Phoning it in- the guesswork of mobile marketing

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Study after study after study are slowly surfacing this week all focusing on how, when and where we use our cellphones.  With the popularity of smart phones on the rise,  such studies and surveys are intriguing because they provide data into the often murky waters of mobile marketing.  Much like our cellphone reception in remote places, mobile marketing is a tough thing to predict.

One of the surveys discovered that many businesses are reluctant to use mobile marketing because it is so hard to track. Without the demographics used in other forms of online marketing, mobile campaigns are a literal shot in the dark.  Thankfully, services like GSM’s Mobile Media Metrics have now gone global. Just launched in the UK and in the states since 2008, the program of core metrics uses measures of page impressions, aggregate numbers of users, and length/frequency of browsing sessions.

Another study finds that 17% of Americans use mobile phones to conduct their banking.  This rise is due in part largely to smart phones and their increasing data capability. The study also affirms what many of us have suspected for years which is that our growing dependence on cellphones has in fact opened doors for more marketing options.

Mainly, all of these studies and surveys prove that none of this is an exact science. Mobile marketing, like good old fashioned public relations, is a spaghetti throwing process of seeing what sticks. We can track and measure all we want but the most effective method is client response. Once upon a time, the department store would run coupons in the newspaper, wait for customers to bring it in, count said coupons and then decide if they want to run the coupon again based on how many they received. Mobile marketing can be looked at in a similar way. Of course, we don’t know exactly how  many folks see our advertisements on their phones but we can certainly take an educated guess based on client reaction and by conducting surveys of our own. Take a minute to ask your customers, employees, and friends what they think of your mobile marketing plan. Who knows? The results could help mobile marketing become less mysterious and more effective.

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