Have you heard the term “mobile marketing” lately? Due to recent technological and infrastructural advances, worldwide mobile usage is increasing at nearly exponential rates, and a new opportunity is presenting itself for companies both large and small.
Mobile marketing is that opportunity. Mobile marketing can be simply defined as a set of practices and techniques that allow businesses to interact with and market their products and services to consumers, through the use of mobile devices.
The main methods of mobile marketing include:
- SMS, also known as text messaging
- MMS, or multimedia messaging
- QR Codes, 2-D black and white codes scanned with smartphones
- Mobile applications
Why use mobile marketing?
Aside from the astonishing rate of mobile growth, mobile marketing offers a unique way to interact with customers and potential customers. Each method features their own set of pros and cons, and care should be taken when setting up a mobile marketing strategy.
SMS and MMS offer relatively cheap, easy ways to connect with customers. However, many people are not comfortable receiving advertisements directly on their personal phones, and such messages may be viewed as spam.
Mobile applications are great ways to develop a link with consumers, but usually involve a high amount of technical or back-end development. Bluetooth marketing can be complicated as well, especially for small businesses.
The most popular and quickly emerging method of mobile marketing involves the QR, or quick-response code.
Have you ever felt limited by the size of your advertisements or limited by the amount of information you can include about a certain product, service, or feature? If so, QR codes might be a good solution for your business.
QR codes (pictured above) are small, 2-D black and white squares composed of smaller squares. These codes can be scanned with smartphones, and generally link to a website that includes product, company, or promotional information.
The beauty of QR codes stems from the ability to attach a QR code to nearly anything. Since QR codes can be printed or painted, literally anything can have a QR code – magazine or newspaper ads, product labels, banners, posters, business cards, stickers, flyers, and more.
The QR code presents businesses with an opportunity to influence a potential customer’s decision in real time, at the point of sale or decision. By providing additional information about a certain product or service when the consumer actually wants that information, marketers may be able to sway consumers in one direction or the other.
The average QR code is linked to a website, such as company website, and contains additional information related to a product or service. QR codes are free and easy to create, and a simple Google search will provide multiple websites that offer free QR code generation.
However, as with any new tool or strategy, be sure you define your goals and conduct the research you need to create a successful plan. That being said, QR codes are still a great and inexpensive way to reach out to customers.