Every revolutionary change in the information world drives an similarly revolutionary change in the marketing world. 

For example:

When we transitioned from print media to the internet, website advertising and internet lead creation soon followed suit.  Email lists substituted mailing lists, direct marketing costs dropped and sales efficiency skyrocketed.

When social networks came around, email lead lists were overtaken by Facebook fans and Twitter followers.  Social involvement ruled the day, and leads were easily modified to relationships.

We are now at the tipping point of another information revolution – one that promises to drive yet another transformational wave of advancement across the marketing world.  This is the mobile device revolution.

Smartphones and tablets are replacing desktops and laptops as the strategy of choice for accessing email, social networks, and even purchasing.  And the web browser is being substituted by the branded mobile app.

The bestselling book “Go Mobile” offers staggering data on the mobile revolution:

  • 91% of adults have their mobile device within arms reach 24/7
  • 25% of Americans use only mobile devices to access the internet
  • Nearly 50% of American mobile subscribers use a smartphone

And the effectiveness of mobile marketing is equally amazing:

  • 90% of text messages are read with 3 minutes of being delivered
  • Over half of mobile searches lead to purchase, and 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour
  • Mobile coupons receive 10 times higher redemption rates than print coupons

  • These are some of the reasons that small businesses are ratcheting up their mobile marketing budgets by leaps and bounds.  Customers conduct research on PCs – customers who use smartphones are ready to buy.

But before investing, smart businesses develop mobile marketing strategies.  Mobile marketing techniques usually address three areas:

Optimizing websites for mobile devices (i.e. responsive web design)
Purchasing pay per click ads on mobile advertising networks (ads are shown on mobile apps)
Investing in branded mobile marketing apps

Every business must consider implementing responsive website enhancement immediately.  And PPC ads may offer many cost-effective benefits, if the ads can be targeted geographically.

It is the third place that small businesses find the most fascinating, as branded apps provide the benefits of all other forms of direct marketing, rolled into one.

With mobile marketing apps, small businesses can offer tremendous value to customers:

  • GPS and QR code discount coupons available only through the app
  • One touch calling, emailing and texting
  • Integration with social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (encouraging viral app sharing)
  • Shopping carts for easy purchasing
  • Push messaging to announce special offers and discounts in real time
  • Select mobile-friendly information from the company website

Mobile marketing apps provide social engagement, messaging with a phenomenally high read rate, and a channel for direct customer activity.  And modern app networks have driven the cost of app development down to a fraction of custom app development.

When planning a mobile app, consider what your customers like to do with mobile apps.  Align your app’s functionality with their usage habits and your app will get downloaded and used.  And always provide functionality that rewards them for using the app.