3 Tips to Avoid Mobile Marketing Epic Fails

There’s just no denying the untapped potential of using mobile for your marketing, with the platform playing a huge part in people’s lives. Internet access through mobile devices has grown tremendously over a short time.

In a survey by marketing and public relations firm Walker Sands Communications, mobile devices accounted for only 6% of web visits back in January 2011. That quickly changed almost two years later as mobile devices accounted for almost a quarter of web visits. Director of Web Services and Social Media John Fairley recognizes the significance of harnessing the power of mobile, as he was quoted saying, “Mobile is no longer an option, but a necessity. Companies must develop a user-friendly mobile site to keep pace with traffic that consistently doubles year over year.”

Measuring the scale

To give you an idea of how great the scale is of mobile use, Micro Tag has the following figures from their studies:

  • There are around 4 billion mobile phones in use and 1.08 billion of them are smart phones.
  • About half oflocal search are conducted on mobile devices.
  • The average American will spend 2.7 hours socializing using a mobile device.

Other statistics say that last year, 60% of 140 million people who use Twitter access it through mobile while another 78% of Facebook users from the US access the site from a mobile device. Also, Facebook rolled out an update recently, letting people see which platform their friends are accessing the site from.

What mobile marketing means foryour business

With all the facts given about the potency of mobile as means of acessing the Internet, not to mention its expected dominance in the coming years, it’d be wise to apply its strengths to better your brand’s position in the market. Going mobile would do a lot for generating traffic since the platform provides extra means for end users to access a website. If you’re an affiliate marketer looking for alternative ways of bringing traffic to your site, for example, this is one of the channels your audience will surely use.

Mobile devices are one of the few things that most people never leave the house without. Mobile marketing then gives you the chance to be personal with your approach while targeting a mass audience. The very nature of the device is to provide personal utility, unlike television where content is meant to be viewed by multiple individuals gathered in a single location.

Since this is a fairly new practice, people who apply this strategy may not be all that familiar with the ins and outs of the platform. There are, however, a few things that you should keep in mind to save your mobile strategy from failing in epic proportions:

  1. 1.      Remember that user experience is different with mobile devices.

Note  the screenshot below, grabbed from KongCompany.com:


This brand, focusing on pet toys and treats, seem to have forgotten the inherent difference between mobile devices and desktops: size and bandwidth. The images on the site accessed via a smartphone overlaps with each other while some of the texts are cut away from the screen, indicating that the domain was not optimized for mobile use. To navigate properly, users need to do a lot of panning and zooming, which won’t sit well with on-the-go mobile users.


Acquiring a subdomain that’s meant for your audience who are mobile users is a good option, but designing your site to be accessible using all devices is the better option since the subdomain is essentially harder for search engines to find.

You can boost a mobile-site’s loading speed by simplifying its design. You can do so by minimizing the CSS and Javascript files. Also, shrink high resolution images for them to fit a mobile’s screen and try loading mobile-friendly images using CSS media query.

Lastly, keep in mind that there are three possible mobile screens that your audience can use to view your website – smartphones, half tablets, and full tablets. You’ll need to anticipate which ones they’ll be using since the compatibility of your site is important for their viewing experience.

  1. 2.      QR codes are useless if people can’t get physically close to them.

Quick response, or QR codes, are used to transmit information from a certain static media to a smartphone. It is usually seen printed on magazine ads, billboards,  posters, and even on t-shirts.   QR codes can store loads of information, which includes text-based messages, geographic coordinates, and URL links. This is a good tool for driving traffic to your site because most smartphones have the feature to read the codes.

While being tech-savvy with your marketing approach goes a long way, placing your QR codes at the wrong places may mean failure for you, especially if people need to risk their lives in order to scan it.


Not only that the QR code was obscuring a relatively big part of the billboard, but the Air Force Reserve defeated the purpose of employing the use of a QR code since they placed it where people can’t reach it. No one, or at least few people, would be crazy enough to climb up that billboard just to scan that code.


Put your QR codes where it could be accessed by your audience. Test and make sure that it works before posting it. Being creative with your placement is a good thing,but don’t defeat your main purpose with your intention.

  1. 3.      Mobile apps don’t promote themselves.


Mobile apps are generally good for reinforcing a brand’s presence because it could be applied to a lot of areas such as utility and entertainment. These are tools that help people perform their tasks while on-the-go. On its own, however, a good, fully-functional app won’t be able to urge end users to download it.  In the case of virtual gift card application Go Wallet, their promotional print material got their users confused, as it didn’t lead to any website nor to any application store. Instead, users are forced to ask about the application advertised or to search for it on their own, defeating the point of accessibility and ease-of-use.


If you’re not planning to employ the use of a QR code or optimizing the designated site to be mobile-friendly, at least provide some basic details about the application on your promotional materials like what it is for, how and where to get it, and why people should downloaded it, in order to build a connection between the application and your intended audience.

As mobile devices like smartphones and tablets get cheaper and become more available, its dominance is something we can realistically expect soon. Investing in your mobile marketing would mean a fast and personal approach of transmitting your messages to your audience. It’s best done if you keep in mind certain features of mobile technology and your audience’s point of views to avoid these pitfalls.