The rise of the smartphone has given marketers and businesses access to customers 24/7. As of this past year, 224.3 million Americans owned a smartphone. It's estimated that by the end of 2018, mobile devices will account for 27 percent of all U.S. retail e-commerce sales. There is ample opportunity for businesses to use mobile marketing to connect with, and eventually convert, customers.
It's important, however, to know how and when to connect with consumers. Mobile marketing can take many forms – SMS messaging, push notifications, video messaging, in-app advertisements, location-based marketing. Developing a mobile marketing plan can involve many strategies and channels, so if you're running a small business that can't afford full-time marketers, use analytics wisely.
There are a lot of mobile marketing solutions for small businesses; many companies boast their services as the only pertinent solution to connecting with customers on mobile. Make sure you review programs you're already using.
If your small business already uses CRM or e-commerce software, a lot of these services offer mobile marketing. It may be easier to integrate a mobile marketing solution provided by one of these larger companies you already use – like Salesforce or Shopify – instead of adding another tool on a separate platform.
Vibes is a mobile engagement platform that offers text message marketing, CRM services and analytics tools. The platform offers several dashboards to manage campaigns, understand mobile wallet analytics, monitor messaging volume and track customer engagement. There are other location-based marketing services included in this platform as well. Vibes can be scaled to fit your business's mobile marketing needs, regardless of your business's size. It also integrates with your existing app, so such features as push or wallet notifications can be implemented quickly.
Thumbvista is a mobile marketing solution that specializes in geofencing, location-based advertising and advanced mobile marketing. You can use Thumbvista to create mobile landing pages, issue coupons and discount codes, and analyze mobile campaigns. The geofencing service is one of the highlights of this product. You can set up designated areas around your businesses, and when a customer enters the specific area, mobile banner ads are triggered. Geofences can be established anywhere, whether it's at a company event, near a store or near competitors.
Mozeo is another text-message marketing platform that provides analytics and an easy-to-use integrated dashboard for managing and viewing marketing campaigns. Contacts and phone numbers are easily stored and managed, and mobile keywords divide up campaigns and contact lists. You can either send predetermined responses or personalized messages using Mozeo. It also integrates with other programs and applications through APIs. Users have access to a free trial, where they can send 10 free text messages and 100 free email messages in the U.S. or Canada.
Foursquare, while different from a traditional mobile marketing solution, is a great place to start mobile marketing as a small business owner. While it doesn't offer text messaging services or geofencing, FourSquare can be used to drive popularity and traffic to your location. By incentivizing users to check in on the app, you can build a reputable online persona. Some 95 percent of mobile internet users look up local information on their phones before visiting a business. That means that establishing an online profile through apps like FourSquare will allow your business to stand out among mobile searchers.
Convertro is a platform that specializes in providing marketing analytics and insights on your existing channels. The service combines data gathering and analytics processing from marketing mix modeling and multi-touch attribution to provide an analytics tool that is comprehensive and accurate in its reporting. Convertro provides your business with the tools to analyze campaign ROI and plan new media spending. While this service isn't a traditional mobile marketing solution, it provides a platform to monitor and analyze analytics to better your business. It also tracks a customer's buying experience from start to finish, so you can quickly understand what channels render the most conversions.
Instagram for Business
Instagram for Business is a mobile ad tool for placing creative ads on a bustling social media platform. Instagram and Facebook have prompted the rise of social media marketing, and some e-commerce businesses have already begun to flourish in this medium. Instagram for Business is a service provided by Instagram for businesses looking to advertise on Instagram. These posts appear as native posts in customer's feeds, and their placement encourages ad creativity. Businesses can create video ads, photo ads or "carousel ads," where multiple photos are included in one post. With more than 500 million active worldwide accounts, Instagram is a growing platform that provides another opportunity for social media marketing.
Leanplum is a mobile marketing solution that promises to drive app engagement rates while growing your customer base. Like some of the other services, Leanplum manages SMS messaging, push notifications, email messaging and location-based advertising. It supports an omnichannel experience and can track a customer's behavior across multiple platforms. What sets this service apart, however, is its ability to promote continual app engagement. Leanplum allows businesses to connect their messaging across multiple channels and manage engagement. You can also A/B test campaign variations in Leanplum, so you can figure out the best way to engage with customers. The service encourages building relationships through customer interactions on multiple channels. While this service is used by several large corporations, it can also be tailored to fit your business's specific size and needs.
Sumotext is a platform that provides SMS marketing, mobile relationship management and multimedia messaging for small businesses. Businesses can monitor their marketing campaigns and communicate with customers using Sumotext. It offers flexible pricing and plan options for a variety of business types and sizes. Sumotext also provides advanced services. These services can easily be tailored to your business, and you can elect to include features like geofencing, mobile wallet compatibility and QR code generation. Sumotext also supports coupons and gift cards.
Mobile marketing solutions are a great way to engage with customers on a more personal level. While a lot of CRM and e-commerce software offer the same kinds of services, using one or a combination of the solutions listed above can allow your business to better manage mobile marketing and increase engagement and conversions. Before you start using these solutions, set up a marketing plan so you can use these tools effectively. If you don't have full-time marketers, start small and slowly build your campaigns on this software over time.