Why the Next 5 Years of Mobile Marketing Will Smash the Last 5

If you’re like many online retailers who have dipped their toes into the mobile marketing waters, you’ve experienced your first taste of success. And if you aren’t in that camp, don’t worry. It’s not to late to join.

Mobile marketing can absolutely transform a business’s sales from blah to baaazingo, and we’ve seen it too many times to even count. Don’t believe it? Did you know that consumers spend a whopping 89% of their mobile use time on apps (according to Nielsen statistics)?

Up until now, we’ve been discussing where we are with mobile marketing. It’s a rosy picture. But industry projections indicate that it’s about to get a whole lot rosier.

Of all the marketing “buzz words” you’ve been hearing in the past few years, “mobile” is one you shouldn’t ignore. In fact, a new Econsultancy poll indicates that 43% of digital marketers agree that mobile optimization is the most exciting digital opportunity of the year, beating out things like video, viral and content marketing.

A Local Issue
Remember you tried pulling up a nearby pizza shop’s website on your iPhone, only to find out it wasn’t mobile friendly? No menu to find out whether they have those garlic knots you were craving. Oh well, on to the next…

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You know some version of this story has happened to you – because too many local businesses focus so much time on local advertising that they often neglect the “low hanging fruit,” the mobile-ready website.

But if you own a local business, this is good news for you. You may very well be ahead of the curve, and all of your competitors.

If you were thinking that mobile marketing is just for large corporations, you are contributing to the “I’m not worthy” mentality that is holding so many small businesses back from achieving the greatness they deserve.

You are worthy. Your business is worthy. Your customers are worthy. Don’t get discouraged by the costs.

If you’re not convinced, just reread the last three sentences aloud. Just because your business isn’t part of a major conglomerate doesn’t mean that you can’t compete with one. Today, small businesses have access to many tools that help level the playing field. There’s no excuse not to take advantage.

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Mobile is the present and future of local marketing. But, okay. You don’t want to take our word for it. We understand. We’re all about the data too. So, here are some statistics that may help sway your marketing plan towards mobile. Read on. It’s for your own good.

• About 12 of 30 billion mobile searches are local (Search Engine Land)
• Local mobile searches (85.9 billion) are projected to exceed desktop searches (84 billion) for the fist time in 2015 (eMarketer)
• The number of local searches on mobile devices quadrupled in 2012 (Local Search Association)

What your competitors may already know about the future of mobile marketing
If your competition isn’t already on board with mobile marketing, they’re likely considering it. It’s akin to the conversations that were being had when the Internet was new and local businesses were deciding whether or not to purchase a domain.

But we don’t know exactly what is going on in your competitors’ heads; we can only tell you what the analysts (people smarter than us) are saying.

Personalized messages will increase – If a user searches for a pizza recipe, show them an ad for mozzarella cheese. The specifics will vary based on the industry, but you get the idea.

Businesses will take full advantage of geo-targeting – Where are your customers right now? Hey, maybe they are right outside your door, but neither of you realize it. Don’t just rely on sandwich boards to capture their attention. Savvy businesses will reach customers as they are in the geograpic area of their shop.

Businesses will “Snapchat” ads – Maybe they won’t actually use the Snapchat service, but ads are becoming shorter and much more succinct, and much like a Snapchat, they aren’t designed to stay on screen for a long time.

Multimedia messages will make things interesting – Standard text messages are so passe. These days, those on the cutting edge are experimenting with rich media messages that deliver text, photo and video to a users smartphone, and these messages are designed to work whether that phone is an iPhone or android.

Now to get started…
If you’re just dipping your toes in the mobile marketing waters, you may be tempted to play it safe; to start where everyone else did back in 2010; to mimic some old successful campaign. That strategy just might work for your business, and it’s definitely a good idea to review the competition and what they have done, but if you’re a little more imaginative, you may want to jump in with both feet and become an early adopter of one or all of the mobile marketing trends above.

Let us leave you with a few words of advice.

1. Pay attention – What are your competitors doing? How can you attack your mobile campaign in a way that is more engaging to customers (i.e. why should they use your app or service over the competition?).
2. Plan – Start thinking about your mobile strategy. What do you want to get out of it, and how would you like customers to interact with your brand?
3. Take action – Too many businesses get stuck in the planning phase and end up spinning their wheels. Remember that it’s better to get started and make adjustments along the way than to sit around talking about things while technology passes you by (and takes your customers along with it!).