5 steps to creating a dynamic mobile marketing campaign

By Kim Dushinski

Consumers use the mobile phone for a variety of reasons at different times of day. Most can be surmised through common sense. So any kind of marketing must be geared toward understanding the mindset during those gaps in the day. -- Mickey Alam Khan, Editor in Chief, Mobile Marketer

Mobile marketing campaigns are lively and dynamic in ways that other marketing is not for a good reason: Your customer must actively engage in the marketing to get started.

Once the campaign is underway, your business (through your marketing efforts) is in direct one-to-one contact with your customers.

As an example, your text message coupon is sent to their phones, and when it arrives, it is likely to be read immediately, or your click-to-call button (a clickable link on a mobile Web page that triggers a phone call) is handy when your customers need it, so they call you.

Your mobile Web site might offer just the right mix of information that your customers can easily discover right in the palm of their hands.

But these dynamic campaigns do not magically appear without effort.

Solid strategic planning must take place to make sure the campaign works the way you want it to work and achieves the direct customer connection.

In this chapter, you will find the step-by-step process to strategize your mobile marketing campaign and determine the right tool(s) you'll need for the results you desire.

The word "dynamic" is defined by Dictionary.com as:

1. vigorous and purposeful, full of energy, enthusiasm, and a sense of purpose, and able both to get things going and to get things done

2. active and changing, characterized by vigorous activity and producing or undergoing change and development

The definition of dynamic contains two components that are critical to our discussion of mobile marketing.

First, mobile marketing is purposeful, and second, it is active. If you can create a campaign with a clearly defined purpose and make it active between you and your customers, then you have created a dynamic (and ultimately profitable) campaign.

In marketing, there are two ways to reach the consumer. One is to "push" marketing to them. Essentially, push marketing is actively reaching out to your target market without their permission or desire to receive your marketing messages.

Push marketing can be introduced to people through the following ways:

â?¢ Interrupting TV shows or music on the radio with commercials
â?¢ Sending an unexpected brochure or sales letter in the mail
â?¢ Sending spam with computer-generated emails or phone-generated text messages

This type of marketing causes almost everyone to have a universal aversion to marketing and sales. No one wants to have messages or ads shoved at them when they are not interested.

The other way is to "pull" customers to you. Pull marketing creates content that your target market actually wants to receive. By giving it to them, you can market your company in the process.

This type of marketing allows customers to forget where the marketing is coming from and just enjoy the value they receive.

If pull marketing is done properly, customers actually want this content from you. All you need to do is purposefully and repeatedly put the content or offer in front of them.

Pull marketing can be introduced in any of the following ways:

â?¢ Building an effective website and enticing your customers to visit it
â?¢ Creating a newsletter and encouraging customers to sign up for it
â?¢ Producing a video that shows viewers how to do something (if someone is interested in learning, they will look for these
â?¢ tutorials)
â?¢ Offering potential customers something of value such as a discount or valuable, timely information in exchange for permission to send a text message to them.

While it might seem surprising, both types of marketing work.

Push marketing has worked for hundreds of years. If it didn't, companies would stop doing it. Your mailbox would not be filled with preapproved credit card offers if people didn't sign up for these offers in the first place. TV commercials would disappear if companies didn't find them profitable. Email spam would instantly stop appearing in your in-box if the products didn't sell.

However, push marketing is not working as well as it has in the past.

In his book "Pyro Marketing," Greg Stielstra discusses ways in which the effectiveness of push mass marketing has changed through the years:

The era of mass marketing is ending. The promotion of a single product or service to everyone through an undifferentiated media reached its peak in the 1960s and its success convinced most marketers it was the only way. But the world has changed and mass tactics that worked so brilliantly thirty-five years before and which still seem perfectly sensible in the safety of the boardroom increasingly fail in the real, modern world. â?¦ Yet many companies continue to use mass marketing, hoping it still wields its old influence.

He also explains how the change from three TV networks to hundreds is one example of how marketing as we knew it has completely changed.

Although Pyro Marketing is well worth reading cover to cover, there is one important point that relates to mobile marketing: Mobile as a marketing tool requires a completely different mind-set when strategizing because the same old way of marketing will not work.

Push marketing in the mobile arena is not acceptable because in spammed text messages, for example, it completely goes against best practices; in others, such as interrupting someone with a commercial message when they are trying to find something quickly, is just not practical.

Pull marketing is the only effective way to market with mobile.

To create an effective pull marketing campaign, start with a single question: "What's in it for the customers?" This brings us to the first of the five strategies involved in creating a dynamic mobile marketing campaign

There is almost nothing harder than trying to sell something that no one wants. The effort necessary to convince someone that they need what you are offering is unbelievably high and usually doesn't work.

On the flip side, it is easy to sell something when people already want it.

Think of a sidewalk vendor trying to sell hot chocolate in Phoenix in July. No matter how good the hot cocoa is or what kind of discount is offered, it is just not what people want to buy.

Change the product to ice cold water, and the equation changes. Sales happen easily, and the customers are happy.

You need to do the same thing with your mobile campaigns. Offer people something they already want, and your campaign will be substantially more successful and markedly easier to implement.

What's in It for Them?
Unlike other marketing tools, mobile only works if your customers have given you permission and outreach.

Mobile is a pull-only marketing method. People are busy and overwhelmed with the huge number of marketing messages that reach them on a daily basis.

With a mobile marketing campaign, you are asking people to add more marketing into their life. And, if you don't have a compelling reason for them to want to interact with you on mobile, they won't.

To start a pull marketing campaign, figure out what you can offer your customers that will add value to their day. Ask the questions/thought starters that are introduced later in this chapter at the end of Step One to determine your compelling reason for the interaction.

Remember, people will only interact with marketing if there is something in it for them. If it seems like they are participating solely to receive advertising, your mobile campaign will not work.

Make sure that you also offer value. To provide value, figure out how to combine what you have to offer with what your customers want.

For instance, you can offer a coupon for a free movie, dessert, drink, or parking. By offering something customers want, you can entice them to ask for the offer on their mobile devices. Because it is a free sample of your product or service, you get what you want because customers will typically buy more from you than just the free item. Let's start with what they want.

Six Ways to Provide Value with Mobile
Since you have to improve your customers' lives in some way for them to accept mobile marketing from you, here are six options for providing value via mobile that will enhance their lives sufficiently for them to engage with your campaign.

1. Location-Specific Information
This category is a no-brainer for providing information to your customers via mobile.

Location-specific knowledge is the No. 1 reason that people access the mobile Web for mobile search. It is the most likely reason for someone to call to find out where your business is in relation to where they are.

Regardless of whatever fun, creative, and exciting elements you include in your mobile campaign, always include location-specific information in your mobile presence.
A location-focused campaign includes addresses, driving directions, maps, photos of your storefront, and anything else that will help someone find you physically or in relation to your location.

Make sure you have keywords included in your local search campaign.

For example, if you are a plumber, be sure to put keywords that people would search for to find you (plumber, plumbing, frozen pipes, and plugged toilet) in your wording on your mobile site.

Then use these same words when you are asked for tags or keywords to describe your site at any point. Be sure you have your business listed in every local search engine/local directory possible.

2. Timely Knowledge
If you need to alert your target market quickly about special information, even when an email might be too slow, mobile is the perfect way to provide value to your customers.

One example could be a pricing alert (gas prices are going up in four hours), an availability alert (your favorite hair stylist has an opening in three hours, or the hard-to-find item you have been waiting for is now in stock), or a combination of these (we have open tables tonight, and if you come in before 7 pm, you can receive a free dessert).

This could also be a readiness alert (when your order is ready to be picked up) because once you check your email at home or retrieve your phone messages, you don't want to go out again.

Travel alerts are a perfect example of timely knowledge. If a flight is delayed or the gate has changed, this information is instantly valuable wherever you are.

3. Make Life Easier
Anything you can offer that makes life convenient and more efficient for your customers is a good option for your mobile campaign.

This category is wide open because there are dozens of ways to make your customers' lives easier via mobile.

A good place to start when brainstorming this value proposition is to consider what questions your customers/potential customers ask you frequently. Think about where your customers are and what information they might find helpful to access now.

For example, a busy working mom needs menu choices for dinner tonight when she's in the grocery store, or she needs a list of healthy snack options for her child's classroom. Or consider the exercise enthusiast who tracks workouts and calorie consumption and wants instant access to this data anytime, anywhere.

Developing a clear picture of your customers helps in answering the following questions: Who are they? What do they do with their lives? What problems do they want you to solve? How can interacting with your business make their lives better, and how does that extend to mobile?

4. Financial Incentive
People love to save money, find a good deal, and feel special. Finding a way to do that for your customers provides value.

When you offer coupons, discounts, or special offers via mobile, be creative. Integrate your offer into your customers' mobile environment so when they first receive it, the offer is actually there when they want to use it.

One example is using signs outside your business to offer a text message coupon that can be redeemed instantly by walking inside the store.

Incorporating your loyalty program tracking (offers to buy 10 items and get the 11th one free) into your mobile campaign not only gives your customers a reason to interact with you via mobile, it also keeps them buying directly from you.

Keep in mind that customers will want a more intrusive, customized coupon (one they receive on their phones) to offer a bigger incentive.

A coupon for a 50-cent discount that they see in the newspaper may be enough to motivate them to get out the scissors, clip the coupon, and take it with them to the grocery store, but they need more incentive to receive something on their mobile device. They might want to get a combination of coupons or a bigger ticket item.

Just be careful not to overdo this option. Because a financial incentive is easy, it is likely to be the most used and the first to be overused.

5. Entertainment
Anyone who has a few minutes to spare and a mobile device is a likely candidate for you to entertain via mobile.

Games, trivia, contests, recordings, and scavenger hunts are good mobile options.

You can create your own games, sponsor an existing one, or even offer people a list of game sites.

If customers have to sit and wait for you at any point, your waiting area can become one of your best marketing tools or a place where people don't mind waiting.

Or what if people in a waiting room somewhere else, standing in line, riding the bus/subway, or just hanging out with nothing to do began interacting with your business?

Think about ways you can entertain your customers via mobile that also provide value to them.

6. Connection
Younger generations have grown up connected to each other through the Internet and cell phones in ways that many other generations have not. This generation is connected by mobile phones unlike no other generation.

Through text messaging and sites such as MySpace and Facebook, these under-30 folks now expect to reach out to their network of friends at any time through their mobile devices. The tools that allow them to do this are some form of social networking software.

Don't be tempted to dismiss mobile social networking just because you may not personally understand it. There are ways to add connection to the lives of your customers, even if they are not the younger crowd.

One example of this is OrbitzTLC Traveler Update feature (www.Orbitz.com/App/ViewTravelWatchHome).

Through this mobile social networking site, travelers can update and check timely information including parking information, security delays, taxi lines, and other comments from fellow travelers via their mobile devices.

OrbitzTLC connects people who are otherwise strangers as they are traveling to and from the same place or within the same airport. This service connects them in ways that add value to their lives and gives them this connection via their mobile device.

These connections can be offered as a value through sponsorship of a social networking site, advertising on one, or creating one for your customers to use. This will work best if your customers want to start a group offline naturally or if they discover a common interest while they are interacting with your business.

This connection also links customers to your business. The "popularity" of your company or anyone in your company can attract customers who want to be connected to you. Having a solid brand community comes in handy when a company is providing value through connections.

Only One in Four Receptive to "Mobile Marketing"
According to a U.S. Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Annual Attitude & Usage study from 2007, only one in four respondents indicated they were receptive to receiving mobile marketing.

However, this statistic doesn't alarm me. Of course, most people don't want to be on the receiving end of marketing campaigns; no one likes to think they are being sold something.

It conjures up images of the snake oil salesmen of days gone by. But people actually like adding value to their lives, and when they find something that enhances their lives, they are willing to engage with it.

When customers find something worthwhile, they do not refer to it as marketing in their own minds. Instead, it is helpful/fun/entertaining to them, but it still is "marketing" to you.

Take the Redbox Free Movie Monday text message campaign (www.redbox.com/Help/Signup.aspx), for example. Customers can sign up to get a text message coupon each Monday for a free movie rental.

As one of these customers, I can verify that when the text message arrives each Monday, I think, "There's my free movie." I'm not even giving it a thought that Redbox is "marketing" to me.

So, if the question in the MMA survey said, "Are you open to receiving text message offers for free stuff from companies you trust?" I'm certain the respondents would have been much more open to that.

What Is Your Compelling Reason for Mobile Interaction?
Knowing what your customers want is only part of the equation. You need to know what compelling offers you will be providing to them. Use the following list of questions to spark your creativity in thinking about what your customers want:

â?¢ What information do your customers need from you and need right now?
â?¢ What are the most common questions your customers ask?
â?¢ Are there any tidbits of knowledge about your products, services, or business history your customers would find interesting or helpful?
â?¢ What would your customers like to win (prizes from your product line, services you offer, or special opportunities)?
â?¢ Are there topics on which your customers could offer their opinions or insights?
â?¢ Could you make a list of what your customers can photograph and send to you or upload to a website for a group of all your customers to see? (This can be a photo contest featuring your products or services.)
â?¢ Do you sell anything they want to buy quickly or impulsively?
â?¢ Can you compile a list of interesting trivia questions and answers about your company, branded product, or service?
â?¢ What happens in your day-to-day operations to which your customers need alerts?
â?¢ What kinds of coupons would be useful to your customers?
â?¢ Do you sponsor any events that your customers attend?
â?¢ Does your company sell any products for which a video tutorial would be useful?
â?¢ Do you exhibit at any trade shows?
â?¢ What fundraising efforts do you do?
â?¢ Where can customers/potential customers see you or your product? An event? Workshop? Seminar?
â?¢ What new product or service do you have that your customers can be the first to know about, buy, use, or experience?

Keep the answers to these questions handy as you design your mobile marketing campaign.

When you start the technology part of the campaign, this information will be helpful when you focus on what it is you want to offer your customers.

Stay focused on what your customers want and what you can provide to enhance their lives. When you can add value to your customers' lives with mobile, you will have succeeded in the first step of a dynamic mobile marketing campaign.

A clearly defined outcome is essential to determining the ROI (return on investment) for any marketing campaign.

It is especially important when a new technology is in place because it may be tempting to just try something to see what happens. But without an initial goal set firmly in place, it will be impossible to know whether the strategy worked.

Determine the Outcome You Want
The next step in a dynamic mobile marketing campaign is to align what the customer wants with what you want.

With a mobile campaign, as with any marketing initiative, you want to define the outcome in advance. Be specific. What exactly do you want your customers to do after they interact with you on mobile? What problem does your company need to resolve by this particular marketing effort?

Ultimately, the following four objective outcomes are essential in any successful marketing effort:

1. Acquisition of new customers
2. Increased sales to current customers
3. Retention of current customers
4. Brand awareness

The most desired marketing outcome by a business is the acquisition of new customers. Most ads are aimed at that outcome, and that is what most businesses design their marketing to accomplish.

However, it is often easier to increase sales from current customers and keep current customers happy than it is to keep trying to attract new customers.

Since mobile is such an interactive tool combined with other marketing efforts, it is also easier to implement mobile campaigns aimed at current customers.

So as you consider your marketing objectives, begin your initial focus on the second item on the list: increased sales to current customers.

Then focus on retaining current customers, and then move back to the more attractive goal of acquiring new customers.

If you have a marketing objective to follow and must achieve it regardless of its ease or common sense, don't worry.

The reality is that you can achieve any marketing outcome with mobile marketing as long as you provide solid value to a reasonably mobile-savvy target audience and market your mobile campaign effectively.

Increased Sales to Current Customers
The reason it is easy to increase sales to current customers is that they are the ones who are already buying from you. They are already in your place of business, they receive your other marketing pieces, and they trust you.

Current customers are most likely to believe that you will treat them right via mobile because you already treat them right with their other business.

So as you strategize the outcome you want, look to mobile for ways to increase sales from this prime market. Think about what your customers purchase from you already that you can alert them to buy more of, schedule their next appointment, or otherwise interact with you again.

Look at how you can make their lives easier with a mobile alert. If you don't know what that is, ask them.

Remember to offer a financial incentive to current customers as well as new ones. Don't be a company that only offers the best rates to new customers and disregards its loyal customers. This just makes people resent your business and want to be a new customer somewhere else.

Retention of Current Customers
Retaining customers is all about providing good customer service, and you can accomplish quite a lot via mobile.

Mobile-enabled customer service does not have to be complicated; you don't have to launch a complete mobile customer relationship management system. It can be as simple as offering mobile reminders, being available to customers via text messaging for communication or ordering, giving them a way to submit feedback to you when they are mobile, or entertaining them at times when they are waiting for you.

Anything you can provide via mobile that gives more value to your customers will help retain them.

Acquisition of New Customers
The Holy Grail of marketing -- getting new customers -- is certainly an achievable task.

Although it requires a bit more on the marketing side because these new people are not already in your circle of influence, the payoff is exciting.

You can effectively drive new customers to your business through mobile coupons, any mobile Web promotion strategies (search, advertising, pay-per-click [an online ad model where an advertiser pays for the ad only when a customer clicks on it and into the advertiser's site], or publicity), or even location-based marketing.

Text messaging and the mobile Web, especially when providing location-specific information, are good tools to use to get new customers.

Remember, when you are attracting new customers, you need to build trust through your marketing, particularly when you are asking them to give you personal information such as their cell phone numbers.

Brand Awareness
Creating brand awareness helps with all three of these more trackable goals: the acquisition of new customers, increased sales to current customers, and retention of current customers.

A new customer will be more willing to purchase a known brand. Customers are always reassured by seeing the brand they buy being marketed. Everyone likes to be on a winning team and be part of something successful, which is accomplished by seeing the brand marketed.

If brand awareness is linked to a customer simply seeing your ad, logo, or company name but not necessarily by taking any additional action, then brand awareness on its own should not ever be the only goal for a mobile marketing campaign.

It is just too easy to add the next step on to any campaign and get a quantifiable response from your customer, such as getting someone to click through to a landing from an ad, make a phone call, or opt in to a text message responder.

To have a mobile ad that goes nowhere or requires no response of any kind is a waste of advertising dollars. Brand awareness should be only part of your stated outcome and never all of it with mobile.

That said, mobile advertising is a great brand awareness tool to use as part of your overall campaign. Social networking can also work as an effective brand awareness tool if you do it right.

There's one other note about branding. Branding is all about the brand and not the customer. How does knowing and/or recognizing a brand help or add value to the life of the customer? It doesn't.

Brand awareness is not a customer-focused marketing outcome, and that is precisely why I am not a big fan of brand awareness for the sake of it alone.

Step Three: Choose the Right Mobile Marketing Tool for This Campaign
When you're ready to choose the right tool to use in your campaign, look for one that is likely to provide value to your customers and to accomplish your desired outcome. It is important to keep the process of choosing your tool separate from learning how to use it. It just becomes too complicated to cover the details of how to use a particular method and why it was selected at the same time.

So let's take a closer look at each of the mobile marketing tools that are covered in Part 2 and how they can provide value in each of the six ways discussed earlier.

This is important because you can choose the right tool knowing that you will be providing one of the core six values to customers, and you can determine which marketing tool to use depending upon the value you are trying to provide.

If a particular tool provides a specific value that is aligned more closely with one of the outcomes, it will be noted. You'll see that several items are marked with asterisks; these are the best tools to provide the specific value listed.

Smart Mobile Marketing Matrix
The Smart Mobile Marketing Matrix can be used to figure out what value you are going to provide to your customers and how it will align with the objectives you have.

So you might start by going across the top row and highlighting which of the values you are going to provide to your customers with mobile.

Then decide what outcome you are seeking, including new customers, new business from current ones, customer retention, or brand awareness.

Then take a look at the information that follows about which mobile marketing tools are the best match for what you want to achieve.

Use the Smart Mobile Marketing Matrix to help you start your campaign strategy off on the right foot.

After all, the first step of your campaign is taking into account what your customers want.

The matrix is a good tactical reminder to put your customers' needs first.

As an example, let's say you want to increase purchases from your current customers, and you have an idea that they might like to know when you have an open appointment unexpectedly. You would write "Open Appointment Reminders" in the row Increase Purchases and the column Timely Knowledge. Then you could proceed with the rest of the chart to see what else you can offer that would be of value to your customers.

Voice is the most logical way of connecting and communicating your ideas and company over a mobile phone.

Basically, your customer is using a device whose original purpose is making phone calls to find and/or engage with your business by making a phone call.

Text Messaging
If you are ready to start a mobile campaign or are just learning where to begin, choose text messaging. It is the most common use of mobile devices (besides calling), and more and more people launch text message campaigns every day. Text messaging is the "now" marketing tool of mobile.

Mobile Web
Consumers expect virtually every business to have a Web presence these days, and it won't take long before they feel the same way about the mobile Web. People want to find whatever they want to know at any time. So if they go onto the mobile Web, you want them to find you and your business.

Mobile Search
Mobile search puts your mobile Web site within reach of your customers so they can find you when they are looking for your company or what you offer.

Much like desktop search optimization (doing what you can to be listed closest to the top of the results on a search engine), mobile search is important to your marketing.

Mobile Advertising
Mobile advertising, placing either graphic banner ads or text ads on mobile Web sites other than your own, is an excellent mobile marketing tool.

It is easy to think of mobile advertising as the perfect tool for brand awareness because it is that and so much more. Be sure to add the next step of direct response to your mobile advertising campaigns.

Mobile Publicity
In mobile publicity, your target audience is the media: journalists, reporters, bloggers, and producers who are looking for an expert or a source of information for a current assignment with a fast approaching deadline.

If they are searching for sources via mobile, it is likely a breaking story or very timely, or otherwise they would do the search from their desktop computer.

Social Networking
Social networking is all about people connecting with other people. Keep this in mind when deciding what to do to facilitate or participate in social networking. Also, social networking will likely be a tool for marketing your mobile campaign.

Proximity Marketing
Any time you are marketing to someone specifically because they are in your proximity, you are involved in proximity marketing. This could be a Bluetooth campaign (people with Bluetooth devices are invited to accept a multimedia message to their devices or are reminded to check into their location-specific mobile network).

The one point that cannot be emphasized enough is that now is the time to start your mobile marketing campaign.

Mobile marketing will only be the new frontier for a short while; the landscape will become crowded quickly. It will be better to launch a viable campaign now than a perfect campaign later. So start now.

Be aware that marketing your campaign is critical to the success of your mobile efforts. If you don't let your customers know you are doing anything with mobile, they are not likely to participate.


Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half. -- John Wanamaker (1838 -- 1922)

This adage about advertising simply does not have to be true.

When Wanamaker said it at the turn of the last century, it probably was true since he was considered "the father of modern advertising." But it is possible that the concept and the ability to track advertising's success or failure didn't exist then.

In the 21st century, we can track what marketing works and what doesn't. This is especially true when advertising on the Internet and via mobile.

In my early marketing days, I worked with the people in my company whose job it was to interact with the customers to track our campaigns. The same holds true with you.

You can't launch an effective mobile coupon campaign if the salespeople don't know how to accept coupons and track them properly.

Training your personnel will be essential. Using new analytics software for your mobile Web will help you track your marketing details right to the sale to prove your ROI.

This article was adapted and excerpted from "The Mobile Marketing Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Mobile Marketing Campaigns." Kim Dushinski is the author.

Kim Dushinski is founder of MobileMarketingProfits.com, Denver, CO. Reach her at .

Copyright © 2009 by Kim Dushinski. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Published by Information Today Inc., Medford, NJ 08055. For more information, contact or visit the Web site at http://www.infotoday.com.