Yesterday, the American Marketing Association (AMA) hosted another installment of their ongoing Virtual Xchange series, Going Mobile: Integrating Strategy and Design for Success. As you can probably tell from the title, this virtual event was all about mobile marketing. Not necessarily a new area of marketing, but one that is under-utilized, under-optimized, and more often than not, just not considered when planning a b2b marketing campaign. So, without further ado, I’d like to share some of the silver bullets learned from the quartet of mobile marketing mavens who spoke at yesterday’s inspirational virtual conference.

Jamie Turner, Author and Founder, 60 Second Marketer (@AskJamieTurner)

Jamie started off with a simple question to attendees, “Are you currently running a mobile marketing campaign?” The results of this live poll left my jaw dropped. A whopping 52% of respondents were not running any sort of mobile marketing. Fortunately, this proved to be the perfect segue into the rest of his presentation.

To further shine a light on the fact that businesses must acknowledge mobile as a marketing channel, Jamie revealed this staggering statistic: Of the 6.8 billion people on the planet, 4 billion own a mobile phone while only 3.5 billion own a toothbrush. He then dove into the various ways to touch prospects while they’re “on the go.” An example of his happened to be one of my favorite ways to engage with companies while out, QR (Quick Response) codes (a.k.a. 2D codes).

Jamie presented some interesting stats on where the most common places people scan QR codes are. Oddly, the top 3 locations are a printed magazine/newspaper, product packaging, and a website. Yeah, printed materials and packaging makes sense, but on a website? Where’s the benefit of scanning a code to access a website, if you’re already on a website? Call me crazy, but that just seems like watching a movie of someone watching a movie. Regardless, they’re still cool and provide a pristine opportunity for fun engagement with prospects in their natural surroundings.

J Schwan, Founder and President, Solstice Consulting (@jschwan)

J’s presentation was chock full of inspiration and insights. He opened with a business quote I had never heard, and will never forget.

“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it…” – Mark Weiser

Though very thought-provoking, Weiser’s quote is also a great tie-in to the underlying theme of J’s session, the mobile web vs. native apps. Just to clarify, the “mobile web” refers to websites optimized for viewing on mobile devices, and “native apps” are standalone programs built for mobile devices. Each has its own set of pros and cons which must be weighed out in order to decide what mobile method is right for your business’s objectives. Essentially, if you just need to mobilize an existing web application and require coverage across all smartphone platforms, then building a mobile website will do ya just fine. On the other hand, if you need access to the mobile device’s senses (light-sensing, geographic-proximity, motion, etc.) or if the user experience must be unequivocally vibrant, then having a native app developed is the way to go.

Maria Pergolino, Senior Director of Marketing, Marketo (@InboundMarketer)

That’s right, I’m even going to summarize my boss’s presentation. Ballsy move, I know. Now if any of you know Maria, you know she is nothing if not passionate about demand generation. As such, it is no surprise that she has a special place in her heart for mobile email marketing. Maria points out that 88% of people check emails on their mobile phone daily, though I doubt that surprises many of the tech-savvy subscribers to this amazing marketing blog (no, I have no shame). What is surprising is that 39% of companies consider their email marketing optimization strategy to be non-existent.

If so many people are looking at email on their mobile device, why do so many businesses disregard mobile as a channel worth any time? Maybe because they don’t feel like spending the extra time making sure an email is optimized for mobile? Maybe because they have no clue how to optimize for mobile? Here are a few super quick tips…seriously these will take a total of less than 5 minutes to implement. Stop being so lazy.

  • From Name: Keep it consistent and don’t be too salesy ([email protected])
  • Subject: Keep it short, less than 40 characters will do.
  • Pre-Header (H1): Don’t duplicate the subject and make sure the font size is readable (30 pixels or above)
  • Body Text: Same thing with the readable font size (13 pixels or above)

In the end, the success of the campaign relies on thorough testing. Test, test again, retest, throw in another test for good measure, and finally, run a test email. Check how an email renders on different devices, check readability, and most importantly – ability to click. Let’s be honest, what’s the point of an email if there’s nothing to click?

Hugh Park Jedwill, CEO, Mobile Anthem (@mobilebranding)

The event was capped off by Mobile Jedi Master (or Mobile Jedwill Master), Hugh Park Jedwill. Hugh took an emotional approach by addressing, not the technical aspects, but the marketing and anthropological aspects of mobile marketing. From Martin Cooper’s 1st mobile call in 1973 to the introduction of location-based social networking platform, Foursquare, in 2010, the world of mobile communication and the opportunity it presents to businesses is growing exponentially, with no sign of slowing in sight. Touching on subjects such as a Tibetan monk having a more advanced phone than himself to the torn country of Syria’s future resting in the hands of the people and their phones, Hugh’s directive is to truly show you the vast impact that mobile has on humanity.

I almost felt like I was in a therapy session as I began to question my own reality. I started to consider the concept that life is mobile, and mobile is life. My phone is never more than an arm reach away and I check for any email/text/post notifications almost as instinctively as blinking. These are not only my behaviors, but those of my prospects as well.

Ok, I’m stopping before I go off on a tangent about some inhuman dimension that we are subconsciously experiencing through our third eye. I think you get the point. Mobile is ingrained in our DNA. It’s not going away. Ignoring mobile marketing as a source of revenue is the same as ignoring social marketing. And that is that.

Want to learn more? Check out our B2B Mobile Email Marketing paper to read about more best practices.