Danielle Douglas

A native of Colorado, Mrs. Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant, currently resides in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, with her husband. Mrs. Bryant is a published author, freelance writer, novelist, editor, ghostwriter and a literary and entrepreneurial advocate. She is the founder and owner of YolandaMJohnson, Literary Wonders! and Bryant Consulting. She is acting editor for AMAG For the Conscious Professional magazine, and part-time columnist for RAW Sistaz Literary Services and other literary venues. Mrs. Johnson-Bryant is a member of The Nussbaum Entrepreneurial Center for Women, Women of Leadership and Learning (WELL Women), Toastmasters and conducts workshops and classes on writing and entrepreneurship. She is also a member of several reading and writing groups.

Bryant Consulting

Mobile Marketing Meets Your Brand!

A few weeks ago, I attended a marketing workshop given by The Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship. I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie Morris of Leap Frog Marketing, Ken Morrison of Morrison Video Productions, and Cynthia Chapman of New Day Marketing. Each presenter gave fabulous presentations on various ways to power market and grow your business.

Although I found all three presenters exciting and informative, one topic in particular piqued my curiosity: mobile marketing. When I heard the term, the first thing that came to mind was a moving billboard, an advertisement on a bus, or something similar to the advertising car magnets that I have on the side of my car. After all, it is mobile, right? It does go wherever my car does.

Imagine my surprise when Mrs. Chapman explained that the mobile market she was referring to had nothing to do with a moving sign, but in fact had to do with my cell phone. At first, I was a bit skeptical, but I was interested in what she had to say. As Cynthia went deeper into her presentation, I became more intrigued. And as I thought about what she said, I realized that this concept was not as new as I had first expected. A while ago I had subscribed to a local program called BITS. BITS is basically a mobile marketing program that various businesses can subscribe to, offering discount and savings to local shoppers. Once a consumer subscribes to this program, they receive periodical offers via text message from their local grocery store, pizzeria, amusement park, or auto store. If the consumer decides to use one of the offers, she can take her cell phone to the desired advertising merchant to redeem the offer.

Cynthia taught me a very valuable lesson. It was both an ah ha moment and a duh moment, all in one. According to a 2007 survey by CITA wireless association, 82.4 percent of Americans own a cell phone. I imagine that in 2010, this number is much higher. It has been shown that a large percentage of consumers keep their cell phones with them at all times. I certainly can attest to this fact. I never leave home without my BlackBerry, and if I happen to forget it, I turn right around to get it. I sleep with my phone on the nightstand next to my bed, and it is not unheard of for me to check my text messages and e-mail in the middle of the night. I may forget a load of other important things, but chances are, I am not going to forget my cell phone.

According to ABI Research, out of 1003 U.S. consumers, 27 percent admit to clicking on a mobile ad. This is a high percentage, considering mobile marketing was unheard of just a few short years ago. Cynthia pointed out that mobile marketing works because it is personal, portable, and immediate. When a producer sends out a mobile promotional offer or when it provides useful information, the consumers receive that text within seconds. Statistics show that most cell phone consumers will read a text instantly or within a few moments from receiving it. This cannot be said about e-mail.

So why am I telling you all this? After all, you are an author, not a technologist. Because mobile marketing is a form of marketing, hence mobile “marketing.” It is another venue for an author to advertise his or her work.

As an author, think about how many e-mails you send out to potential readers, advertising your latest book, your latest book signing, or something pertaining to you writing. Some authors send out newsletters once or twice a month, while some send e-mail updates. Perhaps, you post your information on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. This can be time-consuming. Anyone who has any experience with these two particular mediums know that it is very hard to get on, send out your ad, and then get off. With mobile marketing, you send a text to your targeted market and you are done.

Let’s take a moment to put this all in perspective. Of all the methods mentioned above, the percentage of consumers who will read a marketing e-mail is low. The percentage of those who may read an e-mail instantly is drastically lower. Between my various business and my personal accounts, I have several e-mail accounts. On a daily basis, I can receive anywhere between 1500 to 3500 e-mails. Out of those, I may read 10 percent, and unless I deem the ones I do read an emergency, it may be hours, days, or weeks before I read them. If I forget to go back to them, they may never be read. On the other hand, I get several text messages a day via my BlackBerry, and I read each and every one of them—almost instantly.

You may argue that your Website has your information on it. What tactics are you using to drive readers and potential customers to your site? You already have a free tool right in front of you. Your phone’s contact list is full of potential customers.

This brings me to the legal details of mobile marketing. Because of possible charges that may be incurred during the text process, never is it okay to text blind advertisements. The key is to give your potential customers choice, control, and consideration. Set up a way for potential customers to opt in or opt out. Once a customer opts in, you have a legal “in” that allows customers to receive your lovely advertisements. Opting out allows customer to make the decision to no longer receive your advertisements.

Just as Facebook uses a code such as 32655 to allow its users to send updates via their cell phones, a similar code would be used to advertise to potential customers as well as allowing them to opt in and opt out.

Studies show that by the year 2013, 100 percent of Americans will utilize cell phones, and mobile marketing will only grow. Get on the bandwagon and reach more customers for your business!

Mobile Marketing Association
New Day Marketing
First Data/Insights
Mobile Marketing for your Small Business
7 Reasons to Use Mobile Marketing in Your Business