Categories: Mobile Marketing

Three Important Concepts Every Marketer Should Know About Mobile


Are you still trying to wrap your mind around mobile marketing? Would you like to understand mobile as well as you understand social? If so, you’re not alone — the vast majority of marketers are still trying to gain a deeper understand of mobile and everything it has to offer.

With that in mind, I’ve come up with three key concepts every marketer should know about mobile. By using these three concepts as a foundation, you can build a better and deeper understanding of how to use it for your business.

Ready? Here goes.

1. Mobile has Channels. Social has Platforms.

I’ve been as guilty as anyone in referring to social and mobile as though they’re two sides of the same coin. But they’re actually two distinctly different things. In fact, if you’ve ever heard anyone say something like, “We should use social or mobile for this campaign,” they’re blending two concepts that are, in fact, quite dissimilar.

As mentioned, social has platforms. Something that’s a platform is a thing. In other words, it’s an end point, a destination or a tool. Social media is composed of a variety of platforms (many of which are discussed in one of our more popular posts called The Top 52 Social Media Platforms Every Marketer Should Know.)

Mobile has channels. Channels are pathways. In other words, they’re delivery mechanisms through which verbal, written or aural messages are communicated. Some of these delivery mechanisms include mobile display, mobile apps, websites, paid search and others.

Social media platforms can use desktops, smartphones, tablets or all three to connect their users with the outside world. Virtually all social media platforms use mobile apps as their delivery channel for smartphones or tablets.

Understanding this nuance isn’t a make-or-break proposition, but it should put you into rarefied air when it comes to having a deeper understanding of what makes mobile … well, mobile.

2. Targeting is Mobile’s Secret Weapon.

60 Second Communications is doing a mobile display ad campaign for a well-known global hospitality brand (trust me, you’ve spent the night in one of their hotels).

What makes all mobile campaigns so interesting are some of the ways you can target prospects and customers. Here are just a few to give you a sense of what I’m talking about.

  • Past Purchase Behavior: Do you know that we can tie your purchase behavior at your local grocery story to your mobile device? In other words, we can track your purchase of dog food (or cat food, soft drinks, coffee, etc.) and tie that data to your mobile device. The result is that we can send Coca-Cola ads only to people who buy 4 liters of Coca-Cola a week (therefor bypassing the people who don’t buy a lot of Coca-Cola). Or, we can do the opposite and send a Coke coupon to Pepsi buyers encouraging them to switch to Coke. (Interested in learning more about this amazing targeting technique? There are additional details on this page on the 60 Second Communications website.)
  • Geo-Locational Targeting: I have a friend who works in marketing at Fuzzy’s Tacos, a restaurant that has 79 locations around the U.S. If you were the Fuzzy’s marketing director, you might be interested in sending mobile ads to people who are within a 5 mile radius of one of your locations. But you wouldn’t be interested in sending mobile ads to people who were 10 miles away because, well, as good as Fuzzy’s tacos are, it’s just difficult to get someone to drive 10 miles for a taco (although it has happened). So, what to do? Just use the geo-locational targeting capabilities that are available with mobile. It’s a great way to zero-in on your key markets and avoid wasting ad budget on people who aren’t likely to visit your location.

Those are just a few of the targeting capabilities available for people using mobile marketing. Would you like to read about a few more? If so, check out this page on our agency website.

3. People Don’t Connect with Your Brand on Desktop or Smartphone or Tablet. They Connect on Desktop AND Smartphone AND Tablet.

Cross-screen marketing is based on the understanding that most consumers will connect with your brand via desktop and tablet and smartphone (not desktop or tablet or smartphone). In other words, instead of thinking about the smartphone experience only, think about the fact that a consumer might do an initial search for your product from a tablet while watching TV, then do more in-depth research via desktop, then do a final price check in-store from a smartphone.

Those are three important concepts you should know about mobile. There are plenty more, but we’ll be reviewing those in future blog post. In the meantime, mull over what we’ve talked about here and keep us posted on your thoughts about the subject in the comments section below.


Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.


View Comments (6)

  • Jamie, you mentioned that 60 Second Communications is doing a mobile campaign for a global hospitality brand. Will you guys be joining the marketing effort of another agency who is doing desktop, tv or print so that it compliments these other campaigns? Or will this be a stand-alone effort? I'm curious, because I understand that Desktop, Smartphone and Tablet play a role in the process, but what I would like to know is, are we beginning to see Smartphone and Tablet play a dominant role and is desktop slowly fading out of the picture? The same can go for TV as well, since more programming is now on demand through Netflix, Hulu and other channels.

    • Hi Jeremiah --

      Great question. The mobile campaign we're launching will be loosely tied to the client's existing efforts in desktop, TV, print and elsewhere. By that, I mean that the branding, messaging and other elements will match the look-and-feel of their existing campaigns, but there won't be a specific tie to a promotion. In other words, there won't be a "Get 10% off" TV spot to match a "Get 10% off" mobile ad.

      Great question.

      In regards to the final element of your question -- yes, Smartphone and Tablets are starting to dominate, but Desktop will never go away. History shows that when new marketing channels are introduced, they don't replace the other channel, they just supplement it. (For example, TV didn't replace radio, and the internet didn't replace TV. They all just stacked up on top of one another.)

      Thanks for the questions!


      • Thanks for a great answer. When you can let it out, would like to know the hospitality brand so we can look for the ads. That's where I got my start in marketing. I was a sales manager for a hotel while living in NC and also working for a church. The journey has been great and I look forward to every step of the way!

  • Thanks for sharing this information Jamie.I agree with you, social media and mobile is different and you need a different approach in order to be successful in each campaign.Mobile marketing success is achievable if you come up with a detailed and multi-faceted plan. You might need to pursue a few different options to figure out what your customers like best.