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Mobile Marketing is in Your Future

The continuing growth of smartphone usage demands your attention

This page last updated November 21, 2016

Smartphones are the tool for local marketing

Mobile Codes

Since “QR Code” is just one of several different types of two dimensional codes used for mobile marketing, and since EAS and UPC one dimensional codes are still widely applied, it is probably more accurate to refer to these codes as Mobile Codes.

Business owners who ignore these new mobile marketing tools are setting themselves up for long years of catch-up. Granted, some of the uses of mobile codes play into the hands of the major competition, but there are many ways you as a small business owner can use these codes to great advantage in mobile marketing campaigns. Nielsen estimates that 70% of all Americans will possess a smartphone by the end of 2014, and 2/3 of them will use them to search product information and pricing online while in the store. . As 4G service becomes more universally available, mobile usage will skyrocket, so you as a competitive business owner must be planning for this change now if you haven't already started. How can you take advantage of this trend?

Take Advantage of This Trend

The most popular uses of smartphones are mobile search, reading news and sports information, downloading music and videos, and email and instant messages. Coming up quickly are; money transfer; location-based services; m-health and m-payment will be key drivers. (Gartner)

In the US at 25 percent, a large minority of mobile Web users are mobile-only. In developed nations, and in the US particularly, many mobile-only users are older people and many come from lower income households. Today in the US and Western Europe, 90 percent of mobile subscribers have an Internet-ready phone. There is a myth that only people with smartphones can access the mobile Web This is a complete fallacy. Many handsets can surf the mobile Web – which is good because most handsets are feature phones – but a smartphone delivers a richer Web-surfing experience.

Just because people can view your PC Website on a mobile device with an HTML browser, doesn’t mean it is a pleasant or fulfilling experience. However big the device screen, viewing a PC Website requires scrolling left and right and up and down and however good the mobile connection, large images will be slow to load, and sites that use flash will not work on some handsets, including Apple's. What’s more, mobile users have different requirements from desktop Web users and provide different mobile marketing opportunities for your business.

The top 10 ways consumers will use mobile in 2016

The top 10 ways consumers will use mobile in 2016, as predicted by Gartner (November 2015)are listed below. (The order was determined by impact on consumers and industry players, considering revenue, loyalty, business model, consumer value and estimated market penetration):

• No. 1: Money transfer – most services offering person-to-person transfers, using Short Message Service (SMS or texting), signed up several million users within their first year.

• No. 2: Location-based services – Gartner predicts that the location based service user base will grow globally from 96 million in 2009 to more than 600 million in 2016!

• No. 3: Mobile search – the user experience of mobile search is improving to drive customer loyalty and drive sales and marketing opportunities.

• No. 4: Mobile browsing – 90 percent of handsets shipped in 2015 can browse the mobile Web. Therefore, the mobile Web will be a key part of most corporate B2C mobile strategies.

• No. 5: Mobile health monitoring – i.e. using IT and mobile telecommunications to monitor patients remotely and individual monitoring.

• No. 6: Mobile payment – Paying for goods and services over the mobile Web such as using mobile apps in place of credit cards will continue to grow in importance.

No. 7: Near-field-communication services – NFC allows contactless data transfer between devices and terminals typically to pay for transportation or to cash in a mobile coupon.

• No. 8: Mobile advertising – Gartner expects spending on mobile advertising to continue to grow in 2016.

• No. 9: Mobile instant messaging – Gartner thinks users really desire Mobile IM, especially in developing markets. This presents an opportunity for mobile advertising and social networking.

• No. 10: Mobile music – apart from ring tones and ring-back tones, which have turned into a multibillion-dollar service, mobile music has been gaining ground from a slow start.

How to Capitalize on This Trend

Now with all that data in hand, how do you, the local merchant capitalize on this growing medium? The following will hopefully give you some ideas.

Mobile barcodes are a necessary element for retailers to integrate into their cross-media initiatives whether online, television or print. For examples of various uses, go back to the page discussing QR code . For instance, by embedding a mobile barcode on a billboard or sign, your business is able to activate the advertisement and engage the consumer on the go.

Once you have established the dialogue with the consumer, whether around product information, sales or coupons, you can then continue to correspond, based on consumer opt-in, and continue to communicate your message.

Another very important factor is that by utilizing the analytics based on the consumer scan of the mobile barcode which can include the time of day and location you can make better purchase decisions around your advertising,both digital and traditional,and ensure optimal ROI.

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