As cell phone usage continues to grow in the U.S., there are exciting possibilities for librarians to get ahead of the emerging trend of mobile marketing. Kim Dushinski’s book, The Mobile Marketing Handbook:A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Mobile Marketing Campaigns, provides a thorough yet easy-to-follow guide for those who have wanted to use this new tool but are feeling overwhelmed by the enormous learning curve. While I thought I had researched the topic fairly well before I got this book, I found myself continually highlighting passages, dog-earing pages, and experiencing “aha” moments throughout the entire volume.
Since I’m a marketer first and a techie second, I love that Dushinski organized this book into two parts, beginning with strategies for sending messages to mobile phones, then moving into the tactics for implementing those strategies. Too often, librarians have become enamored with learning about new tools and miss out on the bigger opportunity of using them as part of a solid marketing strategy. In the case of mobile marketing, Dushinski warns, “Without the smart marketing strategies found in Part One, you run the risk of launching a less-than-perfect mobile marketing campaign, alienating your customers, not knowing what is working with your campaign and ultimately wasting money or perhaps getting in trouble with the law” (p. 2).
At the end of each chapter, Dushinski provides an online resource guide that includes links to websites, articles, and books. As a way to keep content up-to-date, she has created a webpage where she’ll be posting chapter updates as needed. Her writing style is interesting and informative, and she illustrates her points with real-life examples from companies.
Part One takes the reader through the basics: defining mobile marketing, talking about the opportunities, creating a dynamic campaign, and outlining legal issues. The author finishes the section with instructive steps for launching, promoting, and tracking your campaigns. She provides readers with a five-step process for creating a dynamic mobile marketing campaign that is firmly rooted in marketing theory:
1. Figure out what your target market wants and offer it.
2. Align what your target market wants with your desired outcome.
3. Choose the right mobile marketing tool for the campaign.
4. Launch your mobile campaign and promote it.
5. Track what is working and make any necessary adjustments.
Since mobile marketing is a new medium, it comes with an array of terminology and companies that make for a steep learning curve. Dushinski describes the roles of vendors and consultants, and she provides many charts, including a Smart Mobile Marketing Matrix that helps you match up what you want with what your customer wants. She expertly guides you through the complicated campaign process, whether you choose to use a vendor or an agency or just go it alone.
Part Two details the specific tactics, campaign ideas, and resources that are available to mobile marketers. While the book speaks to the for-profit sector, with a little imagination, nonprofit workers can get excited over the possibilities of using voice, text, and even mobile ads to draw people to libraries.
Once you’ve decided to reach your customers on their cell phones, there are other factors to consider. Should you create a mobile website? How can you optimize your chances of landing at the top of mobile searches? What promotional
and advertising options are there, and which ones work best? How can you incorporate social networks into your mobile campaigns?
At one point, the author compares mobile marketing to the California Gold Rush and suggests that the earlier you get on board with this new medium, the better stakes you’ll have when it hits the mainstream. The last chapter takes you on
a journey into “Proximity” and “Bluetooth” zone marketing, where people who enter your library could opt in to receive personalized messages based on their interests. She talks about how people will be able to interact with signage to receive information and about technology in Japan that allows a person to use a cell phone to scan a 2D bar code and receive information instantly. Propelling us into the future, Dushinski talks about a day when people will be leaving virtual sticky notes at restaurants (or your library) for friends that they missed. This book can help make all of that part of your library’s future.