Welcome to the fifth part of our 2015 Effective Marketing blog series. So far, we have covered social media marketing plans, content marketing plans, direct mail marketing plans, and why it is important for businesses to have them. We are going to continue our series with mobile marketing today. In an earlier blog post this year, we predicted that mobile marketing would be trending in 2015, and we still stand by this prediction.

According to research by the Pew Research Center, 90% of adults in the U.S. have cell phones, and more than half of those are smartphones. Smartphones and other mobile devices are one of the most significant technological and cultural revolutions in history. They have changed the way we communicate with each other. They have changed the way we live our daily lives, as well as altered how we market and advertise.

Marketers cannot ignore the importance of connecting with the modern, social, tech-savvy consumer. Mobile marketing is a must in 2015. Developing a mobile strategy that delivers results requires planning, an understanding of technology, a focus on great user experience, mobile-friendly content, budget, and proper reporting to evaluate the success of your mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing can take quite a while. A mobile app can take 10 to 18 weeks to build. If you need to build a mobile-friendly website from scratch, it could take a couple of months depending on whether you are building in-house or hiring from the outside, or if you are coding everything or using a pre-made template. Plan to give yourself and your team more than enough time for your mobile marketing projects in the coming year.

Mobile marketing is like any other kind of marketing in the sense that there are elements you need to consider and plan before executing. Make sure to define your mobile marketing goal. What would you like to achieve?  Do you want to build awareness of your brand, or drive traffic to your website? Research your target audience, as well as your competitors. It is good to gain as much knowledge and market understanding as possible to ensure that your mobile marketing strategy is going in the right direction. It also gives you a good idea of what your target audience is looking for. Knowing how your audience behaves and uses mobile will influence your mobile marketing strategy.

There are several budget considerations to make when planning for mobile marketing. Creatives, promotions, and messages all have their own costs. How much will it cost to set up a mobile website or to develop a mobile app? How long is everything going to take? It is important to set a deadline of when you want you want your mobile platforms to be ready and up. With a deadline, you are more likely to get it done.

Once you have identified your goals and budget for mobile marketing, it is time to plan your mobile development strategy. Mobile users want two main things when it comes to mobile experience: content and convenience. You should have an overall idea of your mobile marketing application’s functionality, features, usage scenarios, support system and operating systems. A technical team or a vendor usually handles this stage. You need to make sure to plan with whom you are going to work for the mobile platform development. Who is going to design the mobile app or the mobile website? Are you going to do everything in-house or will you outsource? Look at your resources with a particular focus on the timeframe and skills of your marketing team, to determine whether it would be more cost-effective to do it in-house or have someone else take care of it. Make sure you plan to test out your new mobile marketing platform. You must leave sufficient time to find and work out any kinks before launch.

It is also essential to determine how you will be promoting your new mobile app or mobile-friendly website. Are you going to let your audience know through email or social media? How you decide to advertise is going to have an effect on how you design your mobile marketing projects.

It is very important to keep up with technology. The mobile world is constantly changing, so it is important to keep up with technological innovations and utilize them where they will have the biggest impact. To keep existing customers engaged and to attract new ones, keep your website current and fresh. People lose interest quickly when they see the same old stuff all the time. Many mobile users are often skimming while they are on-the-go. When they look at mobile content, they are typically busy and distracted. That means you have to capture and keep their attention.

User experience of online marketing is crucial for the success of mobile marketing. It is important to make sure that your websites and landing pages are designed for mobile devices. Whether you are planning your mobile marketing around SMS, mobile websites, apps or QR codes, make sure to tailor your platform accordingly.

Your website needs to load fast and be easy to navigate on a mobile device. This infographic by KISSmetrics shows that most mobile internet users expect a web-browsing experience on their phone that is comparable to what they get on their computer, and they are only willing to wait 6 seconds for the page to load. People are likely to close out of your page or app and move onto a competitor’s mobile site if the loading takes too long. Try compressing your images so they load faster, and prioritize features and content mobile users want most. Responsive design is a go-to solution for many businesses seeking website optimization. The need for a responsive site is mandatory. If your site is heavy on visuals, videos, products, it should definitely be a responsive website.

While mobile marketing is great for acquiring new prospects, it is just as good at retaining existing customers if used correctly. As you grow your business you will develop further marketing strategies of your own and you will be able to take advantages of technological innovations as they come along. As long as you keep your customers and their needs in mind as you plan your mobile marketing strategy, they will keep coming back. If you are looking to start a mobile marketing campaign, US Data Corporation offers mobile marketing  services. We would love to hear from you and help you get started. Please give us a call at (888) 578-3282.