Mobile marketing 101 for small business

small businessUnlike traditional marketing channels such as billboard campaigns, TV and radio ads or direct mail, mobile marketing lets businesses meet their customers on the devices that rarely leave their side – their mobile phones. The mobile marketing mix comprises SMSs, multimedia messages and mobile apps (including social networks) which really allow you to reach a desired audience in a highly targeted way.

And the fact that South Africa has a 133% mobile phone penetration rate (according to research from On Device reported on htxt.co.za) is an important fact that smaller business owners should not ignore. For those who previously found marketing too expensive and untargeted, mobile marketing provides a solution that allows you to reach a very targeted audience in clever and cost effective ways. Read on to find out how to market yourself in the place your customers are on a daily basis – their mobile phones.

Mobile marketing is a highly targeted and more personalised way of interacting with customers

It just so happens South Africa is leading the way when it comes to mobile app use, according to the Mobile Africa 2015 study conducted by World Wide Worx.. In addition to providing an actual service, apps can allow a broad range of options to directly engage with customers, whether surveys, promotions, discounts and any other announcements you might have previously sent out in an email that might never had been seen or opened.

A smaller customer base presents SME owners with a chance to form great relationships with their customers

So why is mobile marketing so effective for small business? An SME’s customer base is vastly smaller than that of corporate that has stores all over the country. With a much smaller customer base, a small business is in an ideal position to create personal relationships with its customers – and it’ll be these personalised relationships that retain customers over the long term. Because communication through a mobile phone is targeted to each individual, it’s the perfect medium through which to nurture these relationships, as long as the messages are personalised too.

When it comes to mobile marketing, it’s all about getting personal

Mobile marketing is called “opt-in” marketing, as the customer has already chosen to receive marketing messages from you – and if they haven’t it’s imperative that you look at the Consumer Protection Act and POPI Act to ensure that you’re compliant. This means you know that any of your customers who have opted-in are already interested in your goods or services and you no longer need to spend time and money on customers who have opted out and are not interested. Not only is mobile marketing cheaper than traditional marketing, it’s more engaging and interactive. Consumers today are becoming accustomed to having tailored user experiences, and will block out broad spectrum marketing messages that don’t speak to them on a personal level. The key is to make your mobile marketing genuine and personalised, or that SMS campaign will be forgotten in a matter of seconds.

How your customers use their phone and what phone they use will influence how you execute campaigns

One of the first steps to putting a mobile marketing campaign into practice is to find out how and where your target audience are using their mobile phones. Are they using their phones on transport, at home, in queues, in restaurants or at work? Where they use their phones is important to understanding the time and attention they will give to your campaign. You also need to take screen resolution into consideration. If your target audience is affluent, it’s likely they’ll own smartphones with high screen resolutions and advanced features. It’s also likely they’ll have access to larger amounts of mobile data. If your customer base is from lower income brackets and own basic phones, or feature phones, which can’t download apps or view colour, you’ll have to tailor your mobile marketing efforts accordingly. Executing a mobile marketing campaign for effective enterprise development is no small topic – for more information, consult the Mobile Marketing Engine blog here.

When planning your mobile marketing, you must also take into account future trends. Mashable have predicted 14 trends that will dominate this year. Here are five of them:

1) Instagram and Snapchat ads: If you use Twitter you’ll have noticed the promoted tweets. Now Instagram and SnapChat are doing the same thing. If you’re targeting the under 18s, then it’s worth considering SnapChat over Instagram.

2) Mobile payments: The volume of mobile payment offerings is set to grow this year, and as they do, your customers will expect businesses to offer them different ways to pay. One such option is ZipZap, the mPOS solution from Paycorp.

3) Mobile-specific content: Unfortunately, it’ll soon no longer be sufficient to have a blog on your website – you’ll need to create content for mobile only. The types of content people digest on a desktop will diverge from that they want to consume on a mobile phone.

4) Mobile apps: A few years ago, “mobile optimisation” was the buzzword. Today, optimising your website for mobile is taking second place to simply creating a value-added mobile app that’ll replace the need to visit website through mobile browsers.

5)    Mobile marketing automation: This will allow small businesses to collect data about how their customers are interacting on their mobile phones. With this data, SMEs will be able to make their mobile marketing even more targeted and personalised.

If you’d like to partner with a company who realises the value in mobile for enterprise development, why not download the ZipZap mPOS brochure to learn how you can transact where ever you do business.