It's a safe bet that you've received a text message or push notification in the last hour… and if nothing else, I bet you've caught a Pokemon using geofencing recently. These mobile experiences aren't a fancy magic trick only capable from a huge business like Papa Johns or Uber. I'm here today to help demystify the most common questions around setting up these mobile marketing experiences.

  1. I have little to no extra marketing resources to dedicate to a mobile messaging strategy. How can I balance a mobile strategy with everything else I have going on?

One way to think of mobile messaging is that it is a platform that influences your business goals. For instance, let's say your company continues to see a rapid decline in customer satisfaction for your services team. Your overarching company goal may be to increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs.

In this case, mobile doesn't fit in your typical "mobile marketer" resource-it is now a marketing channel that can solve multiple business problems. For example, an automated SMS program can be set up to remind and alert your customers when an online purchase is ready to be picked up at the store. This provides a great customer experience and also provides you with the opportunity to gather additional insights. Perhaps you ask how their experience was with your company and ensure they become or stay a loyal customer. This could be as simple as a follow up SMS message with a link to a mobile optimized survey.

Some of the biggest retailers don't have dedicated mobile marketing resources, but they pull in expertise from various roles like email marketers. They manage the go-to-market-plan and provide copy for texts like promos/coupons etc. Meanwhile, a peer handles the implementation and tasks like subscriber management and ensuring lists are set-up correctly and automated.

Creating apps doesn't have to be rocket science. is a great way to create a simple mobile app without the need to be an expert coder. Even better, it sits on top of the Shared Mobile Services and Data Platform, so you can get the backend integration and security features you expect from Salesforce.

  1. Mobile seems to be a phase 3 project with my overall marketing strategy. How can I see impact quickly to move this project forward?

Marketers want to see results-it's in our blood. A few tips for seeing fast results:

  • Start to promote your SMS campaign with your already existing marketing channels like web, email, and social media. If it's a good enough program and customers like it, it will soon go viral.
  • Assign a different promo code to each marketing channel. This way you can identify which channel gives you the highest visibility with your customers. You want to start increasing your subscriber list quickly-the more subscribers you have, the more ROI you'll see.
  • Try an email opt in campaign via SMS. Have you ever thought to have customers text <your email address> to an SMS code? This way you can quickly see an influence on your email subscriber list.

  1. When do customers want to be contacted via email vs. mobile?

This is a tough question, and to be honest it's different for every customer/brand and what the needs are. Let's take an easy example: A car dealership that wants to increase sales (don't they all?). They know that if they can get a person into the dealership for a test drive, they are much more likely to buy. Unfortunately their number of appointment no shows is continually increasing. Thanks to its high levels of engagement, mobile is a great solution. A simple appointment reminder can increase successful appointments and drive sales. While email could serve a similar purpose, SMS is more likely to be read in a timely manner.

In some cases mobile and email work hand in hand. If you have a strong email presence you can use that to promote your mobile marketing efforts like a quick opt-in checkbox to add your phone number and join your SMS program. You can also use your email footer as a place to promote your mobile app, such as text APP to 38767, with a picture of the app.

Lastly, think about how you can test and measure each channel. Every customer is on a different journey and like to be contacted differently. Customer journeys are a great way to include multiple paths that look into customer behaviors and message them according to their actions. With the perfect mix of email, mobile messages, social posts, and targeted ads, you can start to learn how and when your most loyal customers want to be messaged.

  1. How do I ensure I'm getting the most bang for my buck and ensure my mobile messages are useful to my customers?

You could send a blasted message and hope for the best. However that won't get you the most return for your investment. It is best practice to get to know your customers on a personal level. Understand their history with you-backed up by customer data-and message them accordingly. The more value you provide to a mobile program, the more engagement you'll receive. Think about your own experience: How often have you opted into a SMS campaign or opted into push notifications only to find they aren't useful? The first impression counts. For example, when I opted into push notifications for my fantasy football app, I was overly delighted to get a push notification indicating that I had won! However, if I had gotten a push notification for every single play by play, that wouldn't really give me a lot of satisfaction and I would most likely turn my notifications off. Remember, the first impression is crucial to your mobile marketing program.

  1. How can I message a customer based on their location?

Your customers are constantly on the go. They use their mobile devices as a supercomputer virtually every moment of the day. Whether they're standing in your aisle comparing your prices with a competitor, exploring dinner options on main street, or looking at different hotel choices while on vacation, they can be targeted based on their location and interest. There are two types to consider-Geofencing technology and beacons using proximity marketing.

  • Geofencing uses a selected radius around any geographic area such as a storefront, a city, an event space, etc. This geofence can be used to target mobile app users with push notifications (when the user has locations enabled).
  • Beacons are a physical device that uses bluetooth technology to send even closer proximity marketing messages than a geofenced area. A beacon could be used to target users as close as a specific aisle in a grocery store or a specific gate at an airport.

Pro tip: To get the most from these technologies you need to educate your app users of why turning locations on will benefit them. According to TechCrunch, acceptance increased from 40% to 66% after educating the user about the app before asking to have access to location and push notifications.

Take Your Marketing Mobile

Speaking of mobile, have you checked out the Marketing Cloud Mobile App? Now you can track campaign performance from anywhere, manage email sends, and collaborate across multiple channels. Download it today from the Apple App Store!