Saturday, June 9, 2012

Why Direct Marketers Should Not Fear Mobile

by *Jason Wells

Mobilemarketing is taking over the marketing world. It is getting huge. There is nothing you, or I, or anyone in the direct marketing world can do to stop it. Here are some facts to consider:

• 91% of all U.S. citizens have their mobile phones within arms-reach 24/7 – Source: Morgan Stanley, 2011.
• It takes 90 minutes for the average person to respond to an email. It takes 90 seconds for the average person to respond to a text message – Source:, 2011.
• There are roughly 7 billion people on the planet. 5.1 billion own a mobile phone. 4.2 billion own a toothbrush – Source: Mobile Marketing Association Asia, 2011. 
• 7 out of 10 mobile searchers take action within one hour – Source: Mobile Marketer, 2011.
• Mobile Internet usage will surpass desktop Internet usage by 2013 or 2014 - Source: Google, 2012. 
• 90% of mobile searches lead to action, over half leading to purchase - Source: Google
• 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour. 70% of online searches lead to action within one month - Source: Mobile Marketer, 2011.

And because of these fairly mind-blowing statistics, many in the traditional marketing world—especially direct mail—are, frankly, feeling some fear. We talk to direct mail firms, publishers, and even online marketers that feel some serious trepidation about the vast unknown universe of mobile marketing.
They see the marketing world turning to mobile and not returning to more traditional directresponse methods of marketing. This concern is not unfounded.

But, our message is simple: Rather than being afraid of mobile, traditional marketers should view mobile as an opportunity, not a challenge. Traditional direct marketers are uniquely positioned to succeed at mobile. Why? Here are some reasons:

1. Same Concepts – Traditional direct marketers understand the basic concepts of mobile marketing. Think about it. Mobile marketing demands—and often produces—an actual response. Its primary purpose isn’t branding or public relations. Sound familiar?

Direct marketers who know nothing about mobile marketing already know more about it than they think. Direct marketers ‘get’ mobile. It is marketers that are concerned with branding, public relations or merely driving web traffic that ought to be concerned. Direct marketers, on the other hand, already understand how mobile works.

2. Targeted Focus – Mobile works because it is hyper-targeted, location-based, focused on reaching the correct group of people. Mobile succeeds because it can focus on people most likely to buy and then measure results. Sound familiar?

3. Same Goals - The goal of a mobile marketing campaign is a phone call or a text message—in other words, a response. Similarly the goal of any direct marketing campaign is a response.

4. Vast Opportunity for Integration – Because there is so much commonality between traditional direct marketing and mobile marketing, there is a great opportunity for integration. Direct mail firms, for example, could set up automated textback to mobile callers, thanking them for calling, or even giving them a specific mobile offer. (Imagine being able to offer something like that to clients).

Online marketers should create a mobile website and optimize their landing pages for mobile search. (And, if you did this you’d be at the forefront of innovation. Google says that 79% of marketers still don’t have a mobile site of any kind). And if your not ready to go totally mobile, you can test mobile microsites and landing pages for specific campaigns as an alternative to rolling out a full mobile site.

Don’t Fear the Mobile Beast
My point here is simple: Of all the people in the marketing world, direct marketers have the most to gain from the mobile marketing explosion. You share the same concepts as mobile. You share the same goals. You share the same desire to measure and demonstrate success and to target focused and highly selected groups.
So, even though mobile is a beast, view it as a friendly beast. A beast you can tame if you are prepared.

*Jason Wells is the CEO of ContactPoint. Their new product, LogMyCalls, represents the next generation of intelligent call tracking and marketing automation. Prior to joining ContactPoint, Jason served as the Senior Vice President of Sony International, where he led the creation and international expansion of Sony’s mobile business line from London. Jason has spoken on marketing topics at SES New York, SES Toronto, Ad Tech, Digital Hollywood, Nokia World, CTIA and elsewhere. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. To read Jason’s work please add LogMyCalls to your Google+ circles and follow them on Twitter.

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