Based on current trends, it is obvious that mobile should be a critical part of your marketing strategy. However, are you using current or dated plays? Today’s mobile market is much more sophisticated than even three or four years ago. Consumers have embraced mobile, and they have grown along with emerging technologies. The mobile market is consistently changing, and keeping up can be complicated. Consumers will not only be researching products on their devices, but they will be making purchases from them, as well. Mobile is the bridge to the physical realm–it has the power to transform your entire business. How you respond and take advantage of the potential opportunities will define the scope of your engagement. Here are some tips you need to leverage for 2014.

Focus on Mobile Video

Video gives your potential clients a better idea of who you are and what your company stands for. It is the supreme when it comes to visualization, and it provides a stronger impact than text on a page. The good news is costs continue to fall when it comes to mobile video. In addition, your message needs to stand out in 5-second or 10-second mobile spots. Gone are the days of 30-second videos. Today, almost every new laptop comes installed with HD-quality video recording technology. This means, your production costs don’t have to skyrocket beyond your budget. And, with Wi-Fi available in most workplaces, coffee shops and hotels, consumers can connect with you from anywhere.

Make Gamification a Priority

This is where you use gaming principles to encourage specific types of behavior. One of the earliest and most popular versions of gamification are airline loyalty programs. These are used worldwide, and consumers reacted positively to earning mileage points, which could be used for future trips or prizes. Customers want to have their needs addressed, and they appreciate companies that do so. However, you have to engage your customer and get feedback from them. This is where gamification can come in. According to Inc. Magazine, “People are hard-wired to enjoy positive reinforcement. And, well, play is fun.” Some popular ways to incorporate gamification include:

  • Levels
  • Badges
  • Progress Bars
  • Leadership Boards
  • Trophies
  • Quests
  • Virtual Currency
  • Avatars
  • Gifting

Game designer, Jane McGonigal explains, “Foursquare was a really great early example of this happening. Foursquare started this whole trend of making achievements and giving people badges for doing stuff.” Before getting started though, it is imperative to determine your end goals.

Try Narrowcasting

This is also called niche marketing where you disseminate information to a select audience. Studies have found that this can provide a larger return on investment of your marketing dollars. For instance, would it be cost-effective to promote a high-end shoe sale to a broad and unqualified market when only 5 percent of them would be interested? Four Winds Interactive states, “a global marketplace leads to an increasing number of choices that, in turn, create an individualism with more particular and discriminating tastes.” You can purchase ads that target qualified buyers. To illustrate, if your company produces mushroom soup and a consumer is searching for chicken recipes, it’s possible that they may soon become intrigued by mushroom soup.  Not surprisingly is the fact that everyone needs and wants shoes, but tastes differ. While one individual may want the latest 4-inch stiletto, another may want a comfortable walking shoe with a long shelf life. It wouldn’t make sense to market a stiletto to the person who wants a walking shoe and vice-versa. When it comes to competition, the marketers who understand what consumers want will come out ahead.

Target Consumers by Location

It is all about breaking down segments. Geo-targeting qualifies consumers by purchase habits and location. With this method, consumers are less likely to ignore your ads. Moreover, it is augmented through GPS technology. Messages can be based upon a consumers’ proximity to restaurants, cafes, events and retailers. Apps, such as Apple’ iBeacon, give you the ability to find out if a customer is in one of your stores. If so, you can send them messages such as products on sale, or where to find a specific item they have searched for.

Look to Big Data

Effectively harnessing the mix of structured and unstructured data is critical to your mobile marketing strategies. Over the last couple of years, we have seen improvements to the queries and reporting structures offered by big data. This year, it is all about implementing real-time analytics and real-time computation platforms in order to improve and enhance response time. The data can be used strategically for product placement, marketing announcements and tailoring advertising more efficiently. Transactional data, machine data, social data and enterprise content are all significant to your marketing efforts.

Give Mobile Real Time Bidding a Shot

In 2013, RTB exploded. This is where digital advertising displays are auctioned in real time. Down to the millisecond, you can bid on the right to have your ad appear when a user downloads an app or visits a specific site. This means you can reach your target market when and how you want to. When Twitter acquired MoPub, company that offers RTB and ad targeting, it was a declaration that this was the space to be in. According to a recent MoPub report, “banner ads overtook interstitial ads for the first time ever.” Here are a few other statistics around RTB:

  • In Q3 of 2013, 10% of impressions were on Apple and Android tablets versus 5% in Q3 of 2012.
  • In Q3 of 2013, Nexage received a 60 percent spend in RTB.
  • Bids received increased 30 percent from August to September of 2013.

Mobile marketing gives you constant access to your consumers, whether you want their feedback, or to give them an update on future sales. You can use it to build trust, incur loyalty and increase your brand’s awareness. Not to mention, all of these things can be done in real time with no delay. The only caveat is you must make use of the latest methods in order to compete. Not to mention, targeting interested parties is much more effective than sending one-size-fits-all messages. Given the latest trends, what mobile marketing tactics will you be utilizing or looking into for 2014?