As you’re likely well-aware, the mobile channel continues to experience significant levels of growth. According to the CTIA Wireless association, mobile subscription penetration in the United States exceeds 100% of the population; many people own and use more than one mobile device. Furthermore, CTIA estimates that that close to 30% of U.S. households are “wireless-only,” meaning they subscribe to wireless phone services but not landline services (myself and many of my friends are part of this population). The pervasiveness of mobile technology has led to increased time spent by consumers in the mobile channel, making it a prime platform for marketing and advertising.
To that point, research firm eMarketer estimates that U.S. mobile ad spending topped $1 billion in 2011, and expects spending in this channel to grow to over $4 billion by 2015. While various forms of mobile marketing have been around for well over a decade, only in the past few years have marketers started dedicating a more substantial percentage of their budgets to mobile in conjunction with other shifts to digital spending. Despite growth in these newer channels, it is important to remember that marketers are still dedicating a substantial percentage of their budgets to traditional media, including print, television, radio, sponsorships, and much more. Even so, marketers are focused on return-on-investment more than ever before, and they are constantly looking at ways to make their marketing across all media types more measureable and impactful.
In particular, a slew of mobile technologies are now being employed to integrate print and other media types with mobile and online channels, including mobile response codes, short code prompts for mobile messaging, augmented reality, and much more. InfoTrends recently completed a study entitled Mobile Technology: Making Print Interactive, which investigates how mobile is being integrated with print and other media types. In this study, we captured consumer, marketer, and service provider perspectives to understand how mobile technology can be effectively utilized within traditional, offline media to drive audiences to engaging online experiences.
One key finding from our study highlights that, especially for mobile response codes, marketers are turning to their print service provider partners to help them create, deploy, and manage integrated mobile campaigns. Print service providers have a tremendous opportunity to develop domain expertise in the mobile channel through integrated campaigns and programs, but they need to make sure they have the right strategy, provide the right mix of services, and have the tools and technology to support their efforts. Below are some key considerations for service providers looking to build out mobile marketing services:
- The mobile channel is still relatively new for many marketers and advertisers, and they are looking for guidance how they should approach mobile in a way that will meet their goals and resonate with their target audience. Providers need to take a consultative approach to mobile, capturing key characteristics of the client, its products and services, and the audience it is trying to reach to make recommendations. For instance, mobile apps are hot right now, and many clients may ask for them, but it’s up to the service provider to help guide clients to solutions that fit their specific needs… and then execute appropriately.
- Understanding how to design, deliver, and manage digital content designed for mobile devices is a requirement, not an option. There have been too many times where a QR code is slapped on a printed piece that links to content that doesn’t render well on mobile devices, ultimately delivering a bad user experience. In our study, we found that once consumers interact with mobile response codes and other mobile technologies, they tend to interact again and again. The end-to-end user experience is a critical component of any mobile marketing campaign; a good experience will help drive future interaction and engagement in the mobile channel.
- To that point, when you’re getting into mobile, it is important to note that a wide range of tools and technologies are on the market that help companies create and deliver mobile content, generate and track mobile response codes, perform campaign management, and much more. In other words, don’t start from scratch! Many software platforms allow service providers and agencies to whitelabel their solutions to use as the backbone for their integrated mobile campaigns. Technology from the likes of 3Seventy, Blink Capture, iFlyMobi, NetBiscuits, Print2D, ScanBuy, ShareSquare, SumoText, Tatango, and many others can be utilized to help power your mobile marketing services.
- As mentioned, marketers don’t want to have to wait for sales figures to see if their marketing investment paid off. They need actionable insights that can help them optimize campaigns in real time to have maximum impact. As such, measurement and optimization are table stakes when it comes to mobile marketing (and digital marketing in general). Mobile technology can provide marketers with a wealth of data, including location information, which can help personalize content and also influence campaign optimization to ensure that campaigns meet defined objectives.
- Finally, don’t just limit yourself to mobile response codes. The ease at which people can generate QR codes has been a catalyst for substantial growth in marketers and service providers integrating them across different media types. Nevertheless, mobile message marketing, mobile advertising, and more are becoming much easier to get involved with; providers need to consider these types of services when developing their mobile services strategy.
Mobile will undoubtedly continue its upward trajectory in terms of adoption and share of ad spend. Service providers need to, at a minimum, investigate if and how they should include the mobile channel within their existing suite of product and service offerings. While the aforementioned considerations only scratch the surface, they can help guide you and your clients to success with mobile.
Has your company expanded its service offerings to include mobile marketing and advertising? Share your experiences and your own key considerations in the comments!