Market Your Mobile Website

The mobile web brings some exciting innovations in promotion, but also brings many challenges. Advertising on mobile devices seems, at first glance, to be a losing game. The screen is a tiny fraction of a proper flat-screen TV, the connection to the Internet is far more tenuous than using a cable modem or DSL line, and typing on the itty-bitty keyboard is comfortable only for leprechauns.

The larger size of the iPad solves some of these challenges, although its screen is still smaller and the keyboard still trickier to use than those you find on a laptop or desktop computer.

Nevertheless, even on the more diminutive iPhone, the mobile web offers these important advantages:

  • People carry their mobile phones with them wherever they go. Studies show that people who forget and leave their phones behind in restaurants usually realize the error within an hour or two; however, most people realize in about a day that they’ve left behind their wallets containing their IDs, cash, and credit cards.

  • The mobile phone offers one of the rare times in modern life when you have the undivided attention of your audience. Think of the environment that most advertising gets tossed into ― to sink or swim. Good luck breaking through that level of chaos.

    Researchers say that even in busy and crowded environments, where visitors to your site may be distracted, having the media player in the user's hand creates a special state of connection and concentration.

  • People trust content delivered via their mobile devices. According to research by several mobile marketing experts, the trust is built up from hearing your mom’s voice come out of the device, for example, or relying on it to reach 911 when you witness a car accident.

    That trust translates into a much better chance that your marketing message actually gets through. But don’t just take that at face value; early research shows that, when done properly and integrated with other media, mobile advertising yields a return on investment that's surprising even seasoned advertising executives.

  • Mobile devices increasingly have GPS built in. Using GPS, your mobile phone knows where you are (that’s why it can tell you where to go when you get lost).

    GPS also lets advertisers take advantage of location data to display ads that are more relevant — when an advertising message reaches a potential customer in a particular location, you can do things like promote your coffee shop to anyone within a city block of your front door.

    Targeting your ads to appear where and when your customers need them transforms the ads from intrusive spam that everyone grumbles about into a useful service that solves a need. For instance, you might be glad to know:

    • Where the nearest tire repair shop is when your car blows a tire on the way to work

    • Who can help you remove a red wine stain from a cashmere sweater before the stain sets in

    • Where to find the nearest place to refill your allergy medication before you wind up in the hospital

Of course, location-based targeting raises all kinds of privacy concerns, which is why so many mobile advertising practitioners talk about opt-in marketing campaigns, which require that consumers agree to receive advertising sent to their mobile phones.

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