What is Mobile Marketing?

Sept. 12, 2012
If you are paying attention to marketing trends, you may have heard the term mobile marketing.

If you are paying attention to marketing trends, you may have heard the term mobile marketing. Just what is mobile marketing and is it something that you as an HVAC contractor can use to promote your company and generate more business? Is it something that you need? Is mobile marketing cost effective for the small and medium size contractor?

Mobile marketing is a new way of marketing to people primarily through their smart phones. What’s the primary target demographic of the smart phone user? Baby Boomers — those born between 1946 and 1962, Generation X — those born between 1963 and 1982, and Generation Y — those born between 1983 and 2002. Smart phone users include anybody between the age of 10 and 72, and that falls within the primary customer demographic of HVAC companies. Therefore, we know we can reach the primary customer base through a smart phone.

What kinds of mobile marketing techniques are available to marketers? As we discussed several columns ago in my article Fortifying Your Digital Footprint, start by developing a mobile compliant website. A mobile compliant website works well when displayed on a smart phone or other mobile computing device. It needs to be uncluttered, easy to navigate and it must display your logo so customers know they are on the right page.

QR codes fall under the heading of mobile marketing and they are very easy to generate. If you have a showroom which customers visit, consider placing a QR code on your signage so that a customer can access a website and gain additional product knowledge. You can link them to a page from your website, a page from a manufacture’s website or to a text message that provides additional information about the product they are viewing.

Put a QR code on the side and back of your trucks. Use the QR code to send people to your website or create a special offer for anybody that uses the QR code. Put it on your business card the next time you reprint them. Think of new ways to use them. If you want to create a QR code, you can do it at no cost by clicking here. This website lets you create any type of QR code that you might need.

I use my smart phone all the time to view information about products when I’m shopping. I recently purchased one of those all-in-one printers. While shopping I noticed they had QR codes on all the labels so I scanned the code and then had access to more specs about the products and customer feedback. After looking at three or four essentially the same type of printer made by several manufacturers, I was able to decide which one I wanted based on function, customer feedback, and price. I evaluated things like toner cartridge life, and drum life against the cost of replacing these items and I selected what I think is an excellent wireless printer.

QR codes are probably the simplest form of mobile marketing. Text messaging also known as SMS (Short Message Service) is also a form of mobile marketing. With text messaging, you ask a customer to text a short message to a special code number, which essentially gives you permission to send your customer text messages. You can apply to purchase your own special SMS code number, but this is an expensive and time-consuming proposition. A less expensive option would be to go through an agency that rents time on an SMS code number. This is a pay as you go plan.

Is mobile marketing effective? What is the ROI for mobile marketing? Should you add mobile marketing to your marketing arsenal? Mobile marketing is permission based marketing meaning; your customers give you their permission to contact them. Because they’ve agreed to receive your message, they will open and read your messages because they want to hear from you. How effective the marketing is depends on how effective a message you can write. The jury is still out on whether or not this is an effective method of marketing for HVAC contractors, but SMS messages are opened 5 times more often than email messages.

I would strongly recommend that you put mobile marketing on your watch list. I believe that two or three years from now, you will wonder how you ever got along without using some form of mobile marketing. This is another low-cost, high-impact, marketing tool that’s just now starting to gain a following. It’s a way to build your business without breaking your budget.

My website contains links to all the marketing articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter. If you are interested in pre-purchasing a copy of my new book, Navigating the Marketing Maze, click here. If you need a branding consultation, a complete strategic marketing plan, or help with marketing services, call or send an email to discuss your needs.

Andy Fracica is president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, and social media strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping companies deliver their message in an ever increasingly crowded market by helping HVAC dealers market themselves with less ($). Contact him at 260-338-4554, [email protected] or visit the Fracica Enterprises, Inc. website.