Basics of digital marketing - Mobile Marketing

When the internet appeared on the scene of people's daily life,  the connection became possible from an infrastructure that  was based on wiring. For this reason, many places where it was  very expensive to bring such infrastructure became isolated and  lagged behind in digital development. This was the case in  many developing countries, especially in rural areas.

A few years later, when wireless technology evolved, a very  interesting phenomenon occurred: more than 4 billion people  made the leap to digital connection without going through the  era of the landline and connecting to the Internet through of a  modem. We could say that it was the biggest technological leap  in history!

Naturally, access to mobile technology has exploded in the last  decade. It is estimated that today 7 out of 10 inhabitants of the  planet have a cell phone. This results in 5.3 billion users  worldwide.  

The first observation that we can make in the face of these  numbers is that the technological gap that existed in the days of  cable has been closing in this new wireless era.

Evolution of the cell phone, as a communication device

If we look at the evolution of cell phones over time, we notice  an interesting trend. At a certain point, manufacturers began to  go to great lengths to create smaller and more portable  devices. With the appearance of the iPhone, a turning point  was marked, from which the screen became the main protagonist when using the cell phone. This is how the size of  the cell phone increased again, until it reached the devices  currently known as phablets, a word that combines “phone”  and “tablet”.

Thanks to the technology incorporated in cell phones, a number  of devices began to be displaced little by little, such as the  flashlight, radio, alarm clock, calculator, etc. Today, a  smartphone is much more powerful computer equipment than  the computers we had at home when we were children.

A next-generation cell phone is much more than a telephone. It  is an entertainment center, a personal assistant, a real-time  work and communication tool and, most importantly for the  purpose of our course, a source of permanent content  consumption.

Importance of the cell phone in marketing

The best example to understand the importance of the cell  phone in marketing for the digital world is that you measure  the distance your cell phone is from your hand at this moment.  In fact, you are possibly reading this on your phone!

Consumers are using 3 screens most of the time: the computer,  the television and the cell phone. But, unlike the other two  screens, we take the cell phone with us everywhere. This is  precisely where its importance lies: it is a means of  communication that we know is at all times within the reach of  the consumer.

Think about it for a moment: no other means of communication  travels in the customer's pocket, it is on, 24 hours a day and  connected to the internet, it is interactive and allows the user

to make payments instantly. Your client's cell phone is the place  to be!

Some golden rules of mobile marketing

Before starting to develop the different options that Mobile  Marketing presents for the implementation of your digital  strategy on your users' cell phones, let's make the rules of the  game clear. The following are the foundations on which you  must build any marketing action oriented to mobile devices:

  •  Option to opt-in: that is, the user must have the option  of approving the interaction of your brand with their  device voluntarily and consciously.
  • Option to opt-out: that is, you must allow the user who  has control to disable notifications or any type of  interaction you have with their device at any time.
  • Relevant content: this is the golden rule that governs  every form of digital marketing strategy. You must offer  your users quality content, which meets the information  or entertainment criteria.

Remember that, as in other marketing scenarios, the actions  should not be push but pull. In other words, make sure that the  user is the one who starts the interaction. And one of the best  ways to achieve this is to understand that the cell phone is a  tool that is used around very specific micro-moments of  everyday life.

SMS as a communication tool

With all the amazing things we can do on our cell phones, we  sometimes forget that a tool as basic as texting is still as  prevalent today as it was in the early era of mobile communications. Just to give you something to think about,  today around 8.3 trillion text messages are still sent a year.

A large number of companies use this means of communication  to reach their users. For example, in the banking sector SMS notifications of bank transactions and movements have become  popular. Or in the transportation sector, especially airlines, they  use text messages to confirm flight schedules and itineraries.

The point is definitely SMS is far from obsolete. But, going into  the matter, how can text messages are used within a Mobile  Marketing strategy? Here are a few examples of how SMS can  be used as a marketing tool, beyond its obvious use as a means  of communication.

How to use SMS in a Mobile Marketing strategy

Let's start with a very simple example. McDonald’s ran a  campaign inviting people buying a drink to register the code on  the glass to participate for discounts and prizes. Users had to  send the code in a text message and by the same means  received the instructions to redeem the prizes. There were 1.5  million participants in the 5 weeks that the campaign lasted.

For the launch of a new product in the Philippines, Pond’s  offered home delivery at no additional cost for people who sent  a text message with their personal details. The response was  massive: 300,000 SMS were received in one month.

In this case, as in the previous one, the main benefit for the  brand is the information of the users, which becomes a  database for future communications and activities within the  marketing strategy.

A very creative example of using SMS to interact with the target  audience is an activity carried out by the BBC with a digital  billboard located in New York City. The billboard proposed a  survey on different topics of debate, such as intervention in the  Middle East or political relations with China. Users could  participate in the poll by sending the option they voted for in a  text message, and the billboard was showing the results of the  poll in real time.

All these examples show how texting is a valid tool that allows  you to effectively reach your audience. Also, as we saw in the  previous lesson, being on your users' cell phone is equivalent to  being with them everywhere.

Using SMS is taking advantage of a trend that continues to grow

Although text messages do not require advanced technology in  the user's cell phone, in fact any device with mobile network  coverage can receive SMS, its traceability and simplicity are a  good starting point to shorten the distances between your  brand and your users.

Completing a little panorama of growth in the use of cell  phones that we highlighted above, it is worth mentioning that it  is expected that by 2022 more than 70% of users of mobile  devices will have a smartphone. This equates to around 2.5  billion people.

If we add to this trend to the decrease in the acquisition costs  of smartphones, which has reached the point of having a cell  phone of $25 USD on the market, we can see the growth of  users with this type of device. The same manufacturers point  out that the penetration of smartphones is increasing.