Mobile Matters

JA_Best Practices

Moving Targets: Best Practices for Successful Mobile Marketing Campaigns

by: | November 19, 2010

What’s so promising about mobile marketing is also what’s so problematic about it. Because it’s a channel to reach customers in real time, wherever they are and wherever they’re going – delivering offers and promotions customized to their personal preferences, interests and behaviors – that kind of intimacy leaves some consumers very uneasy. The accelerating growth of geo-specific mobile check-in services (like foursquare and Gowalla) has made it clear that many wireless subscribers want to leverage location-enabled functionality to identify and interact with friends and businesses in their immediate vicinity. However, a large number of consumers remain reluctant to embrace the possibilities, likely because they are unwilling or unable to move past the potential threat posed to their privacy and security in the event that personal information is misused or disclosed without their authorization.

The reality is that those concerns are completely unfounded – the mobile industry and its marketer partners have done an exemplary job of rolling out campaigns that offer consumers legitimate value and utility without compromising the integrity of subscriber data. Credit goes in part to the Mobile Marketing Association, a global nonprofit trade organization with more than 750 member companies that work together to define, nurture and police the platform’s evolution. The MMA’s U.S. Consumer Best Practices Guidelines ( include both technical and creative standards, as well as privacy, ad delivery and ad measurement protocols. The group favors a common-sense approach, mandating that mobile marketing programs operate in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, emphasizing permission-based campaigns that champion consumer privacy above all else.

The MMA standards are working, and consumer confidence is growing: According to a survey the association conducted in March 2010, 10 percent of all U.S. wireless subscribers now use location-enabled mobile services at least once a week. That number rises to 22 percent among subscribers between the ages of 25 and 34 and leaps to 63 percent among iPhone owners. Moreover, close to half of subscribers who noticed advertisements integrated into location-specific mobile services responded with some sort of action.

For small businesses looking to capitalize on the mobile marketing opportunity, it’s imperative to follow the guidelines set by the MMA – Small- and medium-sized businesses may decide it makes good sense to team with an established mobile marketing solutions partner already well-versed in the rules and regulations of the platform. The fundamental principles of positive customer interaction also are paramount: Small businesses should keep their mobile messages clear and relevant to their customer base – engage consumers with persuasive, meaningful offers that drive traffic into your store, restaurant or bar, making recipients feel that there’s real value in sharing their mobile numbers with you. Be creative and clever, as well as succinct – you’ve got 160 characters per text message, so use them wisely. Most important of all, never violate their trust – send only the kinds of messages you would like to receive from your own favorite businesses. Although it should be easy for customers to opt out of your mobile mailing list, you never want to give them a compelling reason to do so.Marketing Zeus

In Part 3 of Moving Targets, you’ll learn how to attract new customers by allowing them to check in using location-based social networks.

Posted in: Affiliate, B2C, E-Commerce, Geolocation, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Development, Mobile Matters

About the Writer:

Jason Ankeny is the executive editor of the FierceMobileContent and FierceDeveloper e-newsletters as well as a regular contributor to Entrepreneur magazine and the website All Music Guide. Additional credits include efforts for publications including Rolling Stone, Wax Poetics and No Depression, along with liner notes for a number of album releases. He lives in Chicago.

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