Mobile Marketing Goes Mainstream

There’s a common misperception living among many marketers: that the cost of mobile marketing is so high that it’s only for Fortune 500 companies.  This may have been true a couple years ago, but times have changed.  More mobile technologies have gone mainstream, which means even the most budget-challenged organizations can now have the option of a mobile connection with their customers firmly within reach.

According to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), text message marketing is the most widely-used form of mobile marketing.  Text message marketing is similar to email marketing, except instead of collecting an email address you collect a mobile phone number.  Text messaging is simple to implement, requiring only up to 160 characters of text and not the graphics used in many email messages.  Customer open rates for text messages have been at 97 percent.  And, it costs less than you think.  In fact, reports that some texting providers are starting to offer price points as low as $10 to $15 per month.

Consider also mobile-optimized websites and smartphone applications.  Last year and earlier, these mobile marketing tactics would have cost in the tens of thousands of dollars to develop.  Today, mobile website tools like Instant Mobilizer and MoFuse offer do-it-yourself tools that range from free to $100 or more per month.

With the cost issue becoming less and less of a barrier to adoption, the time is now to make mobile and part of your marketing mix.  Think about these statistics as you make the case for mobile marketing at your organization:

  • Cell phones outnumber PCs in the world by 4 to 1 (4 billion to 1 billion) and “mobile-only” households have grown to 20 percent nationwide.
  • More than 130 billion text messages are sent each month.
  • By 2012, expenditures for mobile marketing will increase to $3 to $5 billion, up from around $200 million in 2008.

Surprised that mobile marketing is now more within your reach than ever?  Media coverage related to mobile has been slow to report on its greater accessibility.  Let’s hear what you think, whether it’s how the media has covered mobile marketing or what you feel is important when it comes to this growing area.

Author: Steve Sonn

Steve Sonn is the Principal of S2 Marketing Communications. He has more than 25 years of marketing and PR experience with health care and business-to-business companies.

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