As a web designer, if you say mobile marketing to me, I immediately think about building a  website that’s “responsive.” But mobile marketing is so much more than that. With the launch of the original iPhone, Apple redefined this type of marketing, dramatically expanding what’s possible, allowing businesses to deliver messages to consumers when they are most likely to buy. But that was only the beginning.

Is it really about mobile?

Recently, published a post by Sergio Nouvel on this subject, (Don’t Design For Mobile, Design For Mobility) and it really got my wheels spinning to imagine what mobile marketing might look like moving forward. We have phones, tablets, watches, activity monitors and so much more just over the horizon. This means content shouldn’t be designed or structured for just for a desktop and a mobile platform, but the entire spectrum of possible platforms.

The user’s environment is constantly changing, and we as marketers need to be able to adapt too. Where are your customers when they interact with the devices and your messages? What information will they need, what actions will they need to take?

Take my iPhone as an example. When I hop in my car my phone automatically pairs with my car. The first piece of information displayed on my phone is the amount of time it will take me to travel from home to work given the current traffic and road conditions. My device becomes smarter the longer I use it, and adjusts based on where I am when I access them.

As a marketer, what type of information would you like me to see when I get in my car? It won’t be too far in the future before I see ads and messages from businesses along my route home included in my directions. “Turn right at the roundabout and stop to pick up two steaks for dinner at Joe’s Butcher Shop.”

Marketing messages which follow you

Consider this example: A food blogger wishes to build a following by sharing recipes. Tapping into location services on a consumers smart phone or watch they could actually greet the consumer as they enter a grocery store with a recipe and a shopping list.

While we are on the subject of food, have you talked with your refrigerator lately? The Samsung Family Hub lets you create a grocery list on the giant wireless touch screen on the door. When you arrive at the grocery store it will send you the list. Devices are more interconnected than ever.

Samsung US Family Hub Refrigerator

What kind of information would you like to send to clients and prospects? Think about times clients are likely to to be receptive to your messages.

  • A yogurt shop and an air conditioning contractor would both benefit from tying into the weather app on a consumer’s phone. Whether is is a coupon for a two for one frozen treat or a reminder to switch your thermostat to summer mode, delivering the information when people are already thinking about the weather makes it more likely your message will be noticed.
  • At festivals, concerts and other events with multiple things going on at the same time, we are seeing a rise in apps which include maps, schedules, availability of tickets and the ability to purchase tickets. Announcements about new shows or schedule changes can be sent to ticket holders or anyone with the event app.

Get Ready for Mobility

Even though you may not be ready for full scale mobile integration, start thinking now about how customers want to engage with you.  Look for ways to adjust your information and its delivery to their needs. Becoming mobile isn’t just about being visible on mobile devices. It is about looking at the bigger picture and finding ways to communicate on any platform at any given time. It is not mobile marketing, but mobility within marketing.

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