Mobile marketing isn’t just about tapping into the latest trends. It’s about delivering the highest profit margins.* Those businesses which ignore the need for mobile marketing will soon find themselves being left far behind. In business, you are either growing or losing market share. If you are not leading in innovation and operating on the biggest spreads you will quickly be overtaken by your competition and at best face a long, hard uphill battle. Mobile marketing has become one of the few forms of marketing that consumers are immediately responding to and engaging with. What types of mobile marketing should you be participating in? <strong>Text Message Marketing</strong> There are over 4 billion mobile phones in use today.* Over 3 billion of these are SMS enabled; 1 billion of which are smartphones.* It should come as no big revelation that text message marketing can help you reach your customers. This form of marketing offers incredible speed, quick returns and maximum ROI for your marketing budget. In contrast to traditional marketing methods like direct mail or telemarketing, text message marketing eliminates an amazing amount of overhead and expense that is normally spent on sales teams. With bulk SMS, you can generate revenues which will pay for your expansion and allow you to scale your organization in the most profitable way. While email marketing and direct mail are often notorious for low single digit open and response rates, 95% of all text messages are read. Those sending coupons also need to know that SMS marketing has been consistently shown to result in 10 times the redemption rates of other advertising channels. <strong>Mobile Friendly Websites</strong> To optimize your website for the mobile web, you need to make sure that your site is easy to navigate and looks good on mobile devices and smartphones. If you aren’t sure, you will find a number of mobile emulators online which will show you how your website looks on various smartphones. Don’t forget to register the .mobi version of your Internet domain name as well. <strong>Quick Response Codes</strong> QR codes are extremely versatile and once created can be used almost anywhere. This includes placing them in direct mail, on business cards and signs, in print advertising and anywhere else you can imagine. You can create your own black and white QR codes online for free or you can have more attractive codes custom designed to stand out and impress. QR codes can be used to provide additional product information on the spot anywhere. They can enable instant communication or can be used to deliver coupons or lead prospects to your mobile website. Many companies are finding that linking to videos can instantly convey passion for your product and inspire action, while others find driving consumers to product specific landing pages dramatically increases conversion rates. Besides being extremely affordable and creating immediate interaction, the ease of tracking metrics and testing that QR codes provide mean being able to tweak your marketing on the fly for maintaining maximum conversion ratios and always ensuring that you are getting the most out of your marketing budget. <strong>Social Media</strong> With mobile users spending more than twice the amount of time they spend eating and more than a third of the time they spend sleeping socializing on their mobile devices, businesses would be remiss not to invest in some time and energy into social media. In fact, while mobile Internet usage as a whole is soaring, 91% of this time is being used to access social networks. With just short of a billion people (a seventh of the world’s entire population) on Facebook and Twitter users growing everyday social media is an essential element of every business’s marketing plan. In fact, many large corporations are doing away with their corporate websites and focusing on social platforms instead because they are drawing the most visitors. Social networks offer a friendlier environment to interact with prospects. Between the vast reach that social media offers, the viral effect it has and the ongoing benefits that it offers in terms of customer loyalty, retention and up-selling opportunities it is hard to find a better return anywhere else. Social media offers great opportunities for customer interaction and could easily be the best investment you ever make; but it has to be done right. Unfortunately, there are very few companies out there that are using it the right way. It requires a completely different mindset and marketing strategy than most small business owners are not accustomed to. It is about attraction marketing and cultivating, not hard selling. In order to be successful at social media marketing you must have a real plan and take a proactive approach to adding new followers and fans as well as creating an effective funnel. Also know that you can no longer just throw up a basic Facebook page or Twitter profile anymore. If you want to dominate your market take a look at some of the most advanced users who have created stunning multimedia Facebook websites complete with multiple pages, podcasts, and videos.* There are even those who are using the ‘locked ‘till liked’ strategy for converting new visitors. <strong>Local Marketing</strong> While so much of the business world has gone virtual in the last couple of years, and internet marketing has emerged as the top choice for entrepreneurs, there are plenty of opportunities for bridging the gap with your local business. Adding Google maps to your site is a good start, as is listing your business on free sites like Yelp, Gowalla and Google’s Local Business Center. Then you have group buying and coupon sites like Groupon and Living Social which offer opportunities for attracting tons of new patrons. However, it is the likes of Foursquare that are really enabling businesses to cross the internet to brick and mortar divide. Note that while Facebook is killing off ‘Places’ it is still rolling with check-in and location services that you can take advantage of. These check-in marketing opportunities enable businesses to run competitions, promotions and contests which reward social media users with coupons, discounts and giveaways for their business while promoting them through their social networks. It’s the ultimate way to get your online prospects in the door and have them send their friends your way, too.