The Basic Elements of Mobile Marketing

Posted on December 19th 2013

The Basic Elements of Mobile Marketing

mobile marketingWe’ve all heard of the traditional marketing mix, but there hasn’t been much work done on a mobile version. So this blog is going to provide a nice summary of the elements that make up the mobile marketing landscape, creatively called the ‘Mobile Marketing Mix’, or MMM!

(1) Apps

In the past if you’d said ‘App’ you might think there’s two letters, ‘L’ and ‘E’ missing from it, or that it’s half of a fruit. But it is in fact short for ‘Applications’. Yes, that’s where the word App comes from, who’d have thought it. So an app is a small piece of software that performs a certain action. Whether that’s a social network, a calculator, the news, a game or a map, these apps have an intended purpose, and are either pre-installed on your smartphone or can be downloaded from an App store.

(2) Mobile Advertising

One thing that mobile apps bring is the opportunity for adverts to be displayed on them. Just like ads have appeared on websites, nowadays gaining extra revenue from mobile ads has become not optional but compulsory. The great thing about mobile ads is the company can ‘own’ that small screen. Whereas on a website there might be a few ads popping up, on a mobile ad most likely only one can appear.

Mobile ads can come in four forms:

  • Mobile banners and displays: graphical images or text that could include rich media
  • Mobile PPC: ad appears when you search for something in the paid listings
  • Contextual mobile ads: similar to PPC, but more on websites/apps rather than search listings
  • Idle screen advertising: ads shown while the user is waiting for a page or app to download

(3) M-Commerce

After the word E-commerce was coined from buying online, the term has been applied to the mobile world. Mobile Commerce is the act of purchasing a product or service through your phone. So that could be anything from purchasing shoes from M&S to train tickets from the Trainline. As long as it’s purchased via a phone device, it can be called M-Commerce.

M-Commerce has revolutionised buying online as you can pretty much buy anything from anywhere. M-Commerce sales are rising rapidly and will more than likely explode over the next few years. Although the security aspect of buying via your phone is still a worry for some.

(4) QR Codes

Known formally as Quick Response Codes or informally as QR Codes, these have become an ever growing aspect of the mobile landscape. A QR code is a barcode that can appear on paper, a product or a billboard, and can be read using a smartphone or a dedicated QR reading device and contains a URL within it. So once you’ve captured the QR code the link could take you to anything from a website to a message or to a special offer. The mysteries of the QR code!

(5) Mobile Coupons

A mobile coupon is an electronic ticket or message sent to someone’s mobile phone usually via a SMS or MMS text for the person to redeem an offer or gain a discount on a product or service. This is a great way to drive either footfall to your store or traffic to your website. Mobile coupons are usually well targeted as they either know you’d be interested in the offer, or you’re in the local area and could take advantage of it.

For instance, you could receive a SMS text to get a 20% discount off a pizza at the Pizza Express ten minutes away; a fantastic way to solve your dinner problems!

(6) Location Based Mobile Marketing

There are kind of two elements to this. The first is interrelated with the previous point about mobile coupons and being in the right location to redeem them. Targeted advertising using GPS is a fantastic way to reach a vast audience and is growing fast!

The second part combines two aspects, apps or websites with location. The main example of this is Foursquare where the app allows you to post an update of where you are. Additionally, Facebooks ‘Check in’ and other social networks location finders have integrated mobile and location together to enable you to tell the world where you are.   

(7) Mobile Payments

Picture the situation, your friend wants to buy something online but has run out of money or someone owes you money. Instead of waiting ages for the cheque to clear you can now make that payment quickly through your mobile. That’s because by downloading an app money can be transferred into your account instantly through the power of your mobile device. Great! No more waiting needed!

(8) Mobile Websites

The eighth and final aspect of MMM is mobile optimised websites, so now we aren’t talking about apps, but more websites that accommodate mobile. For instance, http://m.bbc.co.uk/news is the BBC News mobile site. If you typed this into a search engine on your mobile then this would be the interface you’d see. The site is more compressed with design, usability and navigation features that enable the site to be viewed from a small screen on a mobile. So although you can download a BBC News app there still must be a mobile website version created just in case you access the site from a search engine or another site.

However, we’ve all been there when there still isn’t a mobile optimised site! Frantically expanding and dragging the page up, down and across! Very annoying!

So there we have it. There’s an overview of the eight main elements of mobile marketing which in some way all interrelate. There’s no question that mobile marketing is increasing and probably by next year this list and the mobile marketing mix would have increased further!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. For more digital marketing and social media news please follow my Twitter account @DigitalStuart.

(mobile marketing / shutterstock)

DigitalStuart

Stuart Elleray

I'm a digital marketing, social media and business enthusiast that loves blogging, tweeting and researching the industry. I've worked in social media and digital marketing for two years now which has included being a digital marketing intern at a leading digital recruitment agency, a co-founder of a social networking website and more recently a Social Media Manager at the UK's leading charity drinks brand. In addition, I have a First Class Honours Degree in Business Management from the University of Surrey, the UK's 6th best University. 

I love to keep up to date with the digital marketing world by regularly reading industry websites and tweeting about it from @DigitalStuart as well as writing a digital marketing blog and contributing posts to other websites. 

Thanks for reading my blog posts! :)

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