Use mobile’s personalization, to offer value and maintain customer engagement

Mobile marketing is quickly becoming a great way to increase the impact of traditional media and convert any marketing asset into a direct marketing tool.

The mobile device is one of the most personal of its kind, even more so than the PC. Though marketers are excited by the opportunities this personalization offers, it must be used carefully. Tools like direct mail, print advertising and even packaging can now all become interactive in seconds through the mobile device. What you need to do is start with specific business objectives in mind and execute effectively.

There are a number of ways consumers can “pull” dynamic and useful information using their mobile phone, and it’s important to consider all of the options. SMS is the most widely available, and it’s a great way to start a conversation or deliver periodic product updates, helpful tips and promotional offers. A newer technology is mobile barcodes, also known as quick response or QR codes. Consumers use the camera phone to automatically launch a Web site or initiate a phone call or text message. While the technology is still new, marketers like Intel and Microsoft are already using it to make virtually any media come to life. Just scan a code to watch a video, enter a sweepstakes, or even place an order — right from the phone.

Whatever you choose, follow a couple of basic rules. Make it easy for consumers and give them something of value in return. People are much more likely to offer an e-mail address than a cell phone number, but in either case you have to give them a reason to do so. That could be a promotional offer, a chance to win, exclusive content or just mobile-friendly information when they need it most. The overall experience is critical.

Test different tactics to learn what works for your specific business and target audience. Then use those learnings to get your consumer engaged in a whole new way.

This article originally ran as part of the March 1, 2010 Technique, “Mobile marketing reaches tech targets.” To read the entire feature, click here.

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