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Marketers are constantly searching for new innovations in the mobile space to improve the results of their campaigns. Mobile successes begin with the same marketing fundamentals you apply to other channels, but understanding your customers’ behaviors and how they use mobile devices is crucial to success in the mobile channel. Let’s analyze the current state of mobile marketing and establish methodologies to deliver successful campaigns.

Using mobile web versus mobile apps

Mobile applications are used by nearly 25 percent of smartphone (iPhone and Android) owners. They’re infiltrating our culture, but let’s analyze the long-term vision of multiple applications. One in four mobile apps downloaded are never opened again. Most Americans use apps for games, news, maps, social networking and music. Because mobile applications aren’t cross-platform — development costs can be high and strategies need to be in place to drive users to download the application — it’s really important to decide if the investment will deliver expected results.

Let’s consider the mobile web: it’s cross-platform and available on smartphone devices and web-enabled feature phones. Users with negative mobile web experiences are more likely to go on a competitor’s site and never return, therefore having a mobile-optimized website is a must. The mobile web should be key to your cohesive mobile strategy.

Does anyone use QR codes?

The market penetration of QR codes is approximately 9 percent. Usage of 2-D barcodes is increasing, but overall market usage is low. Brands need to create an integrated marketing strategy to guarantee that consumers have access to QR code technology as well as support those without by using mobile messaging. If brands have mobile-enabled sites, creating a QR code implementation is simple and cost effective. If your customers are smartphone users who are technically inclined, this avenue is better. Don’t forget to make sure that non-QR code customers also have a feasible method to retrieve information.

Basics of mobile messaging

No mobile campaign is complete without messaging due to following factors:

1. Messaging has the highest market penetration rates — around 100 percent.

2. Messaging is a push strategy. After opt-ins are acquired, marketers decide when information is sent to users by controlling the timing and content of their campaigns. Using this strategy, 98 percent of messages are opened, with 83 percent of those messages opened within the first hour. Redemption rates for those messages are in the high teens.

3. Messaging content isn’t just restricted to text. Advances in MMS technologies and user-centric handset detection resulted in Rich Media Messaging (RMM) technology. RMM leads this channel as a contender to deliver optimized rich content beyond simple 160-character text on all handsets. This technology enables marketers to deliver handset-optimized images, audio and video to 96 percent of mobile users in the United States at standard message rates to create engaging customer experiences. Even before RMM solved MMS technology issues, MMS was bigger than the global music industry. In 2010,MMS passed the global movie industry box office revenues in total volume, with usage trending up and costs trending down. It won’t be long until RMM redefines the messaging space.

When considering brand-marketing strategies, be aware of developing mobile trends while applying marketing principles used on other channels. First, understand your customers’ mobile usage, place mobile strategies over that core, then focus on bigger ideas. Using this approach will ensure long-term success while providing customers with the information they need.

Cezar Kolodziej, PhD, is the president, CEO and co-founder of Iris Mobile. For more information, visit