Consumers today are moving to mobile at a rate that shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to Strategy Analytics, the number of smartphones in use around the world topped 1 billion in 2012. As more people use mobile to connect with your business, it leaves you no choice but to bolster efforts to market to these mobile consumers on the devices they use.
For many small businesses, it's difficult to keep up with constantly changing technology and the many different mobile devices in the marketplace, as each device and mobile operating system has its own unique features to consider. To find out what mobile marketing tips are trending, CIO.com spoke with leading mobile marketing vendors and experts to come up with this list of 10 top mobile marketing tactics.
1. Assess Your Readiness for Mobile Marketing
Before you invest in mobile marketing, Mark Strecker, president and chief operating officer at mobile advertising firm Amobee, says you need to ask, "Are you ready for mobile?" There's no sense in driving consumers to your mobile brand - whether it's your website or a mobile app - if you don't create a great mobile experience for the consumer. "You need to know what you want from mobile and decide what your objectives are for mobile marketing campaigns, including the key results you want to achieve," he adds.
2. Launch a Mobile-friendly Version of Your Website
"Mobile Web surfers are a demanding bunch. If they visit your website and it's not optimized for both the device they're using and the different ways [that] mobile users behave, they will get frustrated and leave," says Ken Barber, vice president of marketing at mShopper.com.
"Your new mobile site should be built to keep up with constantly changing mobile technology (phones and tablets), be designed for a hurried and distracted user, limit the amount of data entry required and also have very fast page load times," he says. Incorporating sign-up forms to receive text messages is a very effective way to communicate with on-the-go visitors, too.
3. Use Responsive Design for All Pages Great and Small
One current mobile marketing trend involves the concept of responsive design, which automatically adjust the layout and content of a webpage depending on the type of device and size of screen. Jeff Shearer, marketing manager for Egencia, the business travel company of Expedia, says responsive design lets you build your marketing content in a way that will display great for all users, regardless of which devices they're using.
"Responsive design absolutely essential for Web design today, and may even end up saving time for marketers, as you're able to cater to a mobile audience without building a completely separate mobile website or app," he says.
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