Have you ever heard people talking about mobile marketing and how easy and seamless it is? Do you then wonder what is mobile marketing exactly and how can you utilize it for your business? You’re not alone here.

I use my mobile phone extensively, almost like it’s my mini computer. From keeping tabs on social media activity to reading the news, and checking work emails – I use it for everything. And I know that’s true for almost everyone today.

There’s no doubt you can use this handy device to execute an effortless marketing strategy for your business.

Let’s look at the mobile marketing definition and then learn, in detail, about the different types, examples, and ways you can start your campaign.

Here’s your guide to what is mobile marketing and everything encompassing this topic.

Disclosure: This content may contain a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

What Is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing is the process of promoting a product or service through mobile devices, such as cell phones or tablets. Mobile marketing can be used for a variety of purposes, including increasing brand awareness, generating leads, and boosting sales.

If you use a phone, you’ve already had an experience with mobile marketing.

For example, imagine you are scrolling through a mobile app such as Instagram and come across an ad. This is an example of mobile marketing. These ads are personalized so you get only relevant information about the product or service.

mobile mobile marketing screenshot screenshot
GIF via AdRoll

That’s just one example of mobile marketing. It’s a broad area that also includes:

  • Mobile app marketing
  • Push notifications
  • SMS marketing
  • QR code marketing
  • Mobile games

… and more.

In this post, we’ll explore all these mobile marketing channels along with mobile marketing best practices.

Why Should You Consider Mobile Marketing?

If you're like most business owners, you're always looking for new ways to reach your target audience. And with nearly everyone owning a smartphone these days, mobile marketing is an obvious choice.

Here are just a few reasons why your business should consider going mobile:

  • The expected revenue generated in the app market is expected to reach $430.90 billion US Dollars by the end of 2022.
  • With over 6.6 billion smartphone users worldwide and the number of users is projected to increase to 7.7 billion by 2027.
chart showing the no of smartphone users in the world from 2016 to 2027
Image via Oberlo

If you check the latest mobile usage trends, it's clear that the era we live in is ruled by mobile phones. Even if you look around, you’ll find many people on the street tapping away on their devices.

A seamless mobile marketing strategy can help your business flourish.

How Does Mobile Marketing Work?

Imagine you get a message about a discount from your favorite clothing website or about a season-end sale from ecommerce giants such as Amazon.

These multimedia texts, SMS, or emails regarding promotional messages about products are how the whole process of mobile marketing works.

More than demographic details, mobile marketing uses consumer behavior to market a product or service.

Other factors that play a major role in mobile marketing include the device used, operating system, location, internet accessibility, and more.

share of time spent on smartphones infographic
Image source: Explodingtopics

One great example of how mobile marketing campaigns work is when Chipotle gave away $1 million worth of free burritos to promote the close of the NBA season in 2019.

Mobile users had to text unique codes shared by their Twitter handle of Chipotle each time the word “free” was mentioned on-air.

Chipotle was not working for the NBA for promotions officially. In doing so, they cleverly leveraged the excitement of basketball fans without having to pay for any sponsorships.

Mobile Vs Traditional Marketing: A Quick Comparison

Compared to traditional marketing, mobile marketing is more specific to an individual.

This is because proximity and location-based services enable the chance of getting promotions, sales, discounts, and more to a store that is close by. An example could be coupons for a clothing brand when someone is in the vicinity of a clothing store.

Mobile marketing is more omnipresent in that it can reach a consumer anywhere and anytime no matter if they are at home, at work, or somewhere else. Thus, where traditional marketing is limited in its reach, mobile marketing can leverage this advantage regardless of location.

Pros And Cons Of Mobile Marketing

Just like any of its counterparts, mobile marketing has its own set of pros and cons. With technology boosting the mobile marketing strategy, it seems promising but certain trivialities can cause issues.


  • Mobile marketing is convenient. People are always carrying their phones with them, which means they’re always connected. This gives businesses a great opportunity to reach their target audience at any time and place.
  • Mobile marketing is personal. Unlike other traditional forms of marketing, mobile messages can be customized to target specific demographics, interests, and even locations. This makes the ads more relevant to the recipients.
  • Mobile devices are interactive. This allows businesses to include things like QR codes and click-to-call buttons in their ads, which makes it easy for customers to take action.
  • Mobile marketing can be cost-effective. Because it’s so targeted, businesses don’t have to waste money on ads that aren’t relevant to their audience.
  • Mobile phone usage is growing. With more and more people using smartphones and tablets, there’s a lot of potential for businesses to reach new customers.


  • There is limited space: There’s only so much real estate on a mobile device, so brands have to be judicious about the content they include in their mobile marketing messages.
  • There are constant interruptions: Mobile devices are constantly buzzing with notifications, which can make it difficult for brands to break through the noise.
  • Users have short attention spans: People are used to consuming bite-sized pieces of content on their mobile devices. So brands need to make sure their messages are brief and to the point.
  • Measuring impact is not easy: It can be difficult for brands to measure the return on investment of their mobile marketing campaigns.
  • Mobile marketing may seem intrusive: If you overwhelm users with too many messages on their mobile devices, they are likely to get annoyed and unsubscribe or opt out.

All in all, a perfect mobile marketing strategy should be well thought out to reap the advantages and limit the disadvantages as much as possible.

Types Of Mobile Marketing Strategies

There are several types of mobile marketing strategies that businesses can use to reach their target audiences. Each of these strategies has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to choose the right one for your business.

To help you make the best choice, we've put together a list of the most popular mobile marketing strategies out there.

1. App-Based Marketing

To put it simply, app-based marketing is using mobile apps as a way to market your products or services. This can be done in a number of ways, such as through in-app advertising, providing exclusive deals and offers through mobile apps, or even displaying your ads in an app.

Over 88% of the time one spends on their mobile is spent on apps. In the same survey, it was estimated that users spent almost four hours every day on different mobile apps. This gives you a massive potential audience to reach out to.

Additionally, app-based marketing can be extremely targeted. When you advertise through a mobile app, you can target your ads specifically to users of that app. This means that you’re much more likely to reach people who are actually interested in what you have to offer.

Wondering how to go about app-based advertising? Different services such as Google AdMob allow advertisers to integrate their ads into third-party applications.

2. In-Game Marketing

You’re probably familiar with different ads popping up at an interval when you’re playing some mobile game. Sometimes, they even offer rewards for watching a complete ad.

In-game marketing targets mobile game players and will often appear as banners, in the game world similar to ads we see in real life, pop-up ads, or videos that play once you move from one level to the next.

in-game mobile marketing
Image via Martech Vibe

3. SMS Marketing

SMS marketing involves using a user’s number to send them personalized texts about upcoming offers or discounts. This is not a new mobile marketing channel but one that has existed for a while.

sms marketing example
Image via Tatango

4. QR Codes

Easily and cost-effectively, QR codes take users to specific website pages when they scan that code. Moreover, you can integrate a variety of things here – from sending them to a landing page of your website, directing them to social media account, or helping them call a given number.

qr code marketing example
Image via I Agree To

5. Location-Based Marketing

These ads trigger specifically when a user is in the proximity of a specific store. They’ll get notifications based on different offers or discounts related to your business.

location based marketing example
Image Via Martechcube

6. Mobile Search Ads

Mobile search ads are a type of advertising that appears on mobile devices when people are searching for information online. These ads can be targeted based on specific demographics, locations, and even a user’s search history.

These simple Google search ads often have extensions, add-ons, maps, or click-to-call functions that are built specifically for mobile devices. .

mobile search ads example
Image via Google

7. Mobile Image Ads

These are creative visuals that appear on mobile phones and can encourage users to interact with them. They drive users to contact, subscribe, or perform similar functions.

In many cases, these ads are clickable, which means that people can click on them to learn more about the product or service being advertised.

mobile image ads example
Image via myhoardings.com

8. Push Notifications

By sending timely and relevant information directly to people's notification centers, you can make sure that they never miss a beat – and that your message is always at the top.

push notifications marketing example
Image via CleverTap

You can use this mobile marketing strategy to alert users to a special discount, offer, or newly published content. If you run an ecommerce business, you can also use push notifications to update users about the status of their orders.

Now that we know about the different types of mobile marketing strategies, let’s take a look at what it takes to run a successful mobile marketing campaign.

How Much Does Mobile Marketing Cost?

The cost of mobile marketing can vary depending on the approach you take. For example, if you choose to create a responsive website, the cost will be lower than if you develop a separate mobile app.

Additionally, the cost of running ads on mobile devices can also vary depending on the platform you use and your targeting options.

Generally speaking, however, the cost of mobile marketing is relatively low compared to other marketing channels. This makes it an attractive option for businesses of all sizes.

The cost of mobile marketing depends on the following factors:

  • Industry or niche
  • Channel of ad delivery
  • Chosen ad format
  • Location
  • Device
  • Mobile OS
  • Time

Components Of Mobile Marketing

Now that you know a little bit more about mobile marketing, let's take a look at some of the key components that you need to consider when creating your own strategy.

1. Text Messages

A quick and easy way to promote new offers and send customers to specific landing pages is through text messages. SMS and MMS are two important channels and can be creatively used to connect with a customer directly.

2. In-App Messages

Different mobile marketing platforms use in-app messaging to allow consumers to interact with the brand even more to increase engagement.

These include information about the buying process or other promotions. They receive these messages once they log in to the device.

3. Push Notifications

Similar to how a normal text message alerts you when you receive a text, push notifications for different apps work the same. They appear on the lock screen or in your notification bar and often revolve around limited-time or exclusive offers, new product launches, and reminders.

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is not specific to mobile marketing platforms but can be designed to be mobile-friendly. The content is usually formatted for mobile devices and is often interactive, urging consumers to engage with the marketing campaign. Newsletters are one such example.

5. Social Media

Social media is another essential component of any mobile marketing strategy. With social media, you can connect with your customers on a more personal level. Plus, social media is a great way to promote your latest deals and offers.

6. Mobile Apps

If you really want to get creative with your mobile marketing, you can create your own app. Apps are a great way to promote your brand and give users a convenient way to access your content. Plus, they can be a lot of fun for users and help you stand out from the competition. Of course, you’ll need to invest resources into promoting your mobile app as well.

By using a combination of these components, you can be sure that you're reaching your customers where they are most likely to see your message.

Start Using Mobile Marketing For Your Business: 5 Tips to Help You Out

Are you looking to start using mobile marketing for your business, but not sure where to begin? Don't worry – we've got you covered. In this section, we'll give you a crash course on everything you need to know to get started with mobile marketing.

1. Set Up A Responsive Website

The first step to getting started with mobile marketing is to ensure that your website is responsive. This means that it will automatically adjust to fit the screen size of the device it's being viewed on.

responsive website example
Image via Experto

If your website is not responsive, there is a chance that your design might not appear properly on smartphone screens. It may be too squeezed or too stretched out, giving a poor user experience.

So how do you set up a responsive website? Several website builders offer responsive templates to build mobile-ready websites. If you’d like a customized design, you can hire a website designer.

2. Set Your Business On Location-Based Platforms

When you want to reach a wide range of consumers, then setting up your business on a location-based platform like Facebook Places or Foursquare is a good way to kick-start your mobile marketing campaign.

These platforms run promotions offering discounts after consumers reach a certain number of check-ins on the apps. It’s a great way to increase your customer base while just doing the bare minimum.

3. Dig Deep Into the Mobile Marketing Arena

If you're like most people, you probably have a go-to app for everything. Whether you're ordering food, hailing a ride, or checking the weather, there's an app for that. But have you ever stopped to think about how brands use them to market their products to you?

If you really want to understand mobile marketing, you need to spend some time on research. Exploring and testing out the mobile marketing arena will help you gauge the user experience well. You’ll get an understanding from a consumer-centric point of view and how they use their devices.

By using a variety of apps, you can get a feel for what works and what doesn't in the world of mobile marketing. Plus, trying new things is always fun!

So go ahead and download a few new apps, and see what mobile marketing has to offer. You might be surprised at how much you can learn.

4. Run Your Own Mobile Campaign

After you have understood how mobile marketing truly works and set up your website, you’re ready to begin your campaign.

For example, let’s say you have your own bookstore. You’d want to ensure people get ads about your store when they search for “bookstores near me” when they are in your vicinity. You have options like cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand to help pay for your marketing campaign.

Google, Apple, and similar platforms are among the popular ones for mobile advertising and they have helpful services that will guide you throughout.

5. Use QR Codes

If you're looking for a way to take your mobile marketing strategy up a notch, you should consider using QR codes.

QR codes are those little black and white squares that look like barcodes. They contain information related to a page. These QR codes can be used to provide your customers with quick-and-easy access to your website or other digital content.

QR codes can be used for a variety of marketing purposes, such as directing people to your website, sharing coupon codes, or providing directions to your store.

You can place them on flyers, business cards, or even in store windows and watch as people scan them to see what you have to offer.

How to Launch a Mobile Marketing Campaign

To get the best of mobile marketing best practices, you need to ensure that you think about your mobile marketing campaign strategy thoroughly.

Here’s what you need to do to ensure a smooth launch:

  • Know your target audience. Make sure you know whether the majority of your website visitors are mobile device users or not. Do they frequently visit via mobile phones? What devices do they use? What type of content do they prefer? Understanding your audience is the first step.
  • Set goals. No marketing strategy works well without a realistic goal. Think of your main objective such as what type of campaign you want to start with. Determine what platform you want to use for marketing and optimize your content for mobile-friendly designs based on that platform.
  • Test your campaign. No plan is foolproof until you run a pilot study. This will help you figure out the nitty-gritty, such as what works, errors, or glitches, what needs to be enhanced, and more.

Take your frequent customers and run a small test phase to gain feedback on your marketing campaign. Ensuring mobile marketing best practices will help you develop a sound marketing strategy and a lot of customer engagement.

What Are the Top Mobile Marketing Apps?

Now that you know the answers to what is mobile marketing and how to do mobile marketing, you must be wondering what mobile marketing tools are out there to help you with your mobile marketing campaigns.

The best mobile marketing apps include.

1. Google AdMob

This is a great tool to create engaging in-app ads with easy-to-use tools that are easy to set up. It also offers actionable insights that allow you to analyze and improve customer experience by understanding how users interact with your ads.

google admob
Image via Google AdMob

2. App Annie

Marketing needs insights so you know how to regulate and improve user experience. App Annie gives you insights that help you engage your users and grow your base. It allows you to access in-depth data based on interests, usage patterns, and more to maximize the ROI of your campaign.

data.ai homepage
Image via Data.AI

3. Branch

Branch is great for increasing mobile revenue through its enterprise-grade links that work across multiple platforms and send your customers to the right landing pages.

branch mobile marketing platform screenshot
Image via Branch

Examples of Mobile Marketing Campaigns

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when you’re creating a mobile marketing campaign. First of all, you need to make sure that your content is mobile-friendly. This means that it should be easy to read and navigate on a small screen.

You also need to keep your messages short and to the point. Customers are more likely to engage with a message that is brief and direct.

Finally, you need to make sure that your mobile marketing campaign is interactive. Customers should be able to respond to your messages and engage with your brand in a meaningful way.

Here are a few examples of brands that have done an excellent job with their mobile marketing campaigns:

1. Ponds

Ponds developed a creative mobile marketing strategy in partnership with InMobi while relaunching their product that targeted acne-related issues. Their target audience was young working female commuters.

They leveraged the front camera cleverly by educating them about acne-prone zones and based on location data would update them on the pollution levels. They were then urged to blow in the ad unit which would then clear out the dust and soot present.

Ponds didn’t just use an everyday problem faced by young females and used cutting-edge technology while using a mobile marketing channel that they would encounter every day.

2. Taco Bell

Taco Bell’s SMS marketing campaign is an excellent example of enmeshing traditional marketing strategy with a mobile marketing channel. They sparked awareness using traditional marketing platforms like television and radio, encouraging customers to text TBIC to 30364.

taco bell sms marketing
Image via Tatango

Eventually, they would receive a promotional offer where they’d get a Frutista Freeze with the purchase of any food item. In order to drive customers to perform immediate action, they rolled out expiration dates for the offer between three to five days.

The result? They received 13,000 subscribers by the end of the five-week campaign! (With 93% still being subscribed by the end of the campaign).


The Swedish retailer's Back Back campaign encourages customers to return mistakenly purchased items through the use of QR codes. The Ikea Buy-Back system makes it easy for customers to return items they no longer want or need. In exchange for the returned item, customers receive an in-store gift card that can be used on their next purchase at Ikea.

ikea mobile marketing
Image via QR Tiger

In order to return a product, customers must follow certain terms and conditions. Users can use confirmation QR codes to get referral numbers from the physical stores of IKEA. This way, returning products is easier with the use of QR codes.

This mobile marketing campaign is an example of how you can use the strategy to even elevate the overall customer experience.


1. What is the main feature of mobile marketing?

Mobile marketing ensures that you have direct contact with your customer and improve user experience and reach a wider audience in a limited time.

2. What are mobile marketing tools?

Mobile marketing tools are those tools that help companies and businesses reach their target audiences through different channels such as smartphones or tablets.

3. What are some free mobile marketing tools?

Some apps like AppsFlyer, Appfigures, Branch, and Google AdMob have a free basic plan that you can use. For advanced features, you will need to pay a fee depending on the features offered.

Now You Know What Is Mobile Marketing: Ready to Get Started?

With the increase in mobile usage, mobile marketing is a great tool to help your business thrive. There are numerous strategies, platforms, and channels to use, and utilizing them the right way can ensure your customer base grows.

It’s simple and easy to monitor with no prior knowledge needed. So, explore and see what works for you the best to create a positive user experience.

Now that you know what is mobile marketing and how to make the most of it, it’s time to get started with it. If you have any questions related to mobile marketing, please feel free to mention them in the comments section below.

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