Not too long ago, the term mobile marketing was synonymous with text message marketing

It used to be that sending a text was pretty much the extent of a company’s mobile marketing strategy. Today the mobile marketing industry looks very different. There are hundreds of different ways to go about it with no two mobile marketing strategies being the same. With the new year just beginning, let’s take a look at some of the ways mobile marketing has evolved over time.

Mobile marketing today

Today, almost 100% of Americans have a mobile phone, over 50% of mobile phones are smartphones.

Additionally, tablets have reached a 20% penetration share. With so many smartphone owners out there, more people are accessing the internet on the go than ever before. With more and more internet traffic originating from mobile devices, businesses are always pushing for new ways to meet the needs of mobile consumers. Through all the changes in the mobile marketing world however, SMS remains one of the most popular channels.

SMS for inbound and outbound

One reason SMS remains so popular is that texts can be read on all mobile devices whether they have internet capabilities or not. Also, SMS is extremely effective. Consider that on overage, it takes 2.5 days for an email to be opened but 95% of text messages are opened within three minutes. Contrary to popular belief, SMS marketing is a two-way communication. Not only can businesses communicate with customers, but customers communicate as well by opting in, participating in surveys, and entering sweepstakes. Some businesses are even exploring automated text response systems in which customers ask questions about hours of locations via text and receive an appropriate response or simple responses.

Push notifications and in-app advertising

Though mobile users do spend approximately 20% of their mobile usage time on the web, the other 80% is spent in apps

As a result, the ability to advertise to consumers while they are engaged in an app is a powerful one. Many marketers are investing in in-app advertising and push notifications. Unlike other mobile marketing channels which require the customer to initiate contact, push notifications give businesses the power to initiate dialogue. Push notifications can be used to offer specials deals, order confirmations, loyalty points statements, and many other real time communications.

Mobile marketing is getting personal

A major advantage to mobile marketing is that it is very personal. Compared to a radio or TV ad that consumers are likely to tune out or fast forward, mobile advertisements have a way of connecting with consumers. Mobile devices, especially smartphones, are man’s new best friend. They go everywhere their owners go. Brands that are looking to connect with customers on a personal level need to find ways to interact with people through their phones. The more a businesses is able to connect with and meet the needs of customers on a personal level, the more success they’re going to see.

5 Brands Taking Personalized Marketing To The Next Level. (Forbes)

Responsive design

In the early days of smartphones, few businesses had a mobile optimized website. That means customers trying to view a website on a smartphone had to do a lot of zooming in to try and read it. Today, many more businesses have mobile optimized websites and a new option is available, responsive design. Rather than having to create a separate mobile website, businesses can opt for responsive design. It allows businesses to focus on developing just one website that will optimize itself according to the mobile device being used to view it.

Advertisements on the go

As already mentioned, mobile presents certain problems for marketers. One is that mobile users are on the go. They use their devices at work, in the airport trying to catch a flight, in a crowded restaurant waiting for a business lunch, and an infinite number of other situations. An advertisement that may be effective in one situation may not be as effective in another situation. So unlike with other forms of media, one form of advertising doesn’t fit all with mobile.

A natural form of advertising

One way marketers are learning to better utilize mobile marketing is by inserting little advertisements in ways that don’t seem forced. They are also getting better at using advertisements in ways that will be effective in a certain situation. For instance, they will have a different advertisement in an airline’s app because they can assume that their target audience will see that advertisement while in an airport. That ad will be specifically targeted for a person in a specific environment. This type of advertising comes across as more natural to consumers and they are less likely to feel pushed towards a product or service they’re not interested in.