How to Be a Mobile Marketing Pro

Tim McCallum, President and CEO

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On my plane ride home from this year’s Restaurant Leadership Conference, I had time to reflect on what made these great industry minds success­ful in their marketplaces. The list is long, but one thing still continues to ring true: They are simply underusing a powerful marketing tool and they don’t even real­ize it. Their brands lack mobile presence.

How can these giants have an infe­rior mobile program? Well, they will say it’s their size, vast infrastructure and mountains of employees, or the learning curve, testing processes or simply the lack of time to handle what they perceive to be a complex problem.

Yet take a look at the business oppor­tunity they are missing with today’s “omni-channel shopper.” These consum­ers are jumping from websites to social media to brick-and-mortar stores to mobile apps. Where they shop today isn’t necessarily where they buy, but when they do spend their dollars they actually tend to spend 18% to 36% more than others. To capture them, brands must deliver consistent, relevant and useful experi­ences across all channels.

Why You Must Care

Some stats on the rise of the mobile channel:

  • 77% of the world’s population (5.3 billion) uses a mobile phone.
  • 38% of mobile users say their phone is more important than their wallet.
  • The average number of times most Americans check their cell phone in a day is 150.
  • 90% of text recipients have been motivated to make a buying decision based on a text message.
  • The average cellphone subscriber will view a new text message within four minutes, while it may take four days for a person to view an email.
  • There are 2.4 billion active SMS users, making it the most widely used data application in the world.

So you’re convinced, right? Now you are saying, like we do, “Go mobile!” But wait. You have no idea where to start and need some basic guiding principles of what to do or what not to do.

Develop a mobile strategy that is consistent with your other marketing strategies. Then create a mobile pro­gram. Start with SMS text messaging and get your customers to opt in by using a specific, action-oriented offer. After that, you can build on your mobile marketing program by integrating QR codes, mobile apps and mobile website development.

Do or Do Not

Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts for suc­cessful mobile marketing:


  • Keep all marketing materi ­als, especially your website, fresh and update them often. Make sure even POP material is relevant to achieve sustained mobile success.
  • Attach an offer to the opt-in cam­paign.
  • Be extremely specific.
  • Text customers deep discounts over a short period of time to yield high ROIs.
  • Use contests and giveaways to maintain the database.
  • Collect emails. We encourage our clients to use mobile and email market­ing together.
  • Broadcast relevant yet personal­ized offers and alerts to your customers.


  • Create elaborate messages that are longer than 160 characters.
  • Ask for data or information with­out rewarding the consumer.
  • Broadcast generic, blanket mes­sages and offers that can be found in other media.
  • Broadcast too frequently or too little. The recommendation: two times per month.
  • Require too much typing from user.
  • Skimp on your mobile site.
  • Count only clicks. There’s plenty of data to be found in your customers’ behavior, such as their location, device and carrier.

There are now more mobile devices than there are TVs and computers com­bined. All of these devices together rep­resent the opportunity to redefine direct marketing in a very cost-effective way.

Embrace mobile and don’t look back. Start experimenting now. Go mobile!

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