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Let’s Talk About: Mobile

imagesThe mobile marketplace is becoming increasingly cluttered with acronyms and terminologies. Do you need a WAP site? An App? How about an SMS (or MMS) database? The short answer to all these questions is “yes.” You really do need all three. Why? Because, as the term mobile suggests, users will look for information in all channels when using their device.

A recent study released by Pew Internet Research highlighted that 75% of people own a mobile phone, up 30% from 2004, and that they are using mobile devices for multiple functions:

* 72% to send text messages

* 83% to take pictures

* 46% to play games

So how do you craft a sound mobile strategy? Here are the channels you need to address, in order to cover your bases:

WAP (Mobile) Friendly Website

Usage of the WAP acronym varies by segment, but for mobile it most commonly stands for “Wireless Application Protocol.” WAP Site is frequently used to refer to web pages that are tailored to display on a mobile device. Most web sites are built primarily for users that will be visiting from a laptop or desktop computer, which have large screens, a mouse and a keyboard.

With wireless usage on the rise, it is extremely important to keep development for mobile users in mind. According to Quantcast, mobile web usage increased 148% in 2009. And with more devices coming to market to make mobile web browsing easier, marketers can’t ignore how this influences the¬† consumer.

Users are constantly on the move between school, activities and time spent with friends. When people you’re trying to target remember to visit your web site, they’re most likely doing it while in transit or outside of their home. So make sure your first base is covered by accounting for visitors that will view your site on a small screen and use device tracking when your page loads to redirect them accordingly.

SMS (Text) Message List

Nearly all text messages are read, whereas email clutter is continuously on the rise. Text message campaigns are the way to make sure your message is read and not ignored. While actually executing a campaign that comes across as non-invasive can be tricky, requesting a user’s mobile phone number and carrier (in addition to email) when building an eCRM list is important. When planning for data collection, make sure you get this information. Keep it handy for that perfect campaign where a text message blast makes sense.

Mobile Application

Last on the list of “must haves” are mobile applications. If you’re lucky enough to have a relevant need to build an application for your brand, such as Tony Hawk’s “Pro Skater” game, then go build it! If not, think of a utility you can align yourself with to provide a benefit to your target market. If you are a skin care line, build an application that shows what product to use based on your skin type and time of year — then brand it.

Building an application that allows you to soft-sell your product is a great way to give back to your customers, while ensuring that every time they access their device they will see your logo. When building out mobile applications, keep in mind multiple devices such as the iPhone and Android. Build and distribute your app across all available platforms to increase reach.

These three considerations will make sure you’re covered when people come knocking!

[Information originally seen in MediaPost – Engage: Teens]


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