (That said, filling out forms is a pain in the butt so there are weaknesses.  But I continue to read and search and hope to come up with an acceptable solution.)

But let’s think about what people use mobile devices for…check out this report.  Most of the use is at home and on social media – doesn’t sound like they are out there gathering data about your products so they can make an informed buying decision.  Based on the research projects I’ve been involved in over the past 5 years, people are using their mobile devices for social/relaxation not more work.

Plus they are hanging out at the same social sites they hang out on with their PC/desktop/Laptop.

So, my final point is that ‘mobile’ is an evolving world and that means we test in order to learn – and with tests we need to have a specific question we are trying to answer.  That means before you go ga-ga and tossing a lot of your limited resources into ‘mobile marketing’, remember that you have current channels that are driving your business and that you need to test and learn when it comes to mobile.

What do you want to learn? How are you going to accomplish that?

Who has mobile marketing nailed? What are they doing and why is it working?  If you have a success story to share, please comment!

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