Mobile Marketing: The Great Balancing Act


The ‘Holy Grail’ of marketing is the ability to engage with a consumer at exactly the right time (i.e. when they’re thinking about a need that your product or service offering can solve), with exactly the right message (be it a call-to-action or an offer), in order to influence them to make the purchasing decision that you want them to make (to buy your thing instead of your competitors’). 


Mobile marketing has incredible potential to be that Grail. From custom mobile websites and mobile apps, to technologies like mobile coupons, SMS text message marketing, and geo-fencing/geo-location aware messaging, mobile offers a myriad of ways for the mobile marketer to deliver targeted, customized, and perfectly timed messaging.


The trick with mobile marketing, however, is balance. Driving balance between your wants and your customers’ wants isn’t always easy, but relationships are built when those align. Then everybody wins. Relationships fail when that balance is lost. Then, everybody loses. To successfully find that balance, it is essential that mobile marketers understand and respect the level of intimacy that exists between mobile users and their mobile devices. A mobile consumer’s mobile space is very personal and very controlled. Mobile marketing campaigns need to intrude in that space as gently as possible.


For example: Spam your SMS text marketing opt-in list every day with valueless text messages, and you’ll certainly be getting your message out. But you’ll also get to watch your churn rate soar. You’re being too intrusive and your audience will respond appropriately.


Alternately, reserve your SMS messaging for a specific upcoming holiday special, and include a mobile coupon with the text message, and you’re not only delivering value to your audience but you’re also respecting their personal mobile space. That sort of relationship not only drives sales numbers, but your customers are more likely to stay engaged with your business or brand and remain responsive to you and future messaging.


I’ll be going into more detail in my next post, and I’ll introduce one approach that mobile marketers can take to help find that ‘sweet spot’ where you’re successfully balancing getting your mobile messaging out to your audience, while maintaining respect for their mobile space. In the meantime, put yourself in your mobile audience’s shoes and ask yourself a few things:

  • What do you know about your mobile customers?
  • How do they define ‘value’? How do you define ‘value’?
  • How do they want to interact with you and your business?

The answers are important, I’ll explain why next time. Stay tuned!