Mobile Marketing No Longer Means Slapping Your Ad on a Bus

May 4th, 2010 by Search Influence Alumni

Mobile marketing no longer means sticking your ad on a bus

Imagine you just pulled into the mall parking lot with your three antsy children who are complaining that they are hungry, need to go to the potty and want to go to the Disney Store… Amidst all of the chaos of getting them out of the mini van and making sure you have your purse (and your sanity), you accidentally lock your keys in the car.  And, the car is still running.  This is so not what you needed!  But, fortunately, you have your smart phone in your purse!  You quickly log onto the internet and search for “locksmith.”  You come across the first listing – A company called 911 Super Ultra Emergency Locksmiths.  You get them on the phone and they are in the mall parking lot within minutes to save you!

Or, {a less dramatic scenario}… You and a buddy are at a conference out-of-town and you have a break for lunch.  Where is the nearest place to grab some sushi?  Thank goodness you have that smart phone to look up “sushi restaurant.”  Ten minutes later, you and your buddy are pigging out on some tuna sashimi and crunchy rolls at the local sushi hot spot!

Mobile Marketing increases in relevancy as mobile local search takes a larger share of market

With the continuous advancements in technology today, small businesses need to stay abreast of the emerging ways to reach their target market.  One of the new ways that small businesses can connect with their customers is Mobile Marketing.  According to Google, “You can easily expand your reach to customers who are on-the-go. Audiences are increasingly stepping away from their desktop computer and searching and browsing the web from their phone.”

In this blog post, we are going to introduce Mobile Marketing rookies to some interesting facts and ideas to consider when budgeting for your next campaign.

In a recent study conducted by comScore that was featured in an article by Jason Kincaid on, it was discovered that “45.4 million people in the United States were using smartphones” over a period of 3 months ending in February 2010, “which is a 21% increase” over the 3 month period of time studied ending in November 2009.  In layman’s terms, that’s a whole lotta potential customers…

Mobile Marketing: number of smart phone users up 21% in just one year

Google – Go Mobile! recommends some strategies that small businesses can utilize to better reach their ‘local-mobile-searching’ potential customers:

1. Create a version of your website that can be used and viewed more smoothly by a mobile device.  The ‘regular’ version of your website might not load as quickly or be as easy to view and use on a mobile device.

2. Think local by offering information on local events in your area and maps showing locations nearby where customers can purchase your products.

3. Engage your customers by offering a game that they can play while waiting in the doctor’s office waiting room or an application that they can download and use on their mobile device.

4. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.  You have to know who you are competing against.  Give your small business the competitive advantage. “Including an incentive, such as a coupon, really does make the difference when searchers are looking for local businesses,” says Anthony ColemanSearch Influence’s resident Paid Search Marketing veteran.  He further explains, “It is also a good alternative, because many local businesses don’t have the resources to create games or applications.”

5. Go viral.  Create a way for your customers to easily share your business’s information with friends via the click of a button.  As they say, the best publicity and marketing is by word of mouth (or by the click of a button 🙂

6. Get found with mobile advertising.  Create ads that show up when a customer searches for something relevant to your business on their mobile device.  “With smart phones becoming more integrated with local search, Google Adwords is allowing advertisers to display paid ads into mobile searches – by appearing first in a local search, you increase your exposure.” explains Anthony Coleman.  “They are even offering a ‘click-to-call’ option, which allows searchers to call phone numbers listed in paid ads, making it easier for leads to connect with advertisers.”

* A great way to think local, offer specials and get found for no cost is by participating in applications such as FourSquare.  According to, “Foursquare aims to encourage people to explore their neighborhoods and then reward people for doing so… As a business owner, you can use foursquare to engage your increasingly mobile customers with foursquare “Specials,” which are  discounts and prizes you can offer your loyal customers when they check in on foursquare at your venue.”  All you have to do is “claim your venue” and get started!

Mobile Marketing: Foursquare makes it easy!

You can even keep track of how many users are finding your business by searching via their mobile device, as well as where they are located, what they are searching for to find you and much more!

In the blog post, “How Much Google Traffic Comes From Mobile Devices – A Quick Study” by Tim Coleman of A Second Opinion, Tim studied a set of local small businesses’ Google traffic from mobile devices.  He wanted to determine the importance of mobile search in relation to his clients, as well as the “percentage of traffic that came from mobile” and if “the percentage of traffic from Mobile varied in different parts of the country.”  He looked at 7 garage door companies across the nation over a span of 2 months and made some conclusions of importance:

  • “The small data set follows the general pattern that people in bigger cities (more population) are going to use mobile devices a higher percentage of the time.”
  • “Interestingly, Westchester County is the oldest population in this set. Could be that age trumps income when it comes to selecting a small business on a mobile handset.”
  • And, “For different types of businesses Mobile is going to be more or less important but overall it’s likely to be less than 5% of overall traffic. Again, this is a small study but Adwords and Google Analytics both provide easy segmentation of mobile traffic. Look in your analytics or call your PPC provider to see what percentage of your traffic is mobile.”

So, the amount of traffic that your site gets from local search via mobile devices depends upon variables such as the age, location, income, etc of the user and, all of this can be tracked and documented via tools such as Google Analytics and Google Adwords.

Small businesses have a lot on which to stay up-to-date, and online marketing and mobile marketing are no exception.  More and more people are buying and using smart phones and it is worth your time and money to consider marketing to your potential customers on-the-go.  There are a plethora of tips to choose from to get your website “mobile device ready.”  And, you can see where your customers are coming from and how they are locating you!  How can you not be interested?!