Imagine for a moment what business owners just 20 years ago would say if they were told they could send out targeted advertisements to a device that people held in their hands almost all day long. What if you took it one step further and told them it would even be possible to send a special offer or incentive to potential customers when they enter a set geographic area around their business? They would certainly be skeptical, but would absolutely want to get their hands on the technology. These, as well as many other, advanced mobile marketing technologies are available today, but many businesses are still sitting on the sidelines, using traditional marketing techniques. Mobile marketing really started becoming a mainstream advertising tool in just the past several years, with many individuals and businesses quickly taking full advantage of the impressive technology. If you’re business isn’t reaching customers through mobile based marketing, you are missing out on huge opportunities. What Can Mobile Marketing Do? In the simplest terms, mobile marketing is any sort of marketing or advertising which is directed toward mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets. This, however, really only scratches the surface of what people and brands can do with this type of marketing. The following are some of the many flexible options available to marketers today, and new services are being developed all the time: SMS/Text Marketing. Sending text messages to customers can be extremely effective. Over 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being received, which means companies will have almost instant access to their customers. GPS Based Marketing. Nearly all smart phones today have a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system built in. It is possible for businesses to identify when people are near their store and automatically send them customized messages to drive walk-in traffic and additional sales. Mobile Search. All the major search engines today take into account the physical location of the person doing the search. When brands optimize their web presence properly, they can show up when people search for terms related to their business from anywhere in the surrounding area. Mobile Applications. Many companies today are creating their own apps, which can be downloaded onto most types of smart phones. They can then use these apps to make special offers, send out surveys, or provide any type of information to their customers. They are also great for customer loyalty and custom push notifications based on each users actions on the app. Creating Customer Loyalty Regardless of which type of mobile marketing strategies a company employs, it provides them with unprecedented access to their customers. A growing percentage of brands today don’t just want to get their name or products in front of customers, they want to build a relationship with them. By using mobile marketing, brands can incorporate themselves directly into the lives of their customers in incredibly powerful ways. When customers are regularly getting personalized special messages, relevant coupons and other information or entertainment from a brand, they will become more connected and therefore more loyal to that company. The business benefits from the ongoing purchases that these customers make, the information they can gather from the customers on how to improve their products or services as well as the free word of mouth marketing that that great brand advocates provide. Without question, mobile marketing provides businesses with direct access to their customers in ways which weren’t possible even just a short time ago. The companies that leverage this technology best will reap the rewards and gain significant market share. Which companies do you engage with on your phone or tablet?