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What is mobile marketing: Best practices and strategies to consider

Delivering your company's marketing message to mobile audiences calls for a unique approach



Quick insight

Mobile marketing includes all the various activities a business undertakes to build awareness and engagement with audiences on smartphones or tablet devices.


Defining mobile marketing

Did you know, the average smartphone user spends three hours or more a day on their device? In the US, that average increases to 5-6 hours a day. We are living in a mobile-first world, and marketing has had to adapt. Mobile marketing is now an essential part of any digital marketing strategy that sets out to build brand awareness and engagement.

The trend toward mobile marketing has evolved right along with recent shifts in consumer behavior and the rise of mobile apps. Today, nearly 90% of mobile internet time is spent in apps.

Businesses now have the opportunity to connect with their customers where they are spending most of their time, by advertising via SMS or their own apps, over social media apps, or inside third-party apps that display ads to their users.


Why you need a mobile marketing strategy

Your audience is spending several hours a day swiping through apps and messages on their phone screen; you don’t want to miss the chance to present your brand whenever opportunities arise.

The fact that content delivered on mobile devices often feels more personal and immediate means brands who endeavor to create unique experiences and personalized campaigns are already at an advantage when they engage with their customers through mobile marketing. However, with small screen sizes, many competing apps, and limited attention spans, mobile requires a unique approach to messaging, content, design, and offers.


Mobile marketing channels

Marketers currently have several powerful ways to reach mobile audiences. For best results, think about combining them into one cohesive mobile marketing strategy that you can execute and then measure over time.

  1. Mobile commerce and your apps: First, consider any digital properties that you own and control, including mobile commerce storefronts and branded apps. Make sure you’ve optimized them with personalized search and targeted merchandising to provide hyper-relevant experiences.
  2. Social media networks: Next, you might turn to social media to reach the billions of users who engage with TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and other messaging channels. Aside from managing the content on your own social channels, you can run sponsored content to highly targeted segments across their advertising networks.
  3. Location-based marketing: Location-based marketing enables companies to use geotargeting personalization to serve up location-relevant offers and drive people to their places of business. Once you have insight into the user’s location, you can provide contextual information and special offers in the precise moment when it matters to that individual.
  4. SMS marketing: For brands with time-sensitive offers, marketing via text message is another option to complement opt-in email campaigns and omnichannel marketing strategies. For enterprise-scale organizations, a customer data platform (CDP) is going to be critical to automating your SMS marketing and unifying all the touchpoints of the customer journey.
  5. In-app marketing: Ad-supported apps offer a variety of ways to showcase sponsors in the context of their digital experiences. These can take the form of banners, promotional videos, sponsored content, and interstitials. For example, TeamSnap, a popular app for managing youth sports teams, allows brands to reach “busy parents and their families,” in the moment they are thinking about their teams. Similarly, Spotify Advertising provides a self-serve ad manager for businesses to reach customers “wherever they’re listening.”


Mobile marketing best practices

Learn from the experience of other marketing teams and follow these dos and don’ts as you craft your mobile marketing strategy:

  • Do personalize the message: Even more than website browsers, smartphone users expect brands to deliver information and experiences that are relevant to their needs. The right customer experience platform can help you meet this expectation with audience segmentation as well as strong analytics. Recently, direct-to-consumer beauty company Oriflame was able to extend its mobile reach in the China market with an app that uses a headless architecture approach.
  • Do automate your marketing: The best way to scale mobile marketing efforts is to automate your audience engagement and messaging campaigns. Marketing automation solutions enable you to personalize with ease, while keeping your messaging in sync across channels.
  • Do optimize for location: Once you have location-based insight, use it to deliver the goods and services that are going to be relevant in that exact place and time.
  • Do measure the results: Make sure you have a way of benchmarking where you started and identify the best metrics to reveal what’s working or not as your mobile marketing strategy evolves.
  • Don’t treat smartphones and tablets as one and the same: People use tablets differently than phones, and you’ll need to design any creative materials to be responsive to the varying screen sizes.
  • Don’t let mobile content get too long or complex: Smaller phone screens demand a short-and-sweet approach to promotional content. Don’t try to cram too much information into mobile graphics. Keep it simple with only a few words, and your message will be easier to spot and remember.


Ready to begin?

If you’re preparing to launch a mobile marketing campaign soon, Sitecore has a wealth of resources and solutions to help guide the way. We’re here to help you create connections and build relationships with audiences on every channel.

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