Instead of throwing out silly numbers of smart phone use or how many people own them, the fact is the answer is a lot. These devices enable users to be empowered when making purchasing decisions if thy are enabled by the right technologies. Businesses that use these wisely will do well and those that don't can experience anything from wasted resources to pricing and sales erosion.
When you think of Mobile Marketing for your business you need to focus on user experience. This means remember the screen is small. And you want as few actions as possible needed to get to the heart of your message or call to action.
Integration across technologies is key. Nothing is more frustrating of marketing started on one platform then not working on another. For example if you want a video watched on You Tube and the link appears in a Web Browser Search then doesn't load. Or you scan a QR Code and then a non-mobile formatted site loads causing users to zoom in and move around the screen.
1] Keep it Simple
Today the SMS Text to Response is still the simplest call to action out there. Yes QR Codes can do more but they still take more time and effort.
2] QR Codes
You must make them large and clear enough to be scanned. And when the content opens it had better be easily readable and usable.
3] Banner Ads
Ad Mob has gotten better. I am seeing many more name brands. Best LBS Ad I saw was for McDonalds McCafe. It was just highlighting their $1 coffee. I never click Banner Ads but I did this one. It opened a map with the nearest McDonald's locations. Very impressed. But I have clicked on 4 Ads in 16 months.
4] Location is Important
McDonald's failed because I live 8 miles from the nearest location. But if that Ad showed up when I was closer the chance of me clicking is higher. If I am in a store I totally want to connect. I am browsing and/or ready to buy. Imagine walking into a store and either with a passive check in or simple activation the store can review my past purchasing and pitch me offers on the the spot that is relative and urgent.
For example say my favorite sporting goods store sees it is April, my last tent was bought 4 years ago, and I get an offer of a better tent and if I buy now 50% off a new lantern. Or in October get pitched a free Ski Tuneup so when I come in you can try selling me on new Skis?
5] Be Respectful
If I am not in your store most likely I don't want contact from you on your terms only on mine. People might ask for push communication from their most favorite brands and be ok getting alerts etc, but from most brands they do not want this. Don't piss them off! The last thing most people want is to feel harassed by unexpected contact.
6] Don't Bribe
You might say "Well what if I send you such a good deal you have to come in?'. You just hurt your margins. And while might be OK for a brand new customer to get them to check you out, a repeat customer will start waiting for these bribes. Be careful with bribes.
7] To App or Not to App
Mobile will be a powerful force for those that leverage the technologies wisely. Others can easily waste money or at worst piss off potential customers.