Friday, March 27, 2009

Is Mobile Marketing right for your B2B business?

The notion of "Portability" and "Beyond-the-Browser" has created potential new ways for brands and content owners to interact with consumers. Advances in smart phones are providing new options for delivering news, information, and social networking, on-the-go to a diverse audience. These advances have enabled content to become "unhinged" from traditional legacy devices such as radios, TVs, and even movie theaters. But what does this all mean for B2B marketers?

It really depends on what it is that you're attempting to accomplish. Are you looking to merely promote an existing brand, or to provide additional information to an existing (or target) audience? In countries like Japan and China, where consumers are generally much more mobile-savvy, current opportunities are more abundant. But in the U.S., B2B marketers will likely find more immediate success with traditional on-line marketing channels like Search. Still, it will pay to keep an eye on the Mobile arena, and smart marketers will begin setting the foundation for future mobile endeavors through optimizing their current online initiatives for mobile audiences.
  • Optimize your website content for the mobile experience. I regularly use my BlackBerry to conduct searches when I'm on the train. And a surprising number of websites have content that is virtually useless on a mobile browser. For example, a problem with many Flash-based websites is that the website content itself becomes unusable to the mobile browser. So, if Flash is vitally important to your company's online experience, be sure to provide "alternate" content for mobile browsers. Better still, limit the use of Flash to home page banners, or to interactive explainers within interior web pages. But keep your main content in html or xhtml format, so that the highest percentage of potential viewers can do so easily and without unnecessary obstacles.
  • Maximize Use of Mobile Tagging. Work to improve the mobile user experience via "tagging." Developed in 2003, Mobile tagging is still relatively new, but can be used for brand management and brand protection. Other opportunities with tagging include the recently announced "Microsoft Tag," ( which transforms physical media (such as print advertising, product packages, or even video images) — into live links to enable users to access related information online.
  • Optimize press releases and news stories about your company. When folks conduct searches, they're looking for specific information. Making certain that your stories and releases show up in aggregator's feeds is important, so pay close attention to the keywords and tags that you associate with each story or release.
So while mobile search and marketing are slowly becoming more mainstream in the U.S., B2B marketers should begin to leverage this innovative medium to improve brand awareness, and develop new touch points with both existing audiences and targeted prospects. As Mobile Search and the Mobile Web gain in both functionality and importance, the effort you make today to optimize your web properties for mobile will enable you to interact with your target audience in areas that were never before imagined… in a mobile environment.

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