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Enhancing direct campaigns with mobile technology

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It always makes me chuckle to myself when I hear people talk about mobile marketing as if it were a completely separate marketing entity. Yes, mobile is new, and exciting and not yet fully understood. But just because most industry professionals don't yet quite grasp the concept doesn't mean it is a foreign species. The fact is, mobile has the power to connect and enhance every direct-marketing initiative you produce as well as allow you to capitalize on entirely new markets. The mistake so many advertisers and marketers make is thinking that mobile marketing either means building an app or placing mobile ads inside one. These two tactics are hardly even eyelashes on the behemoth that is the potential of mobile marketing. There is a whole world of customer connections being bypassed every time you launch a direct marketing campaign and fail to create a mobile-friendly version to go along with it. So how do you take advantage of mobile when it comes to direct marketing? The options run the gamut from simple logic to innovation and creativity. The first step, of course, is to optimize. This means building mobile landing pages for any URL you offer, formatting emails for smaller devices, and making sure that all links lead to pages that are easy to consume on a small screen. An optimized page needs tapable buttons, easy-to-read text, clear and direct navigation, and only essential content. Beyond simply formatting everything for mobile, marketers also have the opportunity to create specific experiences for mobile users. Someone accessing an ad on a mobile device is likely not just a browser but an interested party. This means any ads included in emails, print, fliers and even TV or radio need to be connected to specified landing pages for the individual product or deal being advertised. This immediate payoff gives users an outlet to immerse themselves in whatever messages or goods intrigue them. Mobile provides your brand with an instantaneous connection directly into your customers pocket at all times. And not only can your message always be accessible, your customers will always be able to take immediate action. A radio spot can be heard, then viewed, then acted upon in less than a few minutes. Compare this to the premobile past, when that same radio ad required a consumer to either drive home to a computer or to the nearest store to make a single transaction. Smart marketers know lots of little direct-marketing secrets, such as peak email hours, optimal mailing dates, billboard location trends, etc. But, as we are moving toward a completely connected future, mobile will make those secrets less valuable. Marketers need to find ways to get ahead of the next wave of innovative ideas. Make mobile an extension of live-action events; create interactive games that give users deals and savings; use newsletters or mobile check-ins to create targeted push messaging; or take advantage of new technologies such as near-field communications or augmented reality. Whatever the avenue you take to capitalize on mobile, be sure not to be the business that decided to wait and see. In a market that moves as fast as mobile, sitting on your hands will have you waving goodbye to customers before long. Alex Kutsishin is president of mobile website platform FiddleFly Inc. (www.fiddlefly.com). He can be reached at alexk@fiddlefly.com.
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