Our lives have started to revolve around our mobile phones. Our phone is almost always on our side. Most of us sleep with it on our bedside table, using it instead of an alarm clock. It's the first thing we reach out for when we wake up and we carry it with us wherever we go. In fact, how many times have you turned back after realizing you've forgotten your mobile phone? "Your life is fully mobile." That was the headline of an article in Time Magazine last year and it makes sense. In fact, almost 90 percent of adults carry a mobile phone, with a quarter checking it at least every 30 minutes. The days when mobile phones were used solely for phone calls and the odd text message are long over. According to Forrester Research, mobile users in the United States sent more than 2 trillion SMS messages in 2011--more than 6 billion messages every day.
But as we all know, there's more. Today's mobile phones are increasingly used as portable handheld computers. According to Litmus, 43 percent of all email opens take place on a mobile phone. More than 100 million people are actively using Facebook from their phones every month while 43 percent of Twitter users tweet from their mobile phones.
Savvy business leaders have jumped on the mobile bandwagon and developed a mobile strategy as part of their marketing tactics. These forward-looking companies have recognized that customers' dependence on mobile is an opportunity that allows them to engage with both customers and prospects anytime and anywhere on a device that's almost always within arm's reach.
However, as we outlined in this article, having a mobile strategy isn't enough. This strategy needs to be fully integrated within the overall marketing mix, allowing for a seamless experience irrespective of which channel customers and prospects are using to interact with the organization. While the mobile experience needs to be optimized for the particular device, customers expect an integrated experience whether they're looking at a company's website or using the brand's mobile app.
Therefore, mobile shouldn't be a standalone marketing strategy, but one that's fully integrated within the overall marketing effort. Organizations need to start by doing their due diligence to really understand how their customers are using mobile. Further, organizations should recognize that mobile is a very personal device and steer clear of bombarding customers with messages. It's also important to understand that it's not enough to simply create a mobile-optimized site or a mobile app, but provide added value that's only available on a mobile device.