The consensus among marketing experts is that not only is mobile marketing here, but it is here to stay for the long run. It seems that not a day goes by that I do not read an article or report about mobile marketing. When we think of the applications of mobile marketing, it is usually business to consumer examples that pop into our heads. But B2B marketers beware; this technology will impact us as well! eMarketer recently shared an article that indicated that 59% of B2B purchase decision makers have used their smartphone to research products and services when they are considering purchases. In addition to this, studies have shown that people are more likely to act when searching for information on their mobile. An article from Hubspot recently explained that most text messages are read within 15 minutes and most recipients respond within 60 minutes. With this information in mind B2B marketers can create mobile campaigns that are time specific and provide a call to action that get results. Hopefully these statistics have convinced you that mobile is relevant for your B2B business, but you may still be asking yourself, “What exactly is mobile? And what should I be doing?”

Let’s take a look at the key items that are involved in mobile marketing.

SMS (Short Message Service): Also known as text messages. SMS allows you to send quick text-based messages to your target audience. These can also include a phone number to dial or a link to a Web site to be accessed. Great for a call to action! SMS messages also tend to be one of the more affordable mobile marketing options.

MMS (Multimedia Message Service): These are similar to SMS, but they also allow you to send multimedia content like pictures, video and audio files to engage your audience.

QR Codes: These are barcode-like items that can be scanned by smartphones. Once QR codes are scanned, they drive you to mobile Web pages that offer special content. QR codes tend to be very flexible in terms of the variety of destinations they can send users to. These are also one of the more affordable mobile marketing options. Web sites like QR Code Platform allow you to create, track and read QR codes on your own.

Mobile Web Sites: Web sites that have been redesigned to meet the needs of mobile visitors. This could be as simple as a basic landing page, or it could be a custom mobile site or a replica of the Web version of your site that has been optimized to work on mobile devices. Creating a mobile Web site for your company is now a relatively quick and inexpensive process and there are many companies that can help you create them.

Applications (Apps): Apps are programs that have been designed specifically for mobile phones. Marketers have used apps as part of their campaigns by designing and offering custom branded apps. Be careful with this method though! I recently spoke to two experts in the mobile field and both cited the difficulty of creating apps. They tend to require a great deal of time and financial resources to create.

Email: Email is channel for mobile marketing. People frequently send and receive email from their smart phones, so make sure email marketing campaigns are optimized for mobile devices.

Now that you have an understanding of what is involved in mobile marketing, you may be wondering, “How should I get started?” After spending the past couple weeks researching the topic and interviewing seasoned pros in the mobile marketing arena, here are my seven tips for getting started:

  1. View your company website on a variety of mobile devices and tablets if you have them. This will help you get a better picture of how your company is currently being perceived in the mobile environment.
  2. Check your Web site analytics to determine how much mobile traffic your site may be getting.
  3. Use your Web site analytics, client interviews and your general business sense to determine which parts of your Web site will be most relevant to mobile users.
  4. Develop your mobile Web site. Check out our previous blog post for tips on how to approach this process.
  5. Explore other mobile sites and your competitors’ web sites to get an idea of what’s out there.
  6. Consider ways to integrate mobile marketing into your current marketing strategy. Mobile marketing should not stand alone.
  7. Consider your budget. Which components of those mentioned above will fit best with the time and resources you have available? A mobile Web site is a must have, whereas mobile applications can run from $20,000 to $100,000 to develop and may not be a fit for you or your clients.

Are you a mobile marketing pro or just getting started? I would love to hear your tips or troubles when it comes to this hot topic!