Is Mobile Marketing Right for Industrial Companies?

The current buzz about mobile marketing is probably second only to the hype surrounding social media. There is a good reason for industrial marketers to seriously consider and/or revisit their mobile marketing strategies.

Consider these research findings:

  • International Data Corp (IDC) predicts that the global mobile workforce will increase to over 1 billion workers in 2011, totaling 30% of the workforce worldwide. In the United States, numbers are still higher. A total of 70% of the American workforce will be mobile by 2012.
  • Gartner predicts mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide by 2013.
  • Forbes reports, 82% of executives have some kind of smartphone and nearly two-thirds indicated they’re comfortable making a business purchase on their mobile device.

As an industrial marketer, how do you know if mobile marketing is right for you or not?

As with any marketing strategy, start with your target audience. Are they using mobile technology to access your Website? You can easily get good data from your Google Analytics. Here’s how:

  • Log into your Google Analytics
  • Click on the Visitors tab and then Mobile

Voilà! You’ll find a wealth of information right at your finger tips. You can see what kinds of devices your visitors are using, locations, sources, screen resolutions, Java support etc. These are all important considerations in developing your mobile marketing strategy and tactics.

Next, consider optimizing your site and landing pages for the mobile experience. Flash usage may be the first area to tackle since it is not supported by Apple devices and load times can be long on those that do support it.

Don’t force your mobile audiences to scroll unnecessarily because of their small screens. Design your web pages with flex widths for 320px and up. Your navigation buttons, links and form fields will need to become larger because people use their fingers to navigate on mobile devices.

Integrating mobile into your existing email marketing strategy is a very good idea. However, this will require some planning on your part. Mobile marketing is strictly opt-in, far more than regular permission-based email marketing.

You may need to add an optional field for your subscribers to enter their cell phone number. Check with your email service provider (ESP) about adding a special code that will automatically detect the kind of device being used and render your emails correctly.

Make sure you are ready to deliver relevant content if you are planning to use text messages to create any kind of a location or time specific offer. The same applies if you want to create any kind of exclusive content for subscribers or current customers only.

And it goes without saying – measure, track, refine and repeat to get the most out of your mobile marketing strategy.

Use of mobile technology is not restricted to just smartphones. I read an in-depth article from ControlGlobal that talked about how major players and smaller vendors in the process automation industry are all experimenting with Apple iPads and other tablet PCs.

They are lining up with large-scale solutions and simple apps to access everything from KPIs to simulations via mobile devices. Other offerings include an array of collaboration tools like audio, video, phone and Internet conferencing that bring together process automation professionals  located all over the world. Here’s the link to the article “Information Wants to Be Everywhere.”

Bottom line – waiting for others to take the lead may prove to be costly for industrial marketers who continue to sit on the sidelines and do nothing about mobile marketing. C-level decision makers, engineers, field technicians and other industrial professionals are all part of the mobile workforce. They are accessing your online content on the go and using their choice of mobile device.

Does your industrial company have an active mobile marketing strategy in place? Please share your experiences about hurdles, workarounds and results.

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