Mobile marketing efforts have created a lot of interest lately in part from impressive response rates and big brand involvement. There’s the BMW winter tires MMS campaign that drove a 30% sales conversion rate (nearly one in three message recipients actually purchased a set of tires!).

Then there’s the Dockers shakable mobile display ad which spun up an average engagement of 42 seconds (33% percent of people who saw the ad shook it).

And don’t forget the Starbucks mobile barcode campaign which churned out a frothy 60% coupon redemption rate (the typical redemption rate for print coupons is 1%).

Some attribute these successes to the less cluttered environments these [relatively] new mobile mediums enjoy. Others advocate marketers adopt a conservative approach pointing to very high mobile display CPM rates. While some caution is certainly warranted, the following four mobile channels each represent a unique opportunity for marketers to more effectively engage their mobile audiences:

Apps: Besides many other benefits, mobile applications can be an excellent way to reduce transactional friction. For example, a new feature in the USAA iPhone app allows users to deposit checks directly from their iPhone . Since USAA serves members all over the world but only has a single branch in San Antonio, Texas (USA), the feature significantly reduces the time, cost, and effort of depositing funds by check.

Barcodes: Integrating scan-able barcodes into print and display mediums provides a natural integration point with online channels, a mechanism for immediate response for action-oriented consumers, and the means to measure the impact of offline campaigns. Barcodes were integrated into print and display advertising for the recent launch of Nokia’s new line of Navigator handsets. The campaign was so successful it has been followed up with two subsequent campaigns. “The performance of the 2D code campaign has far exceeded both ours and Nokia`s expectations. Due to the strong response rates and opt-in interest, Nokia will be incorporating more campaigns with 2D codes …”, said Harald Winkelhofer, Founder & CEO of IQ mobile.

SMS/MMS: Push and pull mobile messaging provides a timely way to connect with users. eBay currently leverages SMS push notifications to prompt users when they’ve been outbid or when auctions for watched items are ending soon. The channel creates a distinctive touch point eBay can leverage for these time-sensitive transactions.

Bluetooth: Timing and context often make the difference between campaign success and failure. Recent mobile campaigns for Warner Bros., “The Hangover” and the Chevrolet Spark leverage Bluetooth to reach consumers with rich media. In each case, the location context of the marketing campaigns allowed targeting toward a specific demographic in a relaxed environment; and both campaigns experienced a download rate of 9% and above.

No Mobile Campaign is an Island
While individual mobile efforts can help to drive business objectives, campaigns are more effective if they are tightly integrated with existing marketing channels. In fact, mobile initiatives often have an additive effect when combined with other efforts as is the case when barcodes are combined with print and display.
Whether you choose to leverage mobile apps, barcodes, mobile messaging, or Bluetooth as part of your mobile marketing strategy OR you decide to utilize other mobile channels, you’ll want to ensure you have deployed a mobile measurement and analytic strategy (read this post on deploying measurement for mobile initiatives) and are following mobile advertising best practices (MMA Global Mobile Advertising Guidelines ).