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Mobile marketing is an ever increasingly important component of a firm’s overall promotional strategy. The importance of this medium can be seen through time spent on mobile media, number of searches, and direct and indirect mobilegenerated sales. Despite its increased importance, the effectiveness of mobile marketing needs to be improved based on such metrics as bounce rates, add-to-cart rates, shopping cart abandonment, and average order size. Strategies to increase the effectiveness of mobile marketing are discussed. Firms need to capitalize on the three major strategic advantages of mobile marketing: (1) the fact that mobile marketing devices are always on, always connected, and always with the consumer; (2) the ability to generate location-sensitive offers; and (3) the ability to send relevant personalized messages and offers. Firms also need to develop and implement an effective mobile marketing strategy through a series of activities. These include understanding and reacting to the complexity of mobile marketing, designing sites based on ease of use versus ‘bells and whistles,’ increasing opt-in rates, using effective customer engagement strategies, and developing effective mobile coupons. Criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of mobile marketing are discussed.
While mobile marketing is an increasingly important promotional vehicle with some significant advantages over traditional media, many marketers have failed to use mobile marketing effectively. This poor performance is evidenced by high bounce rates, low completion rates, and poor average sales in comparison to laptop- and desktop-based promotions. A report from Forrester states that these problems may be due to strategy, governance, and implementation issues. The study found that many marketers are uncertain how to organize mobile marketing efforts. Among the challenges are interconnecting mobile initiatives when firms have multiple brands (Cameron, 2014). Developing an effective mobile marketing program is much more challenging than developing a traditional program aimed at laptop and desktop users. The mobile program needs to be planned, implemented, and tested for multiple devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops) and different operating systems, and should adjust for the limitations of mobile devices in terms of screen and traditional keyboard size. In addition, the immediacy, location, and personalization attributes of mobile devices increase the need to develop a portfolio of messages to reflect such attributes as weather conditions (immediacy), distance to a store (location), and a consumer’s preferences and past purchase behavior (personalization). In addition, manufacturers and wholesalers need retailer cooperation to install and upgrade messages using storebased iBeacons.