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Integrating mobile with your marketing strategy

As consumers and businesses become increasingly dependent on mobile devices, their expectations about what these devices can deliver will also grow. This booklet addresses how small businesses can integrate mobile with their marketing strategies to gain an edge in reaching out to and strengthening relationships with customers.

Key concepts

As a business owner, you can use mobile devices for collaboration and communication, for operational purposes and for marketing. This booklet focuses on integrating mobile with your marketing strategy in order to market to mobile device users.

With mobile options, customers have a greater role in deciding how and when to interact—and that can ultimately enhance their relationship with a business. Mobile devices can do everything laptops or desktop computers are capable of doing and more, enabling users to communicate, connect, transact and innovate. The nature of mobile allows you to reach your customers wherever they are and lets you be there at the precise moment of customer impulse, providing the right mix of offerings to promote, engage and respond to the needs of customers.

Types of mobile devices

The following are currently defined as “mobile devices”:

  • Smartphones and some feature phones (platform types include Apple, Windows, Androids, Blackberry)
  • Personal digital assistants (Palm Device/ iPod Touch)
  • Tablets (Platform types include Apple, Windows, Androids, Blackberry)
  • Netbooks and laptops (P.C., MAC)

Mobile device attributes

  • Ability to connect to the Internet or other data network
  • Support of user input and interaction (texting, swiping, stylus pen, camera, video)
  • Support of multiple functionalities (phone, browser, short message service/texting, GPS, e-commerce, apps, etc.)
  • GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation device (car or personal navigation device)
  • Lightweight and under 25.4 cm in width (10”)
  • Ability to sense local geographic data like Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) through triangulation with cell towers

Texting and mobile web browsing are the top two activities on mobile devices, followed by email. In light of this, you’ll want to consider where the opportunities lie for your brand and for your marketing. Bear in mind that, although smartphone usage is increasing, adoption of mobile commerce by users is still low due to concerns about the security of the chip payment system. It may just be a matter of time before the convenience factor—combined with technically enhanced payment systems—trumps user wariness of mobile payments.

Planning your mobile marketing strategy

There are many different ways to market to mobile device users but at the core lies the mobile friendly website. That is where your mobile marketing should begin. With consumers rapidly upgrading to mobile smartphones, businesses risk negative consumer reaction if their websites are not mobile friendly. It’s critical to have an exceptional, easy-to-navigate site.

Follow these steps to help you plan a mobile marketing strategy that will align with the demands of your customers.

1. Setting objectives and goals

There are many methods of marketing you can employ, each with varying levels of time commitment and costs. Having a clear objective will help you focus your efforts and determine the best and most cost-effective way to achieve your goals. Determine if you want to:

  • Stimulate and increase engagement with your brand
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive indirect or direct sales
  • Provide customer support
  • Build customer loyalty
  • Appear innovative

Regardless of which objectives drive you to invest in mobile marketing, this medium opens up opportunities to develop and increase direct engagement with your customers and provides key measurable outcomes.

2. Research and planning

Research and Planning Questions to Ask YourselfFactors to Consider
How is my site viewed on mobile devices?Does it display well in various devices, e.g. Blackberry, iPhone, Android, Windows? (See tools below for testing how your site displays on a mobile device).
Do I need mobile friendly website pages?Review your analytics to determine:
  • How many visitors are accessing your site via mobile?
  • What devices they are using?
Should I provide a full mobile friendly site or just a few landing pages?
  • Does your target audience need all your site content or just key sections – e.g. pricing or location information?
  • How much budget do you have to work with?
How will I define success?
  • What are your objectives and goals?
  • What measurement tools will you implement?
What tactics are best for me to adopt?
  • What are you going to offer consumers?
  • What is the mobile call to action?
  • What data should be collected (for both campaign measurement and future marketing)?
  • What will maximize brand interaction, immersion and utilization?
Do I have buy-in from my employees?
  • Do you have multiple employees in various locations?
  • How will you bring all employees up to date with your mobile offerings?

Checking your Mobile Readiness
How ready are you for going mobile? Is your current site design set up in a format that is capable of displaying well on mobile devices?

Check out these tools to see how your current site displays on a mobile device:

  • mobiReady is a testing tool that evaluates mobile-readiness using industry best practices and standards.
  • W3C mobileOK Checker is a free online tool that performs various tests on a web page to determine its level of mobile-friendliness.

3. Competitive analysis

Reviewing competitor mobile sites

Before you embark on setting up a mobile site or making your site mobile friendly, it is important to view what your competitors are offering in your industry. Here are some research tools that you may want to use to help identify what your competitors are doing.

  • Research tools like consulting.ogilvy.com
  • Usability testing, through userzoom

And if you’ve already embarked on mobile marketing, try this:

  • Mobile Network Benchmarking—which helps analyze your metrics and provides regular reports. Keynote Solutions

These tools strengthen your services by helping you review competitors’ sites, conduct benchmark studies across your industry or across time and improve your budget effectiveness.

4. Technical and marketing guidelines for mobile

A good mobile marketing strategy seamlessly combines technical and marketing elements. Here are some basic guidelines to help you achieve this:


  • Understand that a mobile marketing campaign isn’t simply “shrinking” your current digital content to fit on a mobile screen. Instead, create a mobile specific site that contains specific content related to the campaign.
  • Make sure your mobile site is user-friendly.
  • Design for touch screen and non-touch screen users.
  • Understand mobile devices’ limits and the extent to which communications technologies are being used.
  • Keep it secure. Controls must be in place to prevent unauthorized use, alteration, disclosure, distribution or access to data.
  • Carry out testing on actual devices as well as emulators.


  • Clearly define terms and conditions of marketing campaigns.
  • Give users a choice of how to engage—MMS, SMS, web registration, etc.
  • Limit marketing messaging and collect only the data needed.
  • Clearly identify the target of each link.
  • Use clear and simple language.
  • For added exposure, make your offers shareable through social media tools.
  • Follow search engine optimization (SEO) practices.
  • Allow users to automatically dial a number when they tap or click a phone number. This is useful for ‘Contact us’ or ‘Store finder’ pages.

5. Understanding mobile marketing limitations and challenges

Since the mobile world is new and includes a rapidly-changing set of technologies, there are a number of issues you need to be aware of that can affect your marketing strategy:

  • Fragmentation. The mobile audience is fragmented across many platforms, with multiple sellers, carrier networks, devices and business models, all of which hinders consistency of execution of marketing campaigns. This fragmentation also affects measurement (e.g. it can be difficult to measure unique visitors vs. bots/spiders, to track international traffic vs. local, and to measure the number of times the advertisement is served to the viewer in content such as games or audio download).
  • Expectations. The demand for mobile connectivity is rising dramatically. Mobile market providers have to keep up with data-hungry phones, running multitasking operating systems, and meeting mobile user expectations for super-quick web page loading times, whether for text, photo, video or graphics content. Network carriers and handset manufacturers must meet the never-ending cycle of demand to install faster mobile browsers on feature phones and develop more smartphones.
  • Invasion of privacy. As Internet connectivity increases in our homes, cars and appliances and as people increasingly keep their cell phones on for longer periods of time, their concerns over how their privacy is monitored are rising.
  • Security. Mobile devices employ Wi-Fi. Because it uses radio waves, it can be interrupted and is difficult to protect. It has a built-in security system that protects transfers between a client machine (laptop or PDA) and a wireless access point, but many users neglect to turn encryption on, subjecting themselves to risk.

Implementing your mobile marketing strategy

1. Developing a mobile friendly website

When developing a mobile friendly site, consider the way the site experience will be delivered and accessed. Ideally, your site should accommodate whatever device is viewing it. Unfortunately, it is difficult to provide for the entire range of devices that exist. Sites can now be viewed on most smart phones and tablets but the latter give a better image.

Making your current website “mobile friendly” can be done three different ways:

  1. As a specific mobile-sized template. Have your designer create a template, within your current website, that is designed to fit smaller screens, and load it with content that is tailored to be read on a mobile device. Try to stay away from large bandwidth images or video. Also, avoid trying to use existing content and navigation by just making it smaller. It is not ideal to shrink existing content in this way. Instead, use this mobile template with tailored content (i.e. only the most relevant information a viewer would want) and add code that can identify the various phone devices and tablets.
  2. As a micro mobile site. Hosted within a sub-domain of your existing site, this is a micro mobile friendly site with content that is tied to a specific campaign or mobile offering. Images and text should be optimized for mobile reading. Traffic must be routed to your mobile section where users will find the proper display. You can use a special JavaScript code or assign a specific mobile web address such as mobile.yourcompanyname.com.
  3. As a stand-alone mobile site. Create a brand new site specific for mobile (e.g. using mobile site builders like Mobify or Mofuse) where you can also use a mobile-type domain name suffix such as yourcompanyname.mobi. This type of site is designed, developed and optimized specifically for mobile. It may contain a basic logo, icon button navigations, short content descriptors and more interactive elements to help navigate to the information. Traffic must be routed to your site depending on the user’s browser agent.

2. Mobile marketing guidelines

Mobile technology allows business owners to target consumers more precisely than ever before. However, traditional outbound marketing cannot necessarily be applied to mobile. Marketing is trending towards inbound tactics using social media. Mobile technology provides the optimum platform, helping businesses really connect with and understand their customers and allowing consumers to have more meaningful relationships with businesses.

Here are some considerations for your mobile marketing campaigns:

  • Tactics will vary depending on your strategy. Be aware that broader, more robust strategies require more integration with your current technologies, such as databases, web, e-commerce and customer relationship management (CRM).
  • Mobile marketing is most effective when content is targeted and relevant to the user.
  • Mobile content is micro content—consumed in small pieces.
  • Messages that are forwarded by automatic means, originating from a commercial source, or offering inducements to forward messages, are definite “don’ts”.

3. Six key mobile marketing tactics

The main ways to integrate mobile into your marketing mix include:

  • Becoming mobile friendly with a mobile optimized site
  • Creating SMS/MMS texting campaigns
  • Developing a mobile application (referred to as a mobile app)
  • Advertising on mobile apps/sites
  • Participating offline using QR codes
  • Designing campaigns that reach clients through location based services like check-ins

Details on each of these marketing tactics and best practices are provided below.

A. Mobile optimized web site

Developing a mobile friendly website is at the core of a mobile marketing strategy. The following table outlines the usages of a mobile optimized web site, the benefits, what to measure and how to measure the outcomes.

Mobile optimized site

Making your web presence more mobile friendly or better able to accommodate content specific to a campaign.

UsesBenefitsMetric Evaluation
  • Creating mobile landing pages for campaigns
  • Aiding mobile search results, especially if mobile site is content specific
  • Adopting location based point of sale or “instant purchase” opportunities
  • Engaging in mobile commerce
  • Improves engagement
  • Reduces scrolling and slow downloads
  • Creates hyper local marketing opportunities
  • Enables campaign integration with other tactics or mediums
  • Is quantifiable—can be tracked through analytic programs
  • Provides ability to reach customers ‘on-the-go’ and create highly effective two-way communication
  • Provides single greatest return on investment
Use Google Analytics to determine:
  • Mobile site referral sources
  • Clicks to call (a phone number on your site)
  • Headline clicks
  • Clicks on links within the site
Best practices:
  • Keep content concise, focused and easy to scan.
  • Reduce the number of graphics.
  • Select images that the mobile device can handle—nothing large or with high resolution.
  • Consider barriers to access (e.g. FLASH technology).
  • Design clickable features for sensitive touch screens.
  • Provide only minimal navigation at the top of the page.
  • Single column layout is best, and try to reduce user zooming.
  • Ensure that the overall size of page is appropriate to the memory limitations of the device.
  • Test mobile properties to render properly on different devices, operating systems and browsers.
  • Keep navigation simple (e.g. “back buttons” on other pages that point Home).
  • Limit scrolling to one direction if possible.

B. Texting (SMS/MMS)

Text messaging (SMS) and multimedia messaging (MMS) on feature and smartphones have been well received. They are widely used, not only for personal use, but also in business, entertainment and education. Texting is twice as popular as browsing or apps. SMS/MMS marketing represents a more selective and therefore cost-effective opportunity for either driving traffic or engaging response. The basis of SMS marketing is to make an appealing offer; it can be a powerful direct response tool with many applications.

Before launching an outbound SMS campaign, bear in mind that phone numbers are perceived as more intimate than email addresses. This means texting will cause less customer irritation but do not forget that you will need to obtain opt-in consent first.

Texting (SMS/MMS)
Using SMS/MMS technology offered through feature phones and smart phones to reach a wider audience.

UsesBenefitsMetric Evaluation
  • Customer text reminders
  • Links to mobile coupons, contests
  • Sale notifications
  • Last minute alert offers
  • Transactions—placing orders, or donating to charity, by text
  • Product/service support
  • Appointment confirmations
  • Mobile surveys, polls
  • Is quick and easy to implement
  • Enables timely and relevant exchange of ideas
  • Is convenient
  • Has a broad reach
  • 90% of devices support SMS
  • Creates loyalty or a “following”
  • Has CRM capability
  • Number of messages sent
  • Subscriber counts
  • Keyword performance breakouts
  • Subscriber segmentation by keywords and by day
  • Number of times the message was shared
  • Click through or reply rate
  • Quit rate – those who chose to disengage
Best practices:
  • Make your offers shareable through social tools for added exposure (also known as going viral).
  • Maximum 160 characters. Use shortcut characters to maximize a message (e.g. use numeral “2” instead of “To” or “B” instead of “be”).
  • Personalize by using subscriber’s first name.
  • Be relevant and timely.

C. Mobile applications (Apps)

Even though consumers and businesses are buying up smart phones and tablets, and downloading mobile applications for entertainment, productivity, utilities or as communication tools, many marketers have been reticent to jump on board. While smart phone and tablet sales are exceeding the purchases of desktops, they remain relatively low in comparison to the total marketplace. Nevertheless, some businesses are developing unique applications in order to stand apart from competitors.

The following table examines how apps can be used to market your business. When developing your own app, bear in mind that with the recent introduction of HTML 5, mobile optimized websites are able to accommodate the needs of most consumers.

Mobile applications (Apps)

Mobile applications or apps are compact software programs that perform specific tasks for the mobile user. Some apps are pre-installed on the mobile device, and others can be downloaded from a server (e.g. Apple Apps, Blackberry App World, Android Market) or from individual business/organization websites.

UsesBenefitsMetric Evaluation
  • Productivity
  • Entertainment
  • Utilities (e.g. weather app)
  • Social share communications
  • Location Search GPS
  • Mobile commerce
  • Can be highly targeted
  • Enable easy interaction and communications to engage customers and build deeper relationships
  • Encourage brand recognition
  • Offer unique leading edge tools
  • Click through rate
  • Churn rate
  • Number of app downloads
  • Conversion—click to call rate
  • GPS—can measure not only where viewers are located, but also where they go—behaviour analysis
Best practices:
  • Make offers shareable through social tools for added exposure.
  • Submit your app to review sites for greater exposure.
  • Consider participating in incentive-based download programs.
  • Ensure that you give full details about who is behind the app to gain confidence, credibility and trust with potential users.
  • Before asking for permission to access personal information, provide the rationale for requesting that information and reinforce your privacy policy.
  • Keep your app users up to date with latest versions.
About mobile apps testing
  • It is typically difficult to accommodate all operating systems when developing a mobile app. Test any user complaints to determine whether the app developed has a common challenge with a particular operating system.
  • Consider different screen sizes and how your app or mobile friendly website will render on the screens. Remember, the orientation of viewing (portrait or landscape) depends on user preference. Make sure your offerings look good in both orientations.
  • Test your app on several browsers and operating systems to ensure load time is optimized.

D. Mobile display advertising

Mobile display advertising is another way to reach a distinct audience incrementally, whether you advertise on popular mobile sites related to your industry or through mobile ad networks (similar to an ad agency). Mobile display ads can provide a direct link to your online sales channels, enabling greater integration and post-click engagement, especially when used in conjunction with an optimized mobile site.

You can also offer advertising opportunities on your own mobile site or app. Publishing ads is about making money; on the other hand placing ads is about creating awareness for your product or service.

Mobile display advertising is a form of advertising via mobile (wireless) phones or other mobile devices. Key elements of mobile advertising include the advertiser, a publisher or mobile ad network, mobile system operators and mobile devices.

UsesBenefitsMetric Evaluation
  • Reaching mobile audience through banner ads that sit above mobile site content
  • Working in conjunction with a lead generation landing page
  • Offering local coupons or specials in some form, either in your ads, on your site or elsewhere, to draw in customers
  • Provides visual display to highlight specific campaigns
  • Delivers personal and location relevant messages
  • Drives response and brand relationships
  • Banner placement “above the fold” offers the best exposure for the advertiser and can quickly engage the mobile user if the message is targeted to them
  • Banner click through rate
  • Point of purchase sales figures as a result of being found via Location Based Service technology
Best practices:
  • Incorporate location information in ad creative.
  • Optimize mobile website and landing pages for mobile experiences.
  • Speak to the consumer on the “go” in creative content.
  • Make offers shareable through social tools for added exposure.
  • Submit profiles to local pages on web browser search engines (e.g. Google My Business) to increase local exposure.
  • Participate in Mobile Ad Networks for greater exposure, e.g. Mobclix, AdMob, iAd.
  • Participate in real-time bidding platforms (e.g. Nexage, moPub).
  • Consider download size and placement—these are important factors.
  • Ensure the landing page is highly relevant since consumers resist having their private cell phone number inundated with spam from advertisers.

E. Quick response (QR) codes and snap tags

Marketers are looking to engage consumers with more relevant content and interactive elements in order to provide a “WOW” factor. QR Codes and Snap Tags are just two examples of areas where interactivity is taken to a new level.

Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) are two-dimensional bar codes that can be scanned and read by smartphones. Once mobile users scan or snap a picture of your code, they will be directed to your web page, shown a video, or receive SMS text, etc. QR Codes are placed in the offline world (e.g. print materials, premium items, storefronts) where space is limited to supply more information and to enhance the online experience (e.g. a real estate agent could include a QR Code on a “For Sale” sign that links to a video of a walkthrough of the property).

QR Codes and Snap Tags

QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are barcode images that, when scanned by a mobile device, take the viewer to a website or landing page. Snap tags are customized QR codes in ring configurations that, when scanned, open an interactive communication.

UsesBenefitsMetric Evaluation
QR Code Usages:
  • Addition to business cards for more contact detail and direct links to social media
  • Inclusion in print ad materials to expand on product or services
  • Addition to direct mail, event materials for more detailed info
  • Placement in storefront windows
  • Placement on premium items
Snap Tag Usages:
  • Each code ring position can open up to different campaigns, response requests or unique reporting data.
  • SnapTags can be used across different media platforms to deliver marketing campaigns customized for different consumer segments.
  • Afford more opportunity for sharing and building community
  • Bridge the gap between online and offline media – e.g. provide more details than can fit on print materials
  • Enable quick call to action – e.g. while store is closed, passersby can still get information or receive discount offers
  • All data collected is reported via an analytics dashboard and recorded as attributes in a consumer database which helps in your CRM efforts
Meaningful measurements are different than other mobile marketing tactics:
  • Don’t just measure number of scans, focus instead on the length of engagement time that your code is generating. (e.g. If people are spending 2–3 minutes on a link, they are quite engaged).
  • If the number of scans drops to zero after the first week of a campaign, this signals experience the wasn’t engaging enough.
  • QR Codes can measure results based on clicks and leads to your other social engagement opportunities. Link-shortening services bit.ly and goo.gl now automatically generate a QR code for sharing your shortened links.
Best practices:
  • Define your purpose (i.e. what it is you are trying to achieve by implementing QR codes or Snap Tags).
  • Tell viewers they can expect before they scan and let them know if there are any enticements.
  • Design QR Code that is larger than 6.5 square centimetres (1 square inch) where possible.
  • Make sure the destination landing page is mobile friendly.
  • Think about the user experience and how it integrates with the rest of your campaign.
  • Test ease-of-use and functionality of the campaign before launching.
  • Short URLs (web addresses) create cleaner codes—use URL shorteners like bit.ly or goo.gl.
  • The larger the quiet zone (border around the QR Code), the better and more accurate the scan.
  • Avoid using codes on highly reflective areas.
  • Consider where your QR Codes are going to be placed (e.g. if placed in a subway system, you may not have cellular coverage).

F. Location based service/geotargeting mobile advertising

At the time of writing, over 50% of local searches were mobile and will continue to grow as more and more applications and mobile devices evolve their technologies.

“Where Are You Going?, Where Have You Been?” are the key concepts of location-based technology/geotargeting. Through a mobile network that uses geographical positioning on mobile devices, you can target your marketing by behaviour, knowing where your prospective target is located, and make offers and calls to action accordingly.

Location based service/geotargeting

Geotargeting is a way for your mobile or website to display content-specific information depending on the location of the user.

UsesBenefitsMetric Evaluation
  • Promoting events
  • Responding to user requests for the nearest service or business, e.g. restaurant, ATM machine
  • Participating in apps that provide users navigation to any street address
  • Making location-based offers to users of apps that allow them to locate “friends” on a map via mobile
  • Placing mobile ads that appear only when mobile users are in a particular area
  • Advertising on game apps
  • Targeting your Google ads based on geographical location or geographical interest
  • Very effective for attracting impulse buyers
  • Provides convenience and thus builds loyalty
  • Ties in nicely with the global positioning software on most smart and feature phones
  • Location target ads offer more opportunities to reach clients
  • Focused ‘local’ strategies can be built into your marketing mix
  • Number of campaign purchases
  • Number of campaign shares
  • Number of check-ins
  • Number of data searches
Best practices:
  • Create effective Call to Action – e.g. Mobile ad that reads – “Shop Early, Save Big, Ends Today, 1 mile away.” Take consumers to a mobile landing page that features the product being offered.
  • Present incentives related to the products that are featured to increase relevancy and encourage consumers to click on the advertisement.
  • Integrate advertising with geo-targeted micro sites, where the content is unique to the location; include in the URL a domain name specific to location; create a Google My Business profile page; and have local social-media-specific profiles and relationships.

4. Mobile commerce as a business activity

Mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce or mCommerce, is the conducting of transactional commerce using a mobile device. Mobile commerce involves new technologies, services and business models and is quite different from traditional e-commerce. Mobile phones impose different constraints than do desktop computers. But they also open the door to many new applications and services because they accompany users wherever they go. Users can look for a nearby restaurant, stay in touch with colleagues, or pay for items at a store.

The following table provides further details on the uses, benefits and evaluation of mobile commerce.

UsesBenefitsMetric Evaluation
  • Promoting products or services on mobile messaging channels, including email, text messaging, mobile app push notifications, QR Code scanning, and social networks
  • Texting SMS to deliver product or promotional information alerts, track inquiries and receive order status updates
  • Real-time apps improve customer satisfaction
  • Knowing where your users are can help you optimize local deals and shipping logistics
  • Catches impulse buyers
  • Allows for instant customer service interaction
  • Builds consumer loyalty through added convenience
There are proprietary apps that can reveal the following trends:
  • Unique identifier on device or tie in with loyalty cards
  • Session starts and stops
  • Device details—type of operating system being used
  • Which network carrier is being used
  • Length of time spent on product page before adding to cart
Best practices:
  • Offer last minute deals as push notifications.
  • Offer “up-sell” sales at point of check-out.
  • Use QR Code implementation to see how much pre-purchase research a buyer exhibits.
  • Shuffle your specials around at different times of the day to see which specials seem to work best at what times.

5. Mobile privacy issues

Highly targeted mobile marketing typically customizes ad content to reach interested and relevant customers. Customizing requires that personal behavioural data, user profiling, and data mining be employed, as well as other behavioural monitoring tools. Privacy advocates warn that this may cause privacy infringement.

Two key privacy areas include location-based services and rules related to children’s privacy. Given the personal nature of mobile and the ability to collect data from users, business owners must tread carefully and follow regulations outlined in some of the resources below.

Location-based services

Location data gathered from a mobile device can pinpoint a person’s whereabouts, often without their realizing that this information is being tracked. This ability to collect location data has led to a wide range of concerns, including: potential misuse of or other unfair/unlawful processing of data; the possibility of overly intrusive marketing tactics; the collecting of information for uses not outlined; and risk to personal security. The more location data is collected, stored and shared, the greater is the risk of data breaches. Businesses need to have privacy policies in place and spell out privacy implications to consumers who use location-based services. For more about privacy, please refer to The legal and privacy issues of doing e-business booklet.

Children’s privacy

If your business targets children, you should know how to use the tools below to ascertain what information can be collected at what age or whether parental permission to submit such information is required.

Here are some privacy resources:

  • Building a privacy plan for your business through the Privacy Commission of Canada
  • Legal Information about the Privacy Act
  • Legal information about PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act)

6. Mobile security

From a business viewpoint, possible security threats include:

  1. Mobile operating system – Threats can originate from the mobile apps, mobile browser and insecure Bluetooth or WiFi hotspots.
  2. Employees – Those who have access to business data and customer information could misuse it.
  3. Personal mobile devices – Employee use of these devices contributes to the need for another layer of security that your IT resource may have to handle.

Businesses should develop and enforce best practices and business policies regarding usage of mobile devices, including:

  • A list of approved mobile devices that can access business data
  • The type of data that can be stored on the device
  • The data that is allowed to leave the business premises
  • The types of mobile apps that may be downloaded
  • Theft or loss procedures, including the ability to completely wipe out the content data on a lost phone

Measuring the impact of your mobile marketing strategy

Here are some guidelines for testing and measuring the impact of your mobile marketing campaigns:

  1. Measure and test results right from the beginning.
  2. Be flexible with your campaign plan, adjusting it as necessary after listening to feedback from participants.
  3. Pay attention to the trends in technology since things are changing very quickly.

While there are a number of variables in today’s mobile devices world that make it difficult to predict the outcome of a campaign, it is important to test and measure as much as you can.

One of the key metrics to examine is the “Quit Rate”. Mobile marketing represents a close relationship between the subscriber and the business—possibly the most personal channel to date. Losing an opt-in participant due to aggravation, boredom or bad experience with your brand is a critical measurement to be examined.

Here are some other measurements to consider:

  • For SMS subscribers, track those who choose to stop responding to a marketing campaign.
  • For push notifications, track the number of deletes after a push notification has been sent and if it is deleted before going back to the app (in other words, the subscriber isn’t engaging with the notification).
  • For mobile sites, track the number of people who choose to leave and go to the full site, although you should always provide the option to go to the full site for those who don’t find what they’re looking for on your mobile site.

Here are some useful mobile campaign testing and measuring tools to choose from, depending on what you would like to review:

  • Google Analytics to monitor mobile usage
  • Adobe SiteCatalyst to measure the relevance and user experience of mobile content on mobile-optimized websites, native mobile applications, and video
  • Mobile Moxie to measure mobile SEO
  • Mob4Hire for a unique usability testing approach that focuses on the user’s experience in real world situations
  • nttdata and akendi to test strategy, implementation and user experience

The information you obtain will help you truly understand your audience and its preferences, and provide guidance on designing a marketing approach that best connects you to them. If you create a mobile campaign that engages and delivers value, you’ll grow revenue and improve the customer experience, both at the same time.

Future of the mobile device market (including emerging trends and technology)

  • The future will probably play out to a maximum of four major mobile operating system players.
  • Although there has been massive growth in mobile applications, the next growth trend will be towards app services. Users will get access to proprietary content or be provided a service for a monthly subscription fee beyond the application itself. Such examples include multiplayer online mobile gaming, stock services, information alerts, magazine publications and music streaming.
  • With mobile applications being developed so rapidly, more and more search companies are coming up with “app search” software capabilities.
  • According to a recent report by Forrester Research, mobile access to business applications will drive the next big wave of user adoption.
  • New development technologies such as HTML 5 will be introduced into mobile phone browsers.
  • Tablets represent the next evolution in the advancement of mobile computing and will play a major role in publishing, video and art creativity.
  • Mobile-cloud hybrid computing will emerge. It will be neither all cloud-based nor all mobile-based, but a combination of the two. Google’s Gmail and Google Voice for iPhone are just two of the well-known mobile cloud apps.
  • Mobile cloud computing will change how work is done and the speed at which tasks are completed, especially for those in sales and marketing.
  • In time, consumers will become less worried about the security of mobile commerce as payment systems become more enhanced. We will see more consumers embrace this method of payment in the same way they have with regular website commerce.
  • Near field communications (NFC) (e-wallet) mobile phones are becoming the new “credit card”. NFC is a short-range wireless connectivity standard that uses magnetic fields to enable communication between devices when they’re touched together, or brought within a few centimetres of each other. Uses of NFC include contactless card transactions such as ‘Google Wallet’, ‘Mastercard PayPass’ or ‘American Express serve’. It can also be used for reading RFID tags (radio frequency identification) for interactive marketing campaigns and P2P (person to person) data exchange. Jupiter Research suggests that this market will grow two- to-three times over the next five years.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear and feel. AR provides a 3D effect by layering images or videos on top of real world objects seen either on the computer screen or mobile. Both video games and cell phones are driving the development and progression of augmented reality and within the next few years, it will become a lot more prominent in our everyday lives. AR will remain a mobile technology, but will develop to the point where you no longer have to actually hold a device.

Related topics covered in other booklets

  • E-commerce: purchasing and selling online
  • Cloud computing
  • Social media for small business
  • Successful online display advertising
  • The legal and privacy issues of doing e-business

Glossary of terms

Android OS
Google’s official mobile operating system.
A communication protocol that enables mobile devices equipped with a special chip to send and receive information wirelessly over short-ranges, using the 2.4 GHz spectrum band.
A measurement of how much data can be pushed through a connection that is based on the number of bits per second (bps), kilobits per second (kbps), or megabits per second (mbps).
Churn rate
The percentage of subscribers to a mobile service that discontinue their subscription to that service in a given time period.
Click to call
A service that enables a mobile subscriber to initiate a voice call to a specified phone number by clicking on a link on a mobile web site.
Feature phone
A mobile phone that has functions over and above standard mobile services, but fewer features than a smartphone.
Being able to detect a website visitor’s location and then serve location-based content or advertisements.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
A system of satellites, computers and receivers that can determine the latitude and longitude of a given receiver (within its system) located on earth. Many mobile devices are GPS enabled, allowing them to know their location, find directions to a specific location and see what else is around them.
A new standard for displaying content on the web through browsers. HTML5 is the new rendition in the work of HTML (hyper text mark-up language) that will be competing directly with Flash and includes features like video playback and drag-and-drop functionality.
Location Based Services (LBS)
A range of services that are provided to mobile subscribers based on the geographical location of their handsets within their cellular network. Handsets have to be equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System) to enable the geographical-trigger of the service(s) being provided.
MMS message
A message sent via a Multimedia Messaging Service that contains multimedia objects. It has become more prevalent with the increase in bandwidth and evolution of mobile technology. Multimedia messages can be a picture, a video clip, or an audio clip. Ads can be embedded into the MMS, or the ad could be the MMS itself, depending on what is being viewed by the subscriber.
Mobile advertising
A form of advertising that is communicated to the mobile user via a mobile device. It is most commonly seen as a Mobile Web Banner (top of page), Mobile Web Poster (bottom of page banner) and full screen interstitial (an ad that takes over your full mobile screen which appears while a requested mobile web page is “loading).
Mobile cloud computing
Refers to infrastructure where both the data storage and the data processing happen outside the mobile device.
Mobile search
Executing an Internet search via mobile.
NFC (near field communications)
A technology that allows communication over short distance, typically just a few centimetres away. NFC devices can be used in contactless payment systems.
Push notifications
A way for an app to send information to your phone (via a badge, alert, or pop up message) even when the app is not in use.
Short code
5 to 6 digit short code number similar but shorter than a phone number that can only be used for texting.
Short Message Service (SMS)
Used to send “text” messages via your mobile device, typically 160 characters in length. Subscription SMS services transmit weather, news, and sports, but can also be used for business updates, last minute alerts or product recalls etc.
WiFi hotspots
Wi-Fi short for “wireless fidelity”, which refers to wireless networking technology that allows computers and other devices to communicate over a wireless signal. A hotspot is a site that offers Internet access over a wireless local area network through the use of a router connected to a link to an Internet service provider.

This publication is part of an e-Business Toolkit which includes a series of booklets on advanced e-business topics and an introductory handbook How You Can Profit from E-Business. The entire Toolkit is available at ontario.ca/ebusiness.