The 5 worst mobile marketing mistakes that brands make

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Mistake: Not delivering optimized content

In a mobile campaign, providing optimized content and value to customers is essential. While this may seem obvious to most, a number of marketers have missed the mark. When executing a Black Friday/Cyber Monday email campaign in 2013, Amazon sent emails to customers that weren't mobile friendly. It's surprising that a company as progressive as Amazon would send an email with links to a non-mobile site when 50 percent of consumers now view emails on their phones. Another example of missing the mark on optimized content is the execution of messaging campaigns using MMS, which Macy's, Vans, and even Starbucks have all tried. But what often happens with MMS is the degradation of content using a one-size-fits-all approach. The resolution of an iPhone is drastically different than a Samsung Galaxy 4 or a BlackBerry. The user often receives content that won't work on their device or is illegible. Alternatives to this method include technologies like rich media messaging, which sends messaging content that conforms to each device's resolution and capabilities to ensure an optimal customer experience.

If a mobile campaign has flaws from the beginning, then there's little hope that the desired campaign objectives will make it out alive in the end. The initial planning for a mobile campaign is crucial, and success can only be achieved if we focus on the customer experience as it relates to the brand objective.

Mistake: Creating a complicated opt-in process

Using QR codes is complicated, which is likely the reason that they have delivered marketers with poor results. First, marketers going down the QR code route (depending on the target audience) are missing a hefty chunk of the consumer market, as a significant amount of them still have feature phones. Second, how many people actually have a QR scanner on their phone? Scanner apps aren't native apps for most devices. In order to opt-in to your campaign, participants would have to take the extra step to download the app, learn how to work the app, scan the QR code, and then hope that these steps will directly opt them into the campaign.

In the past, RadioShack included a QR code on one of its direct mail pieces. This technology landed scanners to a mobile website, which then input the consumer information online. Most customers have the initial thought that once they scan a QR code to receive special offers, the process should be over and done. Adding the additional step within a mobile campaign can lead to disinterest and complete abandonment from customers. So, keep it simple. Luckily for RadioShack's direct mail recipients, there was also an SMS opt-in alternative. But in a number of cases, marketers are leaving that option out, and customers are left feeling frustrated.