co What's Your Mobile Marketing Strategy? |

Amidst all the hype with social media, there’s a growing trend that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle: Mobile marketing.

Before starting my own company in 2006, I worked for 16 years in the wireless industry for AT&T Wireless and Cingular, so I’ve watched mobile develop over the years with more than a casual passers-by interest.

For many reasons, mobile marketing has been slow to grow in the United States.

“Mobile marketing in the US has been hindered by relatively slow adoption compared to the rest of the world.  For marketers, however, this can be a benefit because there are so many solid mobile marketing case studies from Europe and Southeast Asia,” says Lisa Foote, founder of MixMobi, a user-friendly mobile marketing service based right here in Minneapolis, MN.

A recent study by Pew Internet showed that 47% of American adults use their smartphone or tablet device to obtain local news or information.

Developments in mobile technology such as the iPhone and other web-enabled smart phones have propelled this growth.
One of the biggest growth areas I’ve seen in mobile marketing is the use of digital coupons. According to NCH Marketing Services, “more than 45 million American consumers are now taking advantage of digital coupons” and “search queries for coupons and discounts have increased by more than 50%” since last year.

Who uses digital coupons? According to

  • Consumers with an average household income of $96k annually
  • 33% of consumers with college degrees
  • Consumers who have an annual household income of $100,000 and who have college degrees are twice as likely to use digital coupons.

The very best mobile marketing strategies are those that are integrated with your overall marketing program and can include:

  • A website designed with mobile device access in mind
  • Local business listings in directories such as Yahoo, Google, and others
  • Use of social media to build location-specific relationships
  • Leveraging applications such as FourSquare and Twitter with geo-targeting capabilities to target your reach
  • Adding mobile/digital coupon offers that allow you to reach your audience via text message, e-mail, Facebook and Twitter
  • Adding Quick Response (QR) Codes to your collateral, business cards, print ads, signage, etc. to build a link between your physical and online presence and extend your marketing capabilities

Where Mobile is headed

As you can see, the real opportunity with mobile marketing is when you integrate with everything else you are doing from a marketing standpoint.

Venture capitalist Fred Wilson says that “combining mobile, social media, and real-time creates a ‘golden triangle‘ of opportunity for marketers. Coca Cola reported tremendous success leveraging sponsored Tweets during the World Cup, for example. When marketers figure out what their prospects and customers are following in real time and present attractive promotions via social, accessible on mobile, they have a compelling combination.”

I couldn’t agree more!