Marketing is always evolving, and advertisers have the fast-paced job of keeping up with consumers’ changing habits. Increasing smartphone use has dramatically changed the way marketers reach their audience, giving them a wealth of fresh opportunities for communicating with shoppers. You now have the chance to speak directly with a shopper in real time, or give them a little nudge toward a hot sale when they enter your store. Harnessed correctly, smartphones have incredible capabilities when it comes to marketing.

Mobile Sites are a Must

How smartphones changed the marketing

Image via Flickr by Răzvan Băltărețu

Mobile sites are essential in a world seemingly saturated with smartphones. A mobile-optimized site makes it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for, and keeps them around long enough to really consider your products and services. Sixty-one percent of mobile users are more likely to contact a local business when they find a mobile site. Of these mobile searchers, 58 percent have looked for a restaurant on a mobile device, and 38 percent look for local businesses at least once a month.

In response to the growing number of mobile users, Google has updated its search algorithm to give preference to mobile-optimized sites when a search is conducted on a mobile device. Your chances of a new customer finding you are better when your site is optimized for these users.

Location-Based Ads Bring Personalization

Location-based ads take advantage of the GPS capabilities of smartphones and reach out to customers when they’re in a targeted area. There are countless uses for this type of advertising, and all are very effective. You can’t get much more relevant than a location-based marketing campaign. Consider the power of a push notification that pops up when the customer walks into your store, or an app interaction that’s based on the aisle a shopper is standing in.

If you connect with shoppers offering relevant coupons and deals when they’re already in or near your store, you greatly improve your chance of influencing a sale. On the other hand, ads that reach potential shoppers when they’re weeks away from a visit are easily forgotten.

You Can Reach Customers Throughout the Day

Smartphones are the second most popular device for searching the Internet, reaching 80 percent of users. Customers spent 2.8 hours a day looking at their mobile devices, compared to just 2.4 hours on a computer. Most smartphone users glance down at their devices at least once an hour, with 52 percent looking a few times an hour or more.

When you’re doing mobile marketing on a smartphone such as the new Samsung Galaxy S7, for example, you’re communicating with shoppers who have a water-resistant, 5.1-inch mobile device in hand. They’re going to reach for it at regular intervals throughout the day, giving you the opportunity to interact with them regularly and often. Social media is an excellent example of how you can effectively use this level of connectivity to your advantage. Provide prompt responses through your Facebook and Twitter pages, and you can provide real-time interaction that dramatically improves your relationship with the customer.

Store Apps Change the Shopping Experience

Much like location-based advertising, store apps are designed to reach customers when they’re already in the right frame of mind. They’re interested in what you have to offer, and probably ready to make a purchase if the right deal comes along. Stores like Meijer make great use of this technology using their mPerks program. Clipping coupons is a thing of the past with the Meijer mobile app. It lets you add coupons to your cart at the tap of a finger and apply them to your purchase at checkout by entering your mPerks number.

Well-designed apps can dramatically change the in-store experience. You can share promotional videos with a quick scan of a QR code placed on an endcap, provide handy GPS-based store navigation, or share your weekly ad in a sleek mobile-optimized format.

Today’s marketers will do well to keep the capabilities of smartphones in mind as they design their campaigns. Refining your advertising techniques for the mobile shopper can revolutionize the way customers see and interact with your brand.

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