Mobile Marketing: New Innovations and Why You Need it in 2013
In a 2012 interview, Noah Elkin, the senior analyst for eMarketer, revealed some fairly
shocking projections for mobile phone usage in this country in 2013. In 2009, marketing dollars that were geared toward mobile phones totaled in excess of $700 million. That figure is going to seem like chump change, however, when marketers start spending cash on mobile strategies in 2013. Next year, mobile marketing strategies will be one of the top expenditures of modern businesses and brands throughout the world.
Why the exploding trend toward marketing on a mobile platform? The mobile Internet browsing phenomenon has proved to be much more than a fad. With the number of smart phone owners consistently on the rise, new technologies and augmented reality applications becoming more popular, and consumers demanding mobile access for their favorite web pages, blogs, and online stores, mobile marketing is just trying to keep up with the trends of the day. 2013 will be the biggest mobile marketing year in history, and new innovations will make the process simpler, more streamlined, and more accessible. Businesses that fail to jump on the mobile marketing bandwagon for 2013 may find themselves left in the dust by innovative competitors.
What is Mobile Marketing?
Mobile marketing is simply a set of marketing strategies that are directed toward consumers who use mobile phones as internet browsing devices. Marketing is a constantly changing and adapting system. The main intention of marketing is, obviously, to increase brand awareness, establish consumer relationships, and increase profits across the board. The strategies used to make these intentions realities, however, must change constantly to adapt to new technologies and consumer practices.
In the past ten years, the presence of mobile phones with Internet-browsing capabilities went from virtual nonexistence to an across-the-board presence that is nothing short of remarkable. Because the expansion of the mobile smart phone industry occurred so rapidly, many businesses are scrambling to figure out the best ways to use mobile marketing to reach this vast pool of consumers.
How Do Businesses Market on a Mobile Scale?
It's crucial to realize that marketing on a mobile scale is much different than marketing to consumers who browse the Internet on a personal computer. The tasks, searches, and social activity that occurs on a mobile device is quite different from the Internet tasks performed on personal computers, work computers, or even public computers.
When businesses recognize the tasks in which consumers are engaging via mobile devices, they will recognize the necessity of employing a different marketing strategy for mobile users. From the basics of changing web pages to accommodate the different screen sizes of mobile devices to the utilization of complex applications and social media platforms that use mobile technology, businesses are discovering that mobile marketing is a virtually limitless opportunity for increased profits.
Consumers and Mobile Phones
Why, however, is it so important for businesses to account for mobile marketing strategies in their overall marketing approach? Noah Elkin's projections for mobile phone usage in 2013 may reveal the answer. Today, it is estimated that about a quarter of all mobile phone users are using mobile devices with smart capabilities. This number is only expected to increase, and by the end of 2013 over 40% of mobile phone subscribers will be using their mobile devices to access the internet at least once a month. This is a huge percentage of the overall consumer population, and businesses that ignore this group of mobile consumers will be neglecting a huge profit potential.
The Smart Phone Revolution
The need for mobile marketing began with the smart phone revolution. In the early days of mobile phones, devices were used simply to make and receive calls while on the go. The next big trend was the ability for devices to send brief text messages to other mobile devices. Over the course of a few years, mobile phones were created that could access the Internet over a cell phone connection.
With this development, consumers were able to access the Internet from any location in the nation. Smart phones allow consumers to navigate from location to location, browse their favorite blogs and websites, share content via social media, play games with other mobile phone users across great distances, send videos, photos, and websites to other mobile phone users, and perform just about any task that can be completed on a personal computer.
A Growing Reach Potential
Because the number of mobile smart phone users is increasing, the reach potential for businesses that market on a mobile scale is also increasing. When businesses create mobile applications, mobile websites, or coupons and discounts that are geared toward mobile users, they are accessing a huge customer population. While the mobile community is large, it is also quite a bit more intimate than the entire population of consumers. Businesses can tailor their marketing strategies to mobile users and assume that these consumers are technologically-savvy, modern, and willing to spend money on innovation.
Future Mobile Marketing Technologies
Augmented reality may be the future of mobile marketing. With augmented reality, consumers can use their mobile phones to engage with the things they see around them. A perfect example of the beginning of augmented reality is the growing popularity of QR codes. A QR code is a pixilated black and white square featured on many products throughout the world. By scanning the QR code with a mobile phone, consumers are directed to a brand website with information about the product, special offers, and multimedia that "augments" the mobile user's own reality.
In the near future, consumers may be able to take pictures of stores in order to get valuable coupons and discounts before they begin a shopping trip. Consumers might be able to snap a photo of a product to determine other stores in the area that are offering the same product at a lower cost. Businesses can interact with consumers via mobile maps, encouraging consumers to "check in" when they arrive at a retail store for access to discounts and special offers.
Mobile marketing is highly personal and individualized, which businesses love because it makes marketing more effective. Because of the increasing popularity of smart phones and the growing population of mobile Internet users, this strategy is projected to grow throughout 2013 into a multi-billion dollar marketing tactic