Are you using mobile marketing to drive foot traffic yet? You should be. The global pandemic changed the way people shop. To get customers’ attention and drive foot traffic, being where your customers are is now more important than ever.
Increasingly, that place is on mobile. On a global level, time spent with shopping apps on mobile devices increased by 45% in 2020 compared with the previous year as brands continue to invest in their app strategies.
In this in-depth guide, you’ll learn what mobile marketing is and discover some of the key mobile marketing tools and strategies you can use to drive foot traffic to your store.
What Is Mobile Marketing?
Mobile marketing is the process of marketing and advertising to consumers using smartphones and tablets. Typically, mobile advertising strategies take advantage of mobile device features such as push notifications and location awareness to deliver more timely and relevant ads.
The stats show that mobile devices represent a large and growing segment of online activity. There are more than 6 billion mobile phone users worldwide, with subscriptions expected to grow by “several hundred million” in the years to come.
In addition, mobile devices — smartphones in particular — are now an essential part of the shopping experience. According to Gartner, in 2021 smartphone sales continue to increase. Studies also show that 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online in 2022.
And it’s not just about purchases. Shoppers are using mobile devices for research before buying. In the retail space alone, mobile commerce sales — commercial transactions made via mobile phone — are expected to reach 10.4% by 2025, which is more than double the pre-pandemic numbers. In other words, there’s a great opportunity to reach potential customers with time-based, location-based, and personalized messages.
5 Mobile Marketing Strategies
When you’re setting out to create your mobile marketing strategy, there are a number of options to consider. Some of the most important types of mobile marketing strategies include SMS marketing, social media marketing, location-based marketing, proximity marketing, and in-app marketing. Here’s how these mobile advertising strategies work.
1. SMS Marketing
SMS marketing is marketing via text messages. It’s also known as text message marketing or text marketing. This is a permission-based mobile marketing strategy in which brands send promotions, deals, coupons and other alerts straight to potential customers’ phones via text messages of 160 characters or less.
- SMS open rates range from 90-99%
- 90% of SMS messages are opened within 3 minutes
- Click-through rates can be more than double that of email
That’s likely because most people have their phones with them most of the time, and because they get push notifications for incoming text messages, making those harder to ignore.
Since text messages are so short, many marketers include a link where recipients can get more product information, or a code that triggers a follow-up message. One best practice for SMS marketing is to avoid overusing it; this tactic is most effective for time-sensitive promotions.
2. Social Media Marketing
Many smartphone owners use them to access social media. Statista shows that globally, Facebook has more than 2.8 billion monthly active users, with YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram close behind. With all of those users in one place, it makes sense to use social media as one of your main mobile marketing strategies.
Social media makes it easy to create a personal connection with your customers via comments and messages. You can also increase brand awareness and boost your conversions with customer referrals and recommendations.
Though some companies choose to focus on organic social media posts, it’s increasingly common to use social media advertising to guarantee that you’ll reach the right customers. Some options include:
- Facebook ads, or boosted (promoted) posts
- Promoted tweets on Twitter
- Shoppable or promoted pins on Pinterest
- LinkedIn ads or promoted posts
Typically, this mobile marketing strategy lets you create an audience with demographic information, and set campaign goals, budgets and durations.
3. Location-Based Marketing (GPS)
Location-based marketing uses the GPS function on smartphones to help marketers show promotions and relevant content according to users’ locations. Sometimes location-based marketing is called geotargeting or geolocation marketing.
Research shows that the global location based advertising market, which was already valued at more than $62 billion USD back in 2019, is expected to grow at a rate of over 17% from 2022 to 2027. This type of marketing results in more engagement and a better response, because it is more relevant to where mobile users are and what they are doing.
For example, you can show a promotion for a restaurant to someone who’s in the area and encourage that person to visit the restaurant. Coach used location targeting to drive thousands of visits to its stores, so this is a proven way to increase foot traffic.
4. Proximity Marketing
Proximity marketing is another form of location-based marketing. This lets you use Bluetooth to figure out where potential customers are, and target them with appropriate promotions.
One example of this is beacon marketing, which relies on physical Bluetooth-enabled devices in or near stores. These send short-range signals to mobile devices, which people see when they are near your location. This is another proven way to drive foot traffic. Toyota used proximity marketing to attract more customers likely to buy at local car dealerships.
5. In-app Marketing
Smart marketers can’t ignore the app market. According to Business of Apps the top five apps include TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram — but there are hundreds of thousands of other apps, which is why in-app advertising has become a key mobile marketing strategy.
Types of in-app advertising include:
- Display advertising like banners that appear at the top or bottom of a mobile screen
- Native advertising, which are promotions styled to mimic the app environment
- Video ads
- Interstitial ads, which appear in between app actions. For example, sometimes these ads appear when moving from one game level to another
5 Mobile Marketing Tools for Success
The five mobile marketing strategies above will get you started with targeting mobile device users. Now, we’ll tell you about the mobile marketing tools you’ll need to use these strategies effectively.
The 5 mobile marketing tools you’ll need include GroundTruth Ads Manager, geofencing advertising, weather targeting, audience targeting and brand insights.
1. GroundTruth Ads Manager
GroundTruth Ads Manager is a single platform that allows you to reach up to 120 million monthly visitors with mobile marketing. The technology is third-party verified and allows you to target potential customers based on the places they visit and the stores they shop in.
Customization options include distance, direction and click-to-call and you can use GroundTruth’s cost–per-visit model to ensure you only pay when someone actually visits your store. GroundTruth Ads Manager makes it easy to track progress with in-depth location analytics.
2. Geofencing Advertising
Geofencing advertising is another important form of mobile advertising which creates a virtual boundary around a location. For example, you can use this to identify a building or shopping area. GroundTruth uses its proprietary Blueprints technology to ensure that your geofence is accurate.
Once you create your geofence, you can show mobile ads to people who fall within the area and who meet your criteria. This approach combines GPS with audience insights to help you improve the efficacy of your mobile ad promotions. This is an accurate and highly scalable form of mobile advertising.
3. Weather Targeting
The weather affects consumer behavior. Sometimes people may choose to stay in or go out, and at other times it affects what they buy. Either way, you can use weather targeting to make your mobile marketing even more effective.
GroundTruth’s network of weather sensors is highly accurate, allowing you to target mobile advertising according to prevailing or expected weather conditions. You can serve ads depending on UV index, wind, temperature, and weather alerts. You can also combine weather targeting with other forms of location data to make your ads even more relevant and actionable.
4. Audience Targeting
Ever wondered how to leverage offline behavior to increase foot traffic? You can do this with audience targeting. This mobile marketing tool lets you reach customers based on factors like:
- Online and offline behavior
- Past and current behavior
The result is that you can reach customers with mobile marketing at the time when they’re most likely to buy. For example, if a customer has visited your brick and mortar store, you can send them an offer based on their behavior in-store. Or you can send a message to someone who’s out and about based on how they interacted with your website.
And you can combine audience targeting with location marketing and geo-fencing to make your mobile marketing even more targeted and relevant to your potential customers.
5. Brand Insights
One of the best ways to increase foot traffic to your store is to understand what’s really happening with your visitors. GroundTruth’s brand insights tool provides location analytics and other insights including market share, foot traffic, brand affinity and more. This can help you really hone in on the right mobile marketing campaigns to attract your perfect audience.
Even with years of mobile marketing already behind us, research shows that customers are still responsive to relevant targeted mobile promotions. The mobile marketing strategies and tools listed above will help you deliver what customers expect to drive foot traffic to your store.