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Is It Time for a Mobile Marketing Strategy?

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It should come as no surprise that the wide-spread use of smartphones and tablets is ushering in a new era in marketing communication. Sponsored messages are popping up everywhere we look, and consumers are doing more business on phones and tablets every day through a growing number of apps and sites. Of course, marketers are not abandoning print and other traditional media, but many are looking at how mobile marketing can extend their messages to more places where their customers may be looking – and buying.

Although still only a small fraction of total media dollars, the mobile device proliferation is expected to send mobile ad spending up 77.3 percent over 2012 (according to a fore-cast last April from eMarketer) to $7.3 billion by the end of 2013, against an anticipated $171.1 billion total on paid media.

And mobile marketing is not just a consumer trend. Business-to-business (B2B) consumers have embraced mobile technologies like new BFFs, and many B2B marketers are giving mobile higher priority.

 "When marketing to [global executives], you can't go wrong if print and online are core components; then it's easier to build out from there." – Decision Dynamics

According to American Business Media’s (ABM) 2013 Value of B-to-B study, 43 percent of marketers expect to increase their spending on mobile advertising. Moreover, 41 percent of marketers also plan to boost e-newsletter advertising – and those email messages are increasingly read on mobile devices, ABM reports.

What Is Mobile Marketing?

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) says it is a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through and with any mobile device or network.

The MMA-commissioned Mobile Marketing Economic Impact Study, conducted by Dr. Peter A. Johnson and Dr. Joseph Plummer of media consultancy mLightenment, indicates that we are living in a “mobile-enhanced economy,” in which every mobile object becomes a medium and every place an opportunity for a message; by empowering the “always on, always on the go” consumer, mobile has transformed people into interactive, creative and responsive partners in the marketing process.

“While mobile’s economic value is the heart of this study, mobile is also inspiring the industry to rethink their discipline for a world that is no longer static,” Plummer said. “As people rely more on mobile devices, they will become ‘co-creators’ in the marketing process and control both the context and content of the overall brand experience.”

As you firm up your 2014 marketing plans, it’s a good time to think about how your customers reach you – and to make sure your website, email marketing and other key points of access are easily read on mobile devices.

Writing last December in a blog post on, Tim Dunn listed four key pillars of a B2B mobile strategy, including Brilliant Basics and Differentiation.

On Brilliant Basics, Dunn said, “The new generation of B2B users will be accessing almost any contact point with our brands on mobile devices,” so companies must “make sure that we meet the minimum requirements of being available and accessible” there. That means designing websites and other content to be easily and optimally used on any device. By the way, do you know how many of your site’s visitors are getting to you via a mobile device? Web applications such as Google Analytics can be set up to track that information for you.

Regarding Differentiation, Dunn said, “Many B2B markets are crowded with similar offerings, so achieving standout and brand recall is not easy. However, with mobile being such an underdeveloped channel in this space, you have the opportunity to gain first-mover advantage.”

In a blog post at, Clive Baker, managing director of Movement London, shared his thoughts on creating a mobile strategy. Among his key points are fitting mobile to business and marketing objectives, knowing your audience and integrating mobile with other communications. On the last point, Baker said, “It’s amazing how many B2B businesses still create con-flicting messages when they employ mobile, when, in fact, reinforcing the same message through multiple channels can make your campaign (and therefore your business) seem much bigger than it actually is.”

In “Five B2B Marketing Trends to Watch,” author Russ Fradin writes, “Mobile is no longer the ‘third screen.’ It is now the primary screen, the preferred way consumers and employees want to interact – whether through tablet devices, apps, social media or cloud services.” In the article, posted this month to, Fradin tells marketers to keep an eye on mobile and consumerization.

What’s more, employees are not alone in business access via mobile device. Six in 10 global executives use tablets, primarily for checking news, visiting websites, searching, shopping and watching movies, according to the annual Decision Dynamics study by business communication specialist Doremus and The Financial Times. The survey also found that among executives under age 45 and those 55 and over, the gap in technology use is narrowing – significantly so, in the most recent survey.

So, while mobile and tablet use is definitely up, it is not yet time to abandon traditional marketing media. “When marketing to this elusive and busy group, you can’t go wrong if print and online are core components; then it’s easier to build out from there,” said Daniel Rothman, Financial Times director of customer and market insights.

Ask your key media representatives how you can best utilize the reach of their media brands to build a strong marketing program across print, online, live and mobile options.

Outbound MarketingBrandingMobileDigital AdvertisingB2B Selling

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