6 Tips to Better Manage Your Mobile Database

Despite the proven benefits, building, managing and optimizing mobile marketing databases can be an intimidating task. Those who take the plunge successfully give their customers the freedom and control to pick when and how they want to interact, resulting in measurable increases in brand loyalty and engagement.

Here are six steps to help you optimize your mobile marketing database:

1. Acquire: The first step is to determine how you will acquire consumers’ mobile phone numbers. A great, affordable option is to add a mobile element to your traditional ad buys. Including a note—for example: “Text COFFEE to [shortcode] to receive $1 off an iced coffee beverage”—to a TV, radio, online or print ad can not only help track the traditional ad’s success rate, but also take advantage of already purchased ad space. This can be done across multiple channels with numerous methods of engagement. Other mobile marketing options include creating mobile Web (WAP) sites, mobile banner ads and branded applications. It’s a good idea to start with a simple initiative with the widest possible reach, like SMS, and then build your program from there.

2. Manage: Remember that ALL mobile marketing communications are strictly opt-in. The Mobile Marketing Association and the mobile operators have strict guidelines that marketers must follow to ensure consumer privacy. They also guarantee that mobile marketing communication is welcome and accepted, creating opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers on an ongoing basis on their most personal devices—their mobile phones.

3. Integrate: We all know it’s easier to retain a current customer than it is to acquire a new one, so customer relationship management is a crucial part of any business. For this reason, your mobile database should integrate seamlessly with your existing databases.

4. Engage: The customer experience is an ongoing relationship. There are a number of methods to help you connect and stay connected to your customers. Mobile clubs and loyalty programs are a great way to keep customers up to date on your latest offers and promotions. Also, offering mobile coupons (especially text-based coupons) has been extremely successful in engaging customers.

5. Monetize: In addition to driving customer engagement, a good mobile marketing database also can provide your organization with innovative ways to generate revenue. These may come through promotional and offer-based messages into your SMS, WAP sites, Web site, e-mail and interactive voice response channels.

6. Measure: In marketing, calculating the success and return on investment for your campaigns often is challenging. However, due to the personal nature of mobile marketing, it is one of the easiest marketing initiatives to measure. Also, because mobile campaigns can be tracked easily and measured in real time, they allow you to make changes on the fly to fully optimize your ad spend. In certain instances, like in the case of mobile coupons, your ad even can be tracked from the initial contact through to the ultimate purchase.

Jeff Hasen is chief marketing officer at Hipcricket, a mobile marketing provider based in Kirkland, Wash. He can be reached at jhasen@hipcricket.com.

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