Cover Story: How Mobile Is Your Marketing?
Mobile is one of the fastest-changing channels in marketing today. CTIA-The Wireless Association reports that 96 percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone; 37 percent of those are smartphones, according to The Nielsen Company's latest numbers, up from 28 percent in November 2010.
The tablet boom started by Apple's iPad continues to reshape how consumers and businesses interact with digital marketing, while text codes and 2D barcodes—including QR Codes—are revolutionizing direct mail and other print media. The USPS is even offering a two-month "Summer Sale" on marketing mail that includes 2D barcodes to showcase the power of the new technology.
And yet, for many direct marketers, mobile is also the least understood channel. In the results of Target Marketing's 2011 Media Usage Survey from the March issue, more than half of responding direct marketers did not use mobile marketing, and only a third were increasing budgets for the channel.
"A recent Forrester study ["How Mature Is Your Mobile Strategy?" by Thomas Husson, Oct. 2010] revealed that almost three-quarters of the world's leading mobile marketers don't, in fact, have a mobile strategy and have essentially treated mobile as a standalone or experimental medium," says Mike Ricci, vice president of mobile for Portland, Ore.-based digital analytics firm Webtrends. "It is often a lone exploratory attempt and not part of the larger marketing strategy."
To remedy that, Target Marketing sought the opinions of Ricci and four other mobile marketing experts to learn how mobile marketing really works. Their insights form the basis of this quiz and the best practices explained in the following answers.
1. Should mobile be treated as an extension of Web marketing?
Answer: b. No
"Mobile marketing includes SMS, MMS, mobile advertising, mobile Web, apps, QR Codes and more—all of which deserve dedicated attention," says Eric Harber, president and chief operating officer of Kirkland, Wash.-based mobile marketing company Hipcricket. With so many marketing tactics branching off of mobile, our experts were quick to point out that any mobile strategy needs to be integrated with your overall marketing and consumer communication strategies.