The future is here. Mobile use is booming, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. In fact, research from eMarketer suggests that between 2015 and 2021, mobile-only internet users will increase from 32.1 million to 52.3 million. With that kind of growth, smart businesses and marketers are constantly looking for new ways to reach their increasingly on-the-go audience. That’s where mobile marketing automation (MMA) comes in.

As the name implies, MMA is similar to traditional marketing automation, but it’s designed specifically for use with mobile devices. MMA may not be as widely used as traditional marketing automation yet, but it’s gaining popularity. Could it be what your business needs to reach more people?

 
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Automation has become a solution for two major marketing needs: managing a large database of contacts, and delivering personalized messages to customers and leads. Marketing automation stores information about your contacts, lets you segment your contacts into lists or groups based on any criteria you specify, and helps you control which messages those contacts see. Without marketing automation, businesses have to do all this manually, a process that quickly becomes difficult or impossible with a large audience.

When one mentions marketing automation, it traditionally is defined for marketing to desktop users via email and social media channels. But the rise of mobile technology calls for another kind of marketing automation: mobile marketing automation.

For instance, you can schedule push notifications, SMS messages, and in-app messages — as well as your emails — with an MMA system. Gather more details about your leads and customers, such as their location, their browsing habits, and what type of device they’re using. Furthermore, your analytics reflect how well these different facets of your strategy are working for you.

In the last year alone, mobile-only internet use has increased from 36.6 million users to 40.7 million users. The numbers don’t lie: Mobile is big and is getting bigger. Eventually, mobile marketing automation may be as commonly used as traditional marketing automation. The question isn’t so much whether you should start using an MMA system, but when you should.

Should you use mobile marketing automation now? Here are some questions to consider.

  • What are your current marketing goals? A good marketing plan is multifaceted, but you don’t want to overwhelm yourself or your marketing team by trying to do too much at once. If you’re already focused on other goals, such as improving your SEO or running more personalized email campaigns, you may want to hold off on adding mobile-specific marketing to your already busy schedule. On the other hand, if you need to improve your marketing strategy or refine your targeting, now could be the perfect time to start researching MMA systems.
     

  • What kind of technology does your audience use? If most of your audience is on mobile, you’ll get good results by using a marketing automation system that specifically targets that group. On the other hand, if your target audience has been slow to adopt mobile, an MMA system may not be the best investment to make right now. Keep an eye on your audience’s technology use, and use MMA when the majority switch to mobile.
     

  • Will automation make your life easier? You may be able to manage your marketing by hand for a while, but eventually that will become impractical. When your business and your database grow, or if you’re ready to step up your marketing strategy, it’s time to look into some time- and energy-saving mobile marketing tools.
     
  • Do you want to stay ahead of the marketing curve? MMA is only going to get bigger. If you want to get a head start on understanding it, now is the time to jump in.

 

Mobile ecommerce is experiencing a surge of popularity. As more people regularly shop on their phones, businesses need to find new ways to attract mobile visitors, turn them into paying customers, and retain those customers. MMA can help.

 

How can a B2C marketer leverage MMA for best results? A few ideas include:

  • Use time-based advertising. B2C businesses can connect with their audiences in real time. This matters because people often make buying decisions based on impulse and emotion, especially the 20% of shoppers called validation shoppers. These customers are “driven by a need to validate their choices.” Try to reach out to your customers when you know they’re likely to buy something. You can also create a sense of time-based urgency in order to get powerful results. For example, schedule push notifications the day before a sale ends, or send SMS messages with promotional codes on days of the week when people in your audience tend to make purchases.
     

  • Take advantage of multichannel communication. B2C businesses can experiment with all kinds of creative, causal marketing. It’s a common and acceptable practice to send SMS or MMS messages or push notifications as a B2C marketer, whereas B2B businesses generally use a different approach. Mobile marketing provides many different ways to connect with your audience. Just be careful not to overwhelm your audience with too many messages.


  • Get personal. Track and record as much personal information about your visitors and customers as they give you. Someone’s age, gender, buying behavior, location, and preferences will affect the purchases they make with you, and you should use this information to inform your marketing strategy. When you understand your audience and give them what they want, you can maximize customer retention.

 

Relationship building and lead nurturing are two key components of making a sale in the B2B world. If you’re a B2B marketer, here are a few ways you can use MMA to build trust with your leads and take them through the sales funnel.

  • Create a welcome sequence. Use a detailed, well-planned welcome sequence to greet new leads, let them know what they can expect to receive from you, and give them more information about your product or service.
     

  • Gather information. Personalization is an excellent way to build rapport and good relationships with your leads, so pay attention to who they are. Sort your leads based on quality, and focus your attention on those who are most interested and qualified. Track other information such as a lead’s industry, company, and job title, too. Use this information to create in-depth, personalized emails and other marketing materials.

  • Educate your leads with drip campaigns. Email nurture campaigns are a great way to give prospective buyers more information about your product or service. For best results, make sure the conversation goes both ways. Let your recipients reply to you, ask questions, or provide feedback. This builds trust and positive feelings, and the feedback will help you make your campaigns better in the future.

 

 
See how your brand can become as much a part of your customers’ daily lives as the handheld devices they carry.

Mobile marketing automation is going to be as ubiquitous as traditional marketing automation. While traditional marketing automation is important, you still need to consider adopting mobile marketing automation so your marketing strategies can maintain your company’s position as the trailblazer of your industry. The more personal and targeted your marketing is, the better your business will do.

 

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs digital marketing advice ranging from keyword research to recovering from Google Algorithm updates and changes.

 

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