How to Create Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

How to Create Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

Mobile Marketing Strategy

When developing your mobile marketing strategy you must start with the bigger picture. Mobile marketing strategy should not take place in isolation from the overall marketing and corporate strategy. It should align with and complement the overall strategic direction of the company.

So,once we are aware of the overall corporate strategy, then we can move forward with the development of the mobile marketing strategy. To develop the mobile marketing strategy, we can use the same strategy model that we have applied elsewhere in the strategic planning process as seen below.

Audit, Listen

At this stage, we need to take stock of our existing ability to launch a mobile marketing campaign. There are several aspects we need to consider, including:

Existing Campaigns

If you are not new to mobile marketing, then sitting down to take an assessment of your existing campaigns to consider lessons learned is an important first step.


As mentioned earlier, mobile is permission-based service, just like email. This means that for some mobile offerings, such as texting, you will need to have an existing list of customers who have provided you with their email or mobile device number. Now is the time to take stock of what you have on hand.

Audit, Listen

Before establishing your mobile strategy, you need to take the time to analyze some of the key components of any mobile campaign, including:

Mobile Knowledge

Take action to understand the degree of mobile marketing knowledge that you have within the business.  This point will help you determine what you may be able to do in-house versus going outside to acquire the necessary skills.

The majority of internet usage will be done via a mobile device and for most people the mobile web will be their primary, if not their only, way of experiencing the internet. 
Peter Rojas, Gizmodo - Co-founder of Engadget and Gizmodo


Is your competition active in the mobile marketing arena and, if so, what are they doing? Having some understanding of competitive campaigns can provide direction for your own mobile efforts.

Financial Resources

What you can do regarding a mobile campaign is going to be dictated in part by the financial resources available. Understanding your capabilities here is an important step.


Planning, implementing and evaluating a mobile campaign will take time. Do you have the time available, given your resources, to manage the campaign?

Audit, Listen

Mobile marketing strategy is developed in a similar manner to other forms of strategic development. This is because mobile marketing strategy has at its similar core requirements, including:

The Objective

What is it that you wish to accomplish with your mobile marketing campaign? Mobile marketing objectives potentially cover a great deal of ground, including such things as brand awareness, lead generation, customer service, etc.

In seeking to establish your mobile marketing strategy, it is important to keep in mind the SMART objectives structure for objective creation.

Who Is Your Customer?

I will restate my mantra: “All good marketing starts with the customer.” Identifying your target audience is essential in helping you to craft a message that resonates with them, thus greatly improving your chance of success.

The Message

once you have identified a target market and developed a customer persona, the next step is to establish what tools you will use to get your message to your target customer.

Audit, Listen

There are a wide variety of mobile marketing tools at your disposal. The following provides some insight into the various tools.

Mobile Websites

Even if you are not planning to launch a mobile marketing campaign in the near future, you still need a mobile website. I say this because both your customers and Google are looking for your mobile website.

Regarding your customers: not having a mobile version of your website is a significant negative for them. Most customers search online via mobile devices these days, so you simply must be ready to accommodate them.

As for Google, they place emphasis on your having a mobile version of your website when they calculate their search results. Put simply: mobile websites make a significant positive contribution to your search ranking. For these two reasons alone, you simply must have a mobile version of your website.

68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy. Salesforce

Short Message Service (SMS)

The first principle to understand, with respect to SMS, is that it is an opt-in service. Just as with email, you can market only to those individuals who have granted you permission to contact them. Assuming you have obtained the required permission, you are then able to send short messages of up to 160 characters to those on your list.

SMS service is based on the notion of a “short code,” which is a five- or six-digit code that you will need to obtain from the appropriate licensing body in your country of operation. These short codes allow customers to contact you quickly for a number of potential uses, such as:

  • Alerts
  • Contests
  • Linking to a mobile site
  • Subscriptions
  • Text blasts
  • Voting

Short codes can be either dedicated or shared, with shared codes representing a lower-cost option.

When a user dials in the short code, they will also be sending a keyword, which is another required aspect of an SMS campaign that must be determined.

Multimedia Messaging

This specialized form of SMS allows for messages longer than 160 characters, with the added ability to include audio or visual messages along with the text message. This form of text messaging is more costly to produce, meaning that it is generally used by larger firms.

What makes SMS service attractive is the high degree of comfort that customers have with this service. As a result, customers tend to respond quickly to this form of promotion.

SMS service also offers benefits regarding its relatively low cost and ability to grow very easily.

By 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending.
Marketing Land

Mobile Advertising

Mobile display ads can be displayed on a wide variety of mobile devices. It is a growing form of advertising.

Mobile display ads are suitable for a number of purposes, including:

  • Driving traffic to your mobile site.
  • Increasing brand awareness.
  • Lead generation.
Just as with regular search ads, mobile search ads may be purchased in different ways. Options include:
  • CPM (cost-per-impression) is pricing based on a rate for every 1,000 views of your ad. This pricing method is suitable for brand-awareness goals, as it results in a high number of ads being shownfor the money spent.
  • CPC   (cost-per-click)   pricing is based onpayment only when someone clicks on the ad and goes through to your mobile website. This form of pricing is well suited to those instances where you are seeking to drive conversion activity on your mobile website, keeping in mind that a conversion is whatever action you want it to be.
  • CPA (cost-per-acquisition) pricing is based on payment only when someone purchases your product. If this sounds too good to be true, you should know that companies that provide this type of service typically charge higher set-up fees to develop this type of campaign.
If you’re not using mobile marketing to attract new customers to your business, don’t worry — your competitors are already using it and are getting those customers instead.
Jamie Turner

Mobile ads do provide for a very high degree of targeting. It is possible with digital ads to be very precise with respect to whom you wish to receive your ads. Options in this area include targeting by device type, geography, time of day and defined behaviors.

Mobile ads are by no means restricted to text. Mobile video ads deliver higher response rates than text-only ads, making them more attractive. It is possible to embed mobile video into your regular mobile display ads.

All in all, mobile ads warrant serious consideration as part of your mobile marketing strategy.

Mobile Paid Search

Mobile paid search offers marketers a direct route to interested customers. This is because of mobile paid search, just as with regular paid search, is keyword driven. With this emphasis on keywords, mobile paid search delivers customers who have a more well-defined interest in what you have to offer.

Traditionally, paid search has been utilized to sell products and generate leads. Mobile paid search is an excellent tool for these same goals.

At this point, it is worth remembering that people behave differently in the mobile world than they do in the regular world. This has a direct bearing on the keywords selected for a mobile paid search campaign. When mobile, people are more likely to search using keywords that are focused on an immediate action. Therefore keywords and phrases that include such words as “quick,” “emergency,” “immediate,” etc., are more impactful in the mobile environment.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are software programs that can be built and installed on a mobile platform. Mobile apps can be developed either by yourself or farmed out to a mobile app developer. Either way, creating a mobile app requires awareness of several characteristics of mobile apps. Firstly, they have to be approved by the current mobile providers, i.e., RIM, Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Individual mobile apps must be developed for each of the current mobile platforms: Windows, BlackBerry, IOS and Android.

Mobile apps also require your customers to take action by going to the apps store to buy them, meaning you need to be in the app store.

Having identified some of the challenges involved in developing mobile apps, it is worth taking some time to review the benefits of mobile apps:

Customer Engagement

There are few things more valuable to a business than repeat customers. Mobile apps are truly the gift that keeps on giving, as customers continue to connect with them. Ultimately this deeper connection with the customer helps a business develop customer loyalty.

Brand Awareness

Most businesses want to heighten the awareness of their brands with customers. It is hard to top mobile apps in this department, as the brand literally lives with the customer on their mobile device.

New Customers

By creating another channel from which customers may engage with the business, mobile apps offer the potential to bring in new customers. New customers mean more revenue.

App Sharing

Videos that go viral have generated considerable sales improvements for businesses. Mobile apps, with their ability to be shared, lend themselves to the potential to go viral.

It is worth taking a moment to review the differences between mobile apps and a mobile website.

Your mobile website is where you should begin to develop your mobile presence. Many mobile apps, in fact, exist to generate traffic back to a mobile website. Mobile websites also provide an appeal to a broader audience. By their very nature, mobile websites draw visitors from a wide spectrum of customers. Mobile apps, in contrast, are more closely focused on customers who are interested in a particular capability. This is essentially a broader versus deeper comparison, which highlights how the two applications are complementary.

Location-Based Services

As the name implies, location-based services are mobile marketing applications dedicated to a particular geography. They are particularly attractive for brick- and-mortar businesses, as they can target mobile users within their specific geographic proximity.

Applications for location-based services include:

  • Games that include a location-based element.
  • Location-specific mobile advertising.
  • Notification of special events, such as sales and other promotions.
  • Providing information as to the location of the nearest product or service.
  • The ability to answer questionsfrom nearby customers as they arise.
  • The provision of directions and route-planning options for a destination.

Types of Location-Based Services

There are a number of location-based advertising tools available:

Location-Based Advertising (LBA)

Location-Based Advertising offers a relatively simple way for companies to deliver mobile ads directly to customers within a defined geographic area. LBA campaigns can be initiated by working in conjunction with your mobile provider.

Near Field Communication (NFC)

Near Field Communication allows for communication between two devices that contain a NFC tag. Swiping your device near another NFC-ready device allows for easy payment of items or the sharing of information.

As its name implies, NFC is a close-proximity service (generally within 20 centimeters) that is well suited to the rapid exchange of small amounts of data. For businesses seeking to provide a simple mobile payment option for their customers, NFC fits the bill.

NFC has the potential for significant growth as the technology becomes embedded in a wider variety of places. Virtually any advertising poster/billboard represents an opportunity for the incorporation of NFC technology. For customers, such easy access to information is a key benefit of the service.


Bluetooth is, in many ways, a hardier version of NFC. Bluetooth allows for more data to be transferred from farther away and faster than does NFC.

Bluetooth has a distance limit of approximately 10 meters – a significantly greater range than NFC. As you may have concluded, Bluetooth is a better alternative than NFC for the exchange of larger amounts of data across greater distances. For many businesses, the more robust ability of Bluetooth to do such things as transferring files and documents is attractive.

With a wide range of mobile devices now Bluetooth- equipped, there are a variety of possible applications, including:

  • The use of wireless headsets, freeing up staff to go mobile.
  • The syncing of information, such as contact details, between mobile devices and the office PC.
  • Sales applications whereby salespeople candownload customer-order information while on the road for easy downloading upon returning to the office.

Mobile Bar Codes (QR Codes)

QR codes are simply 2-D barcodes that mobile devices can read. In fact, there are a number of mobile bar codes in circulation. Each QR code barcode requires its own unique generator and reader. This has been a limiting factor to date in the adoption of QR codes.

Typically, QR codes are used to direct users to a webpage or a particular piece of content. There are a variety of potential applications for QR, including:

Facilitating contest entries. Checking in with applications, such as Foursquare.

  • Accessing special offers and promotions.
  • Allowing for connectivity to customer surveys.
  • Connecting to product information.
  • Connecting to videos.

QR codes also allow businesses to gather information with respect to how customers use their QR codes. This allows for better understanding of what it is that customers truly want, creating the opportunity for you to use this knowledge to improve your next campaign.

Sample QR Code


With the higher-level elements of your strategy in place, it is now time to focus on the details. Decisions that you will need to focus on include such things as:

  • Thelength of the campaign
  • Thespecific scheduling for the campaign
  • Thebudget for the campaign
  • Thosetasked with managing the campaign, e., who is responsible?

Audit, Listen

We have an objective for our mobile marketing campaign. We also need to have some way of determining if that objective has been met.

It is at this stage that we need to determine the metrics that we need to measure, and the tools we will use to

Some determination of what constitutes success must also be established at this point. You need to know what constitutes a successful campaign. As stated, mobile marketing is growing at a rapid pace. Your customers have adopted mobile, what are you waiting for?
Scott Van Wagner
Scott Van Wagner is a senior marketing strategist. His marketing experience includes roles as a Sales Rep, Product Manager, Service Director and General Manager and the Author of - How to Create Successful Marketing Plans in the Digital Marketing Age.” This practical experience is enhanced by marketing knowledge developed delivering courses on marketing strategy and management at the University of Western Ontario, Brock University, McMaster University, the University of Guelph and the University of Guelph-Humber.
Headquartered in Burlington Ontario Van Wagner Marketing Solutions (VWMS) is a total marketing solutions provider. VWMS provides marketing strategy, education, digital marketing, and marketing automation to deliver exceptional results for its customers.