No marketer can afford to underestimate mobile’s unique ability to drive interaction and brand engagement. 

In most organizations, mobile marketing is still regarded as a stand-alone entity, often leading to an extreme lack of integration with other marketing channels. Which unfortunately means that brands are approaching mobile as a series of independent initiatives such as "a text campaign," "a mobile website" or "an app." When in reality, mobile has the power to be an additive -- and influential -- component of every single marketing and media channel.

Certainly smartphones and tablets have evolved us to the point of no return. From Shazam, to hash tags and even SMS short codes, the tried and true method of urging consumers to pick up their phone and "Call Now!" is seemingly a dying tactic. But today’s phones -- smart or not -- can be used to elicit a response, engage the consumer and deliver measurable results.

Mobile's unique abilities -- from traditional advertising activities to connecting consumers directly with a brand, offer or promotion mobile -- should have all marketers taking notice.

Understand the Efficacy of TV, Radio and Print

In the not-so-distant past, traditional methods of advertising were used for raising brand awareness and creating product demand, but with no real great way to measure the impact beyond estimated “impressions.” But mobile and social have begun to take TV, print and radio to a new level of engagement -- and activation.

By including a mobile call-to-action in a one-dimensional advertisement, the phone becomes an engagement platform and turns a traditional ad into a living, breathing consumer connection -- while also providing more accurate response and impact metrics. As TV, print and radio become more passive activities, consumers are rarely without their beloved mobile device. And so, mobile provides the perfect gateway to turn those traditional mediums into a seamless engagement point between a brand and a consumer.

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Recently during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, mobile had prominent place in many of the ad tactics. Fans we're prompted to “Call **VOTE from their mobile device” to cast their ballot for the 2013 Naismith Awards (and then tweet or Facebook about their vote!). Additionally, the NCAA encouraged users to download their app to watch the games and fill out their brackets. The offline to online mobile engagement was a spot-on tactic for an audience who was already highly active on mobile and social networks, during one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year.

Reach the On-the-Go Consumer

Mobile marketing tactics can also work hand-in-hand with digital marketing strategies to enhance ongoing digital campaigns. When it comes to a digital campaign, mobile has the ability to transfer the brand experience from the desktop right to the consumer's pocket. And "dial and deliver" capabilities let consumers conveniently access the offers and promotions without having to rely on a printer to say, redeem a coupon, show a boarding pass or find an ATM location.

Mobile coupons, offers and apps are an easy way to reach an on-the-go consumer and drive store traffic. Whether it’s via an email, SMS or a calling campaign, delivering prompts to receive coupons via their phone simplifies the consumer experience by ensuring no break in continuity of experience. QSR giant Dunkin’ Donuts harnesses the power of the dial-pad to garner more app downloads, complete with special offers and coupons, by telling consumers to simply dial **DD from their mobile device. Retailer 7-Eleven used mobile coupons to drive sales of their peppermint bark donut during the holidays with a text message containing a link to unlock the mobile coupon.

There’s also an added element of measurability in these tactics. Not only can brands measure the number of calls and texts generated from the coupons, but how many of those coupons were actually redeemed making these interactions easily measured and the success easily tracked.

Leverage the Data

With 90% of Americans carrying a mobile phone with them everywhere they go, the constant real-time data and insights that these campaigns provide is crucial to informing future marketing and channel tactics.

Marketers have become accustomed to measuring CPCs, unique visitors, conversion rates, etc., but mobile metrics are delivering new and equally important guidelines for interaction, response, media placement, opt-ins and so on. By more accurately measuring the quality of the engagement -- such as the number of times the coupon was redeemed per number of people that asked for it -- marketers can begin to foster future brand communications, build awareness and loyalty, and provide more personalized re-marketing campaigns via multiple channels.

And with the continued rise of location-based social use, mobile shopping and mobile payments, this medium is becoming more and more a single platform to drive awareness, connect, browse, compare and sell. So it goes without saying, that any brand that continues to treat mobile as silo, will likely find themselves with a lot less customers than their competitor.

If we step back and look at all of our available marketing channels, I’m willing to bet there aren't many that mobile can’t influence a consumer connection in some way. As a marketer, I encourage all of us to continuously challenge the mobile tech landscape to ensure we are not only communicating with our consumers at the right time, but also engaging them at the right moment. Mobile is enabling us interact with consumers like never before, no matter where they are -- it’s time we take control of it.

Image courtesy of Bonita R. Cheshier (Shutterstock)

Editor's Note: Interested in reading more from Ashley? See her 3 Reasons Why Web Analytics Aren't the New Marketing Funnel