There is considerable content being generated on the topic of mobile marketing. Data suggests that by 2016 there will be over 196 million smart phone users (60% of the population) in North America. eMarketer is predicting $67 billion in digital ad spending, of which $40 billion will go towards mobile internet ad spending. Obviously these are sizable numbers but we should not lose sight of the total ad spend which is close to $200 billion, with traditional (broadcast and print) representing $132 billion.
As with any projection, the numbers serve the needs of the presenter. Therefore, one must consider the source and take a rational viewpoint concerning the size of the mobile marketing environment.
People-to-People marketing and the mobile environment
The mobile environment represents a further blurring of the lines between consumer and business marketing and advertising. Because the emphasis is on connecting with individuals, a strong case can be made that this is a transformational shift to People-to-People marketing.
People-to-People marketing shifts the conversation from companies to individuals as the workplace is deconstructed and mobile devices become the primary business platform. Mobile technologies such as Apps and mobile web are becoming part of the marketing mix as smart phone and tablet users adopt direct brand interaction, from ordering a pizza, to tracking health trends, to mobile banking.
Preparing B-to-B brands for mobile marketing
B-to-B brands would be wise to adopt a People-to-People marketing strategy and tactical implementation as they enter into the mobile marketing fray.
First, make sure your website is ”fully responsive” for viewing on different mobile devices. One way to check this is through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test site. This test site will analyze the URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design. Google is also in the process of optimizing their search engine results to favor mobile-friendly sites.
Advertising is also an option for reaching mobile users. As individuals uncouple from the traditional office environment, mobile devices become their primary business platform. Mobile programmatic advertising placement is becoming prevalent, with a host of real time bidding scenarios for placing advertising on mobile networks.
Marketers should also consider developing Apps if the cost is justified by the contribution the App makes to the revenue stream.
App development can cost between $50 and $150 thousand depending on the complexity of the App and the number of operation system platforms it is designed to run on. Think desktop, tablet, smartphone, running on IOS, Android, Unix, Windows, etc.
Once the App is built, the challenge of getting users to download and place it on their device comes into play. This can be accomplished via App stores or by direct download.
Then there’s the maintenance side of the App equation. Once it has been introduced, it must be maintained with updates as the operating system environments are upgraded and new releases become available.
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