What is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing summarizes all advertising measures related to mobile devices. Primarily, this refers to feature phones and devices with touch screens such as smartphones or tablets, but the market for mobile devices is expanding – in the broadest sense, devices such as smart watches (smart watches) and other wearables (smart clothing) are also potential targets for mobile advertising measures.

Stationary devices such as smart speakers are sometimes based on the same platform as smartphones and are controlled by the same voice assistants – so the same marketing strategies work as with real mobile devices.

Apps and mobile websites

The central means in mobile marketing are apps and mobile-friendly websites. They remove barriers to entry and obstacles. The aim is to offer users of mobile devices the opportunity to conveniently obtain information and shop online on the go.

For advertisers, the question of cost-effectiveness arises, especially with native apps (which run directly in the operating system of the devices). Although toolkits and frameworks make software development for Android and iOS much easier, the effort involved in introducing an app as well as in regular maintenance is not negligible.

Advertisers have several options to make it easier for users to access the offer on mobile:

  1. The native app
  2. A cross-platform app
  3. A hybrid between app and website
  4. A website optimized for mobile devices

Read from top to bottom, the effort is reduced, but the performance also decreases.

App Development

Native apps are developed using the platform-specific IDE (development environment). In this way, the app integrates optimally into the device, can offer the best possible user experience and native functions. It can also have a positive effect on app speed and size.  Disadvantages of this are a high development effort and for the users there are updates that can be perceived as annoying.

Cross-platform apps

They bridge the gap between different mobile platforms, for example Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android systems. Instead of developing a native app for each platform, programmers rely on cross-platform frameworks. The result is close to the real native app, as the full range of functions of the systems is also available in terms of notifications, energy management and much more. However, there are also additional costs, a dependency on the providers of the cross-platform frameworks and the apps are greater.

Hybrid solutions between app and website

A good cost-benefit ratio is expected from hybrid approaches, some of which use website technologies and some of which rely on app components or certain mobile APIs.

Two variants can be distinguished here:

  1. Native apps are equipped with a web browser component, they access content and logic via the web, but at the same time can also use native features of the mobile device.
  2. Progressive web apps (PWAs) use newer functions of the web browser to make the website available more quickly on mobile devices, to use device functions or to create an icon on the home screen.

Mobile Websites

The simplest variant is a website that automatically adapts to small displays and touch operation. It is usually developed as responsive design or adaptive design: the layout, graphics and navigation move and scale automatically, ensuring readability and usability on different display formats. This can already be described as the industry standard today (as of 2018) and is being pushed by corporations such as Google. (cf. Google’s “Mobile First Index”)

Messaging (from SMS to WhatsApp)

Text and multimedia messages have also always played a certain role in mobile marketing. Customers can be reached directly via SMS and their attention can be aroused. After WhatsApp has practically replaced the SMS market, this area of mobile marketing is also evolving. For example, WhatsApp groups are an adequate substitute for email newsletters due to the wide distribution of the medium in certain target groups.

Another part of mobile marketing are therefore developments in the field of chatbots and voice search.