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 ).