Is mobile marketing really still effective?

Mobile phones

Mobile phones

Our fascination with the digital sphere, and its all-pervasive impact on our lives has seen us become engrossed with our cell phones. They have become a vital component to the way in which we go about our daily lives — which also means that we’re constantly monitoring them in order to make sure we’re not missing out. Our dependence on our mobile phones has precipitated the surge of mobile marketing efforts.

As with any marketing strategy, it’s a challenge for people to differentiate themselves through catchy, clever marketing campaigns in order to successfully engage their market. There are several ways that mobile marketing is currently being executed in across the globe, and their success relies on a variety of factors.

SMS remains the most popular form of mobile marketing in South Africa

That said, the efficacy of this medium is heavily reliant on timing and context. There’s nothing more off-putting than receiving a SMS in the middle of the night – worse still, if it’s from a brand or company that you’ve never engaged with in the first place. Unfortunately, the number of SMS scams is rampant — ‘winning’ a competition that you never entered is now a daily occurrence.

That said, SMS is very effective when used in conjunction with other marketing tools in order to create a successfully integrated mobile marketing campaign. For example, sending a reminder to attendees/ guests of an event, or thanking someone for visiting a specific store, is a great way to make a customer’s experience of your brand personal, and more importantly, memorable.

The growing popularity of instant messaging platforms has seen their mobile marketing potential increase as a result.

The likes of WhatsApp, Blackberry Messenger and WeChat are applications used daily by millions of people around the globe. With the development of smartphones and their ability to host applications, adverts can be hosted inside the application design. In my personal opinion, these ads hit a nerve when they pop up, and not a pleasant one. Applications need to be selective on what products/ services they take on as advertisers. Including ads that are relevant to the user can be effective, but only if they’re unobtrusive.

In order to create an engaging experience, mobile marketing needs to be intuitive, innovative and integrated.

A great example of this is Zappar, which creates a real life, 3D scenario where the user feels like they are in another world. This application can be used to promote products in a store, creating an interactive experience for the consumer.

It is my prediction that there will be an increased focus on this type of mobile marketing in the near future, based on the fact that applications like Zappar are inventive, relevant, and can be used to create highly personalised brand interactions.

If you’re relying on SMS as the sole medium from which to run your marketing strategy, you’ll see little, if any, success.

If, on the other hand, you are a more “out of the box” marketer and are open to exploring alternative ideas and using a holistic mobile marketing approach that’s integrated into your digital campaigns, you’re on the right track. Mobile should not be the core focus of a marketing strategy, but rather as act a supporting element.
Mobile marketing can be effective, but only when used in conjunction with a multi-channel digital marketing campaign that provides relevant content across several platforms.



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