Mobile Marketing: Best Direct Response Marketing Ever?

There’s little doubt mobile marketing is the future of direct response marketing. New data out nearly weekly shows that the public’s usage of mobile is increasing and its stomach for mobile ads is getting more tolerant.

A recent study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that 70% of consumers now welcome mobile ads, and actually want to receive mobile ads on their smartphone. That alone is fairly stunning.

Additionally, the study found that mobile Internet usage will surpass desktop web usage by 2014. Some reports suggest that by 2014, a quarter of all mobile web users will never or rarely even use desktop Internet. Their Internet usage will be exclusive to mobile phones. Add to that the fact that mobile marketing budgets are expected to increase tenfold in the next five years.

Mobile engagement and marketing is increasing because it works. We have mountains of data showing, fairly clearly, that mobile marketing produces more results more quickly than any other direct response marketing channel we’ve ever seen. Here are some of the reasons mobile marketing is starting to look like the most effective direct response marketing tool ever.

1. Fast conversions. Mobile marketing truncates the lead-to-sales pipeline dramatically. A stunning 70% of all mobile searches result in action within one hour. By way of comparison, 70% of online searches lead to action within one month. This statistic alone is pretty surprising. Think, for a moment, about the implications inherent here. The sales pipeline goes from days to hours in the mobile world. Additionally, research from Google shows mobile users are ready to buy quicker. They’re not searching on a mobile phone or clicking on a mobile ad to get information; rather, they’re ready to buy.

2. Local targeting. Direct marketers know that targeted advertising is better advertising. Mobile can provide hyper-local targeting better than any other medium. Google knows where mobile searchers are in real-time. Not where they live—where they are.


Additionally, Google reports that 40% of mobile searches have local intent. People want to find immediate solutions to their problems via mobile search and so they search for local solutions. Mobile searchers are thinking local and immediate. They’re not doing research. They’re making decisions right now.

2. High-quality conversions and engagement. Google says mobile ads that use a phrase like “Call us now” or “Call now” have 8% higher conversion rates than standard mobile ads.

Our research indicates that conversion rates are ten to 15 times higher on a phone than on the average landing page. Basically, this means that if a prospect calls you, they are ten to 15 times more likely to buy your product than if they simply visit a landing page. BIA Kelsey confirms our data with research of its own that says 64% of companies say phone calls are their highest quality lead channel.

What does this have to do with mobile marketing? Well, guess what mobile marketing is really, really good at: Generating phone calls.

Google says 61% of mobile searches result in phone calls. xAd says that 52% of all mobile ads results in phone calls.

There is no other marketing channel that produces phone calls that frequently.

In short: Mobile generates the highest quality lead source the majority of the time.

3. Local prowess. Google says that 95% of smartphone users look up local information regularly—88% of these users take action within a day. This indicates that there are immediate needs searchers are trying to address.

Local companies should take advantage of these needs immediately. If your local business cannot be found on a mobile search, you won’t exist by 2014.

4. Audience addiction. If you have a smartphone you know how hopelessly addicted you are to it. You know that you can’t make it through a meal, a movie, or even a trip to the restroom without checking your phone. You are a captive prisoner to your phone. This makes marketers smile.

Direct marketers have long tried to get their message in front of potential consumers via a channel that was so addicting soon-to-be customers had no choice but to look. Direct marketers need access to consumers to get their message out. Well, mobile marketing gives you constant access to consumers. Studies show that 91% of smartphone owners have their phone within arms reach 24 hours a day, seven days a week (source: Morgan Stanley 2011).

There is no other channel that provides access to potential buyers 91% of the time.

5. Mobile marketing produces action. Ninety percent of mobile searches lead to action and more than half lead to purchase (source: MobiThinking, 2012). Enough said.

6. Easy to measure metrics. Direct marketers understand that performance analytics are key to gauging success. No longer can marketing sit back and rely on branding only. Results have to be measurable. Google Analytics is definitely trending mobile. You can track where mobile users are, how frequently they visit, and even which device they use. Additionally, integrating Google Analytics Multi-Channel Conversion Path with a call tracking tool allows you to track every engagement from the consumer. Phone calls are simple to track with any call tracking application (we prefer ours). And remember—phone calls are the most common result of a mobile ad or mobile search.

So, is mobile the best direct response marketing channel ever?

Some argue that data is incomplete and that mobile marketing is simply too young to be crowned as the best ever so quickly. That may be true. However, mobile marketing appears to be very different than anything we’ve ever seen before. Its response rates and success rates are astronomically higher than any other method of marketing we’ve ever seen. Imagine if an email had a 70% response rate or generated phone calls 61% of the time. Imagine if a direct mailer produced customer action 90% of the time.

These statistics and the stunning effectiveness of mobile marketing shouldn’t frighten traditional direct marketers. This is an opportunity, not a problem. Think of it this way: You’ve been given a tool that will increase your engagement, conversion, and your trackable metrics. That’s awesome!

Jason Wells is CEO of ContactPoint.

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