The age of mobile marketing is upon us. Simply put, mobile marketing is the process of mutual engagement and value exchange between marketers and consumers “through” and “with” mobile media. And boy, is value being exchanged.
Value is exchanged through mobile media when consumers and marketers directly engage each other through one of the many mobile media paths. Value is exchanged with mobile media when a mobile call to action is placed in a traditional digital ad. The consumer is then invited to pull out their phone and engage with the marketer.
Marketers are using mobile to generate brand awareness, prospect and acquire customers, retain and generate loyalty with customers, support customers, and stimulate positive word-of-mouth marketing through social media and a wide range of marketing initiatives.
Consumers are using mobile to communicate with their peers and marketers, to obtain information to help them make informed purchase decisions, to receive promotional value of some sort (e.g., discounted offers), or to simply be entertained. They’re text messaging to receive coupons or make charitable donations. They’re downloading apps and scanning UPC and 2-D barcodes to get product information. They’re visiting mobile websites, playing games, checking in with Fourquare or Facebook Places, and so much more.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, recently reported that within the last 12 months, “customers around the world have ordered more than $1 billion of products from Amazon using a mobile device.”
On a smaller but no less impactful scale, shoe and apparel retailer Steve Madden revealed that within the first six months of launching its mobile website it directly generated $521,000 in revenue, and mobile influenced an additional $2.5 million to $3.0 million in incremental revenue. Wow! Mobile works.
So, how does your brand get in on this action? How can it start engaging its audience through and with mobile marketing? How much is this going to cost you or your customers?
Budgeting for mobile marketing
Given all the opportunities that can be had with mobile marketing, it can often be hard to budget for it. In order to budget properly, consider a number of factors: your approach, up-front costs, variable costs and timing.
Below you’ll find a high-level overview of the cost drivers for both up-front mobile marketing program investments and program variable fees.
Mobile marketing approached
When launching a mobile marketing program, you must deliver five building blocks:
- a strategy;
- effective creative (the imagery and language needed to stimulate engagement with your audience);
- ability to execute;
- technology to deliver through and with the eight mobile media paths (aka mobile platform); and
- measurements and analytics solutions to monitor and gain insight from your efforts.
There are four approaches to get these five tasks done, both at a company and individual campaign-level:
- Agency: In this approach, you work with a marketing agency that does everything for you.
- Do it yourself: In this approach, you attempt to tackle everything yourself.
- Platform: In this approach, you license a third-party software solution(s) and measurement tools, but you’re responsible for handling the strategic, creative and execution using in-house resources and licensed software solutions.
- Hybrid: In this approach, you apply a combination of the three approaches above to accomplish the five building block stages.
Stay tuned for part two of this series when I’ll examine a mobile marketing program’s cost centers.