Mobile Marketing: 3 Impactful Concepts to Action Now (2019+)

Today, your potential customers are glued to their mobile devices — use these techniques to memorably connect with these people on the move, at any time

Sam Hurley
April 29 2019


Do not continue reading this piece if you can afford to ignore the current state of Mobile:

  • The total global amount of smartphone users is on track to reach 2.87 billion by 2020
  • Over 40% of online transactions are completed on mobile devices
  • Almost 70% of digital ad dollars are spent on mobile ads
  • Mobile technology accounts for 58% of all videos watched
  • 51% of customers say they use mobile devices to discover new brands and products


I somehow knew you’d still be here. 😉

It’s indisputable that every business in existence must bake ‘Mobile’ into all aspects of marketing in our touchscreen-obsessed era.

Mobile devices have completely evolved the way customers search, engage and buy.

Whether used to research a company, write a review, contact customer service or make the final purchase — (and much, much more) — collective stats indicate the extent to which mobile technology facilitates brand touchpoints.

Contevo demonstrated this point of significance via B2C research:

Before we jump into anything else, there’s an encompassing question to ask:

What is Mobile Marketing, exactly?

Concept #1: Truly Understanding ‘Mobile Marketing’

If you redesigned your website to be responsive to all screen sizes, this alone (unfortunately) doesn’t mean you’re ‘doing Mobile Marketing’…

Have you also ensured your website is lightning fast to load on numerous devices?

While a combination of the two is absolutely crucial for success this year onward — we’re still not anywhere near the definition of Mobile Marketing.

Essentially, it can be interpreted as:

Marketing that specifically caters for and/or targets mobile device users.

The term ‘Mobile Marketing’ is generally used as a blanket term to include mobile phones and tablets (sometimes even extending to wearables like smartwatches), although they each notably demand different approaches due to variations in product type and usage.

Now, it may seem like less hassle to simply throw phones and tablets in the same marketing bucket — but the way people use these respective devices calls for granular targeting.

Top-performing marketers understand the necessity of piecing together the behavior-led device jigsaw in order to communicate with their customers in ways they prefer.

i.e. Tablets are used more during downtime when relaxed users are browsing and/or spending at leisure, therefore the average purchase made via these devices is higher in value (plus, the average retail conversion rate on tablets stands at 2.2.% compared to 0.7% on smartphones)

i.e. While tablets aren’t predominantly used for calling or SMS functions, their bigger screens indicate a prime opportunity to engage users in a highly visual and interactive manner that’s not otherwise possible on smaller smartphones

Clearer when described this way, right?

Design or functional elements like mobile responsiveness and site speed are merely the basic foundations required — they pave the way to a joyful, memorable customer experience (because nobody enjoys fiddling around with manual screen resizing, and your visitors certainly don’t want to wait around for a whole 1 minute whilst a sluggish page loads).

Mobile Marketing strategies are the attractive layers on top; the methods and channels that enable you to effectively reach your on-the-move audience at their convenience.

And ‘convenience’ is something you should be paying utmost attention to:

“91% of adults keep their smartphones within arm’s reach.”

(Source: Forbes via Morgan Stanley)

(Infographic Source: BuildFire)

The best you can do in today’s hectic world is to meet your audience where they are, whenever and however it suits them.

‘Going Mobile’ is your vehicle to this achievement!

  • It makes you stand out as a brand
  • You create lasting impressions as you show up elegantly across multiple formats
  • You become likeable because your audiences realize you appreciate their needs

Impress your customers enough to make them crave interaction with your business again and again.

We’ve nailed the definition of Mobile Marketing, which now sets you in good stead to experiment with the following strategies.

Concept #2: Being Customer Journey-Driven

A particularly valued mindset is fundamentally required for your marketing cogs to turn smoothly in sync with your audience and customers.

Any other way of thinking can spell trouble…

Similarly to the way some businesses generalize Mobile Marketing to be precisely the same approach across mobile phones and tablets, another common misconception is that ‘everything is simply Mobile’ and therefore all marketing must be aligned (albeit at the expense of other devices and touchpoints).

e.g. Offering a mobile app to customers —  although failing to construct a website login area where they can also access related content.

Marketing Charts’ research indicated why this is a ridiculously bad idea:

A ‘strictly Mobile first’ perspective in marketing can create perilous tunnel vision and actually alienate members of your audience, rather than encouraging their engagement and loyalty.

It would be akin to assuming a desktop-only strategy is awesome in 2019+.


How do you circumvent this hazard?

Visualize entire, connected customer journeys (not detached viewing devices).

It’s obvious that mobile tech is everywhere, but there is still a considerable amount of people who use desktop devices in addition to — or sometimes even instead of — mobiles and tablets.

Then remember that 3 or more smartphones can be found in a third of U.S. households, while Australians have 6.4 screens per home and Brits own 7.4 internet devices per home.

“Smartphone use is overwhelmingly popular for some activities such as social media, messaging and catching up with news — but the majority of consumers in western markets also have desktop (and tablet) devices which they tend to use for more detailed review and purchasing.”(Rephrased from Source: Dave Chaffey via Smart Insights)

To sum it up:

The customer journey is increasingly complex, taking place across multiple devices over any length of time.

You must rise above ‘device level’ thinking, and master ‘journey level’ marketing.

There are a ton of articles out there promising to tell you how, but they don’t really deliver. Frustrating, I know!

Here are three concise, overarching steps to take:


Intimately grasp the lifestyles, habits and device preferences of your current audience (research, interview and/or survey as many of them as possible).

Seriously, just get to know these people and build healthy relationships without being creepy.

This is marketing 101; the foundation of everything thereafter.

As an added bonus — it’s a golden opportunity to spark interaction with your existing customers, showing them you care and are physically present to engage.

Think how you felt the last time a brand did that for you!

It’s pretty rare, thus memorable.

If you really want to get things moving fast, you can further incentivize your audience by offering beneficial prizes or rewards. Consider what would undoubtedly make you jump at the chance…

And while this definitely isn’t the holy grail of data because of its disconnected state (in its standard form), you can also extract all your past collected data in locations such as your Google Analytics ‘Devices’ tab for some additional surface insights:


Begin selecting and implementing ultra-modern martech (Marketing Technology) tools that are capable of monitoring, evaluating and connecting all your future traffic in a way that makes sense of the multiple-device journey.

Don’t you just love it when pieces of kit can do a lot of the work for you?

I’ll share how and what, in just a moment.

Pssst … Marketers had it much harder only a few years ago.

The past situation:

Marketer Jones sat there drawing up what he perceived to be the journey of his future customers, second-guessing what each person wanted solely based on (relatively limited and generalized) past information and analysis via Google Analytics — such as how they browsed and purchased.

Audience interviews and surveys helped, but they didn’t paint the full picture.

For instance, he didn’t know the Samsung tablet user that converted was actually the same iPhone user that visited his e-commerce website a week before via Social Media. There was no way of joining the dots between devices without developing sign-in functionality hooked up to CRM software.

Even so, this was no simple task — and the user would still need to be logged in across both devices.

Marketer Jones created a few customer personas from his siloed research, and a basic marketing strategy that was rigidly based on his mapping efforts.

The main problems he would face by using this method:

Too much data to manually interpret accurately, a one-size-fits-all approach, and inability to serve the right continual content to precise segments of his audience at optimal times, on their multiple devices.

It would have been as difficult to deploy as it is to say!

Datalicious demonstrated the cross-device maze and why it matters for your business (not to mention offline touchpoints, or even the impact this all has on customer experiences):

The situation today:

It’s 2019, and there is a wealth of outstanding technology available at our fingertips.

Marketer Mary is able to identify the user who started their journey on a mobile device, then viewed more on desktop, before finally converting to become a customer via tablet days later.

She even knows this user originated from a specific Facebook ad, and the purchase derived from her subsequent email marketing campaign — including which particular email prompted the bottom line result.

This allows her to constantly (and semi-automatically) tailor her marketing messages to the individual’s interests, device preferences and journey stage; a process that applies to all her customers.


She uses tools like:

  • Marketo to unmask otherwise ‘anonymous’ visitors to her website
  • Optimove (PostFunnel’s sponsor) to allow each customer to decide what comes next in their unique personalized journey, rather than a traditional pre-planned marketer’s view
  • Evergage to establish ‘unified customer profiles’ (UCPs) that identify people across all the devices from which they connect with her brand, instead of them being classed as multiple individuals

“Unified customer profiles improve campaign conversions by an average of 30%.”
(Rephrased from Source: Rocket Fuel)

Clever, huh?

Coupled with all the exclusive knowledge from her audience research, interviews and surveys — Marketer Mary’s got it going on!


This needn’t be exhaustive:

Be devoted to regularly testing and measuring your marketing processes.

Are your mobile push notifications repelling visitors? Does your app keep users engaged? Is anybody actually converting after watching your videos on tablet? How are multi-device customers flowing through your automation funnel?

Martech tools are merely as good as the people driving them, and you can only truly gain valuable feedback from one place…

Your audience is key, as always.

  • Consistently make sense of, and piece together the audience data you collect (most top-tier martech tools will come equipped with analytics out of the box, and/or they will be integrable with your current stack)
  • Ensure you’re tracking the right metrics and KPIs
  • Directly ask your visitors if they are happy with your cross-device efforts by using tools like Hotjar, Qualaroo and Customer Thermometer
  • Stay fluid, adjusting your marketing to suit the above

Now, let’s move on to one of the most interesting ways mobile hardware be harmoniously intertwined with marketing and sales strategies.

Concept #3: Getting Creative with Augmented Reality

Make no mistake, there are a number of other widely trending Mobile topics that could instead be covered here — social messaging apps, push notifications, video marketing, in-app ads, voice search etc.

However, you’ve probably heard a lot about them all before!

AR is a mighty impactful yet less-understood technique to wow your mobile audience and drive sales through immersive experiences…

And it may be much closer to your business than first expected:

“Forecasted to develop into a $83 billion market by 2021, the next 12 months will see the AR space continue to balloon.”
(Rephrased from Source: Digitales Media)

The power of Augmented Reality truly made the limelight when Pokémon Go was released back in 2016, allowing kids and adults alike to catch ‘em all in the real world — interacting with those famous virtual creatures in real physical environments by using the geolocational smartphone app.

(Image & Stats Source: Zugara)

Its insane popularity within just one week speaks volumes about the combination of AR and Mobile:

  • The game topped both iOS and Android app stores
  • It was producing in excess of $1.6 million dollars per day via the iTunes store alone
  • It surpassed Twitter’s number of active daily users

The running numbers have kept pace, too:

You might be thinking, “How exactly does this apply to my business?”

Well, mull over those massive stats — and check out the following inspirational, incredibly diverse examples of B2C and B2B AR success stories.

Hint: No matter your business model, you can tap into Augmented Reality and propel your audience engagement.

Even if it’s just a fraction of what Pokémon Go achieved, you’ll be doing very well indeed…

L’Oréal & YouCam Makeup (B2C)

Partnering with Perfect Corp., the global beauty brand of 100+ years now features a large range of its makeup within the award-winning YouCam Makeup app.

(You will notice a pattern in these examples — and that is it pays to collaborate in the AR space today, while it’s predominantly an in-app market — a shifting landscape that is capable of becoming more web-based in future.)

The ideal partnership offers beauty lovers an opportunity to experience and test L’Oréal makeup as it would appear on their faces, before even having to lift an eyeliner pencil or spend any cash.

(Image Source: L’Oréal)

The app provides education on products, and users can shop directly through the app when decisions have been made, of course.

Importantly, get this:

By also utilizing the app in-store at special L’Oréal counters, online and offline customer journeys begin to merge.

Refer back to concept #2!

The brand went a step further by implementing this additional medium of engagement — and it’s commendable.

“We are delighted to present a seamless makeover experience that brings L’Oréal products to life through AR technology…”

“This partnership represents a significant milestone that transforms the way consumers discover, try, and buy.”

(Rephrased from Source: Alice Chang of Perfect Corp.)

YouCam crossed the 100 million download threshold during 2016, becoming the number one makeover app in the world.

Fancy giving it a go? YouCam Makeup is available (for free) on the App Store and Google Play.

I always wondered how pink gloss would suit me…

Ottobock’s Prosthetic Limb Innovation (B2B)

The remarkable team at SparkLabs, an AR agency, were hired to design three multilingual apps for Ottobock to support its sales and marketing of prosthetics.

Ottobock, a world-leading manufacturer of prosthetic limbs, required a better way to communicate all the benefits and intricate details of its innovative products — which are by nature, highly complex and difficult to explain to all audiences (as you can probably imagine).

The AR app built by SparkLabs allowed any otherwise concealed working parts to be on full display in an interactive manner, helping Ottobock’s salespeople to demonstrate how the prosthetics functioned by using their mobile devices, like the tablet examples below:

(Image Source: Mustard Design)

So, how did the app operate?

CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) versions of products were created, available on demand within the app when staff were pitching for healthcare contracts — all they had to do was scan certain sections of their sales literature to activate the product simulations.

Amazingly, the app made it possible to see through outer layers of the CGI-simulated  products in realtime by use of the device’s camera, giving the potential client an x-ray view of the pioneering machinery they were witnessing, and how it would manoeuvre in real life.

“B2B delivery of Augmented Reality is horrendously underused. In most cases, AR in B2B offers significant value.”
(Source: Dan Betts of Spark via B2B Marketing)

Not only is this elegant strategy formidable for winning clients in such a fierce and hard-to-please industry — it does wonders for recognition.

Ottobock are positioned as a high-tech innovator in its field; its dazzling AR app greatly contributing to this well-earned reputation.

There’s still more to come from SparkLabs in a moment, although below is another quick snapshot of what they do (wow!):

Make My Magnum (B2C)

Magnum collaborated with Blippar to generate awareness of the Magnum Pleasure Store that pops up across the globe, intermittently opening for business during the Summer months.

What better way to grow exposure than by offering compelling and buzz-worthy brand interaction?

Magnum’s immersive mobile ad campaign harnessed the power of Augmented Reality by utilizing users’ smartphones to let them experience a variety of flavors in 180 degrees.

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine certainly is.

Users could look up, down, and from side-to-side to reveal a choice of coatings, toppings and drizzles — overlaid onto the real-world physical environment around them.

The promotion was so juicy, it won a prestigious award in 2018 for ‘most effective AR campaign’.

(Image Source: Mobile Marketing Magazine)

This ‘design your own Magnum’ concept was followed up with the ability to view directions to your nearest Magnum Pleasure Store and actually buy your unique Magnum — at a discount.

[All these noted brands are astonishingly good at blurring the lines between ‘device’ and ‘offline’, which is the very fabric of AR.]

PLUS: Remember I mentioned about AR moving from closed apps to the internet?

The complete campaign was published to the web using Blippar’s AR ad unit, meaning users only had to tap the unusual Magnum mobile ad to launch their Augmented Reality experience.

No app download necessary!

Very, very clever indeed — and a sign of what’s to come regarding our web as we know it.

“The campaign delivered superb results for Magnum, dwarfing those typically produced by rich media ads.”
(Source: Mobile Marketing Magazine)

The Magnum Pleasure Store draws crowds in their tens of thousands, including a whole host of celebrities.

Not bad at all for an ice cream brand, right?

Constantia Flexibles’ Packaging (B2B)

Constantia Flexibles is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of packaging and labels, primarily accommodating the food sector.

How about a desirable client list like:

Pepsi, Unilever, Coca Cola, Nestlé — the big names continue thereafter.

I wanted to wrap-up with (sorry, couldn’t resist) this particular B2B brand because some might consider the product type beyond any means of innovation…

Well, think twice!

Imagine what AR can do for your business, if a company like Constantia can accomplish the following.

SparkLabs again created a cutting edge Augmented Reality solution, this time breathing new life into Constantia’s packaging products.

I’m talking about AR packaging that provides clients the ability to genially engage consumers by delivering Augmented Reality games, video, competitions, and more — directly via their mobile devices as they shop.

The future already landed…

While walking through the food aisle of your local superstore, experiment by activating an AR app on your device and indiscriminately pointing the camera — you may just experience it for yourself.

(If not, you could look quite silly until the tech is more commonly known.)

“Shoppers can play an engaging driving game right from a Coca Cola bottle, have a highly detailed animated dragon fly out from their Doritos packet, or see a virtual TV screen appear from their chocolate bar playing the latest advert from Milka, all in Augmented Reality.”
(Source: Mustard Design)

(Example of Coca Cola AR)

A content management system (CMS) was included in the project, giving Constantia complete control over their new platform and simulatnaeously reducing ongoing development costs.

To make a relatable comparison, this CMS would be like a customized WordPress platform for the Augmented Reality packaging.

But the team at SparkLabs weren’t finished just yet…

Bespoke analytics granted all clients of Constantia their own data portal whereby they could keep track of how consumers were engaging with their AR packaging.

Likely with zeal, according to research:

(Screenshot Source: Constantia via YouTube)

Having since realized the further potential of AR — on top of the already stunning benefits for its brand and clientele — Constantia partnered with Wikitude, an independent AR tech provider, towards the end of 2018.

This strategic move (in the packaging industry, of all industries!) should sound alarm bells in your mind…

Get in on the trend while it’s still in its early phases.

I’ll leave you with a few final convincing words from a guy who knows his onions:

“We believe that Augmented Reality is one of those new mediums that could be as big as, if not bigger than the web.”

(Source: Scott Belsky of Adobe via The Independent)

Sam Hurley

Sam is a passionate 'people connector', Personal Branding expert & Founder of OPTIM-EYEZ. He has achieved success for SMEs, national and international organizations, while being ranked as the world’s #1 digital influencer by Webinale, #2 most influential digital marketer by Onalytica and world’s #3 content marketing influencer by ScribbleLive. Sam loves a high-octane action movie and his all time favorite supercar is the Lamborghini Aventador! Catch him on social for cosmic amounts of Digital Marketing tips.

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