What is Mobile Marketing? An Overview & Why It Matters




What is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing is both a science and an art of marketing your business to reach mobile device users. It uses mobile-based strategies like SMSMMSmobile applicationsmobile websitesand location-based marketing to reach people where ever they are.

Mobile marketing is multi-channel marketing at it's best. It allows you to reach people on the one device that is always with them, always on, and always connected...a smartphone. 

Adapting your other marketing channels to integrate with mobile devices will make them infinitely more effective because users can access the information when they want, where ever they are.

According to statista.com, the number of mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.68 billion in the year 2019.

If the graph above doesn't inspire you to create a mobile marketing strategy NOW, then I don't know what will. That is a staggering number of people you can connect with.

So, why is mobile marketing important to your small business? What are the benefits? How can you get started using mobile marketing to grow your business?

Don't worry, I've got you covered...

Why is Mobile Marketing Important?

First, allow me to show you a few more compelling stats...

There's no denying that smartphones and tablets are the most used devices across the globe and WE ALL depend on them.

With mobile usage being so prevalent, mobile marketing is a very important channel for growing your small business and should not be ignored.

If you don't cater your advertising and marketing efforts to mobile users first and foremost you are undoubtedly wasting money and not connecting with a large part of your target market.

Now, let's proceed with the different...

Types of Mobile Marketing

This is not an exhaustive list, but these are definitely the most popular and prevalent types of mobile marketing today.

1. Mobile Applications

A mobile application is software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet computer.  

At this point, we are all familiar with mobile applications and how easy they are to use on a mobile device.

They are often overlooked, but mobile applications can be fantastic tools for building customer engagement and loyalty and should be considered for certain types of businesses and organizations.

2. SMS (Text Message Marketing)

Also known as Short Message Service, SMS allows marketers to send text messages to customers with offers and other important information. Mobile marketing started when text messages dominated the communication industry years ago.

SMS works great for short, time-sensitive information you want people to see. Text messages have very high open rates compared to other channels of communication.

3. MMS

While SMS is a simple type of text-based communication, MMS is more visual. Multimedia message service contains media items such as images, video, or audio and is sent to mobile devices.

Remember that content like videos can be very engaging because they are more visual and tend to draw attention. That's one of the reasons why video marketing is becoming so popular.

4. Bluetooth or Proximity Marketing

Bluetooth aka Proximity Marketing uses Bluetooth technology to push messages to people in a very specific location.

Proximity marketing makes communication more contextual and personalized. It is becoming very popular for retail businesses. 

Imagine walking through the garden center at Home Depot and receiving a message about the best plant specials of the day. Pretty cool, right?

5. Mobile Banner & Mobile Search Advertisements

These are the same banner and search ads you are used to seeing on a desktop, but they are optimized for mobile.

Using the same banner and search ads for desktop and mobile is a recipe for disaster.

6. In-game Advertising

Mobile games are a great avenue for advertising. Pop-up ads, banners, and video ads appear across a device while playing a mobile game.

If your target market is likely to be playing a specific game this can be a great way to reach them.

7. QR Codes

Quick Response codes can be scanned with the camera on a mobile device. Once scanned, consumers are then redirected to a website or an online offer to view more information.

You can set up a QR code at a very low cost or you can find free services to set it up.

Here's a sample of a QR code:

8. Location-based Marketing

Location-based marketing uses the location of a mobile device to tailor-fit an offer. GPS plays a huge part in this type of mobile marketing.

Advertisers can decide the radius for their ads which give you very powerful geographical targeting. Location-based marketing covers a much larger area compared to Bluetooth marketing. Think of it like a 5-mile radius around a specific address vs. a specific location in a retail store.

9. Mobile Wallet

A mobile wallet is a digital or virtual way of storing payment card information to mobile devices, but they are also used to store other information like coupons and offers.

For example, you can offer coupons to consumers via a mobile wallet so they can share it with anyone in their online circles and easily access it to redeem the coupon in store.

10. Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps are the new kid on the block compared to mobile apps.

They allow you to create a mobile app type experience in a web-based application and eliminate the hassle of dealing with the app stores.


Get the outside eyes and feedback you need to get on the right path with your marketing.

Gain clarity and understanding. You'll leave your discovery call knowing where to focus your marketing efforts right now to get the best return on your investment.

Benefits of Mobile Marketing

Here are some of the benefits your small business can get from using mobile marketing...

1. Mobile Marketing is Less Expensive

Not all small business owners have the money to market their business well.

Lucky for us, mobile marketing can be less expensive than other forms of digital marketing because it is multi-channel marketing.

When you take a mobile first approach to all your marketing, your are integrating mobile marketing into marketing dollars you are already spending. For example, you are using mobile marketing when you mobile optimize a landing page you are using for an AdWords campaign.

2. Mobile Marketing is Very Effective

Mobile users are typically looking for information because they need it now. For example, if I search for "restaurants near me" it's because I want to eat...NOW.

When you can target mobile users who have an immediate need (via paid advertising) or be found easily (via SEO) the conversion rates on mobile are very high.

3. Mobile Marketing Helps You Reach People Anytime, Anywhere

Remember what I said above, mobile marketing lets you reach people on the one device that is always with them, always on, and always connected.

Not only does it allow you to reach people where ever they are, it allows people to get the information they NEED where ever they are. 

4. Mobile Marketing has an Immediate Impact

Here are a few mobile stats to prove this benefit.

  • 78% of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase. That’s higher than from any other kind of device.
  • 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. 

5. Mobile Marketing Helps Build Long-Lasting Relationships

Consumers respond to offers that make them feel special and mobile marketing does a phenomenal job in this department.

Mobile marketing enables small business owners to inform their customers about special deals, sales, and new product arrivals at any time, at any place. Mobile marketing can be very engaging if done correctly, and engagement helps build loyal customers and long-term relationships.

How to Get Started With Mobile Marketing

Don't become overwhelmed and think you can't implement mobile marketing into your small business.

Here are 5 great ways to get started today!

Tip #1: Make Your Website Responsive

When designing or redesigning your business website, consider making it responsive. The purpose of a responsive web design is to have a site that displays well on ANY device.

If mobile users can't easily view your website, then you are "dead in your tracks" as they say.

This should be priority number one if you haven't done it already. 

Tips #2: Your Email Marketing Must be Mobile Optimized

A successful email marketing campaign requires mobile optimization to be as effective as possible.

Email usage on mobile devices has grown exponentially over the years and is continuing to grow as we speak...


If it's not, you are likely losing more than 40% of your audience immediately!

Optimizing your email campaigns for mobile is no longer a "side dish" because it drives email activities like opens, clicks, conversions, and revenue for your small business.

For more detailed info on how to optimize your email for mobile check out these articles:

Tip #3: Take a Mobile FIRST Approach

According to Google,

In fact, people today have 2X more interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else—that includes TV, in-store, you name it.

What does this mean for your small business? Well, it needs a mobile-first approach in all aspects of your business.

What exactly is a Mobile First Approach?

Mobile-first is an approach to design, development, and marketing that puts the user’s mobile experience as a TOP PRIORITY. It enables you to create an experience with mobile as it’s starting point, not as an afterthought.

Tip #4: Use Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is really powerful when done correctly. And, it just so happens that most social media platforms are predominantly used on mobile devices.

When you choose to market your business on social media, you are automatically using mobile marketing because of the nature of how social media is used.

All you need to do is remember to mobile optimize any links or offers you promote on social media.

Tip #5: Keep It Simple

Mobile users are short on time and patience.

Make sure your mobile marketing messages are short and to the point. You also want to ensure any calls-to-action are easy to spot and select on a mobile device.

There you go! Now that you have your mobile marketing overview, are you going to take action?

In this day and age, mobile devices pretty much dominate every aspect of our lives and it will continue for a very long time, so why not use it to grow your business today?

Mobile marketing matters and it can be the difference between digital marketing mediocracy and SUCCESS.

What do you think? Feel free to comment and ask questions in the comments below...and don't forget to share.


Get the outside eyes and feedback you need to get on the right path with your marketing.

Gain clarity and understanding. You'll leave your discovery call knowing where to focus your marketing efforts right now to get the best return on your investment.

Header image courtesy of Jumpstory.

About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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