Mobile commerce is commonly referred to as the ability to undertake commercial transactions through a wireless internet-enabled device. The mobile revolution in the last decade has re-created a new era of an always-connected society which has reshaped the retail industry, including the clothing sector, in a major way (Euromonitor, 2013). Mobile devices becoming more powerful with their own operating systems, has given rise to a new marketing strategy enabling companies to connect to their consumers on the go and on a 24-hour basis.

A rapid growth in internet-enabled devices including smartphones has taken place in recent years, allowing many tasks to be performed online. One of the major activities taking place on these online platforms is shopping. Indeed, shopping has changed the consumption landscape from visiting conventional physical shops to consuming products and services in a digital arena. Most consumers are willing to reach for their smartphones first when the idea of shopping strikes. This global phenomenon is affecting different parts of the world. A survey conducted in June 2013 by E-Marketer (2013), shows that China is the leading country in terms of internet users purchasing via mobile devices followed by India and the United Kingdom.

Understanding the tools in the mobile marketing toolbox is only part of the battle. The other part is to understand the key elements of a successful campaign. What follows are the characteristics we’ve derived based on more than 60 in-depth interviews with Mobile Marketing Association members and the Board of Directors. These characteristics have also been distilled based on a review of the winners of the most recent SmartieTM Awards and sponsored by the Mobile Marketing Association:

  1. Think “Mobile First”: The most successful campaigns are developed with a mobile first By starting with a mobile perspective and working from there, campaigns have a stronger foundation and are more likely to succeed. Consider mobile connective tissue to all media as it supports and strengthens all channels.
  1. Leverage Multi-Screen Usage Patterns in Mobile: Smartphone and tablet users often juggle multiple devices and work across screens. For example, someone watching ESPN on TV may also be using an ESPN app to keep track of the scores on other games. Or someone watching American Idol may also be using their smartphone to tweet comments to friends. Cross-screen usage is leveraged by many brands to engage and capture the attention of mobile users across many screens.
  2. Utilize the Full Spectrum of Mobile Tools and Applications: Mobile isn’t just about a mobile website or a mobile display campaign or a mobile app. It’s about a mobile website and a mobile display campaign and a mobile app and much, much more. Explore ways to utilize the full suite of tools before you develop and launch your
  3. Integrate Your Mobile Campaign into Your Traditional Campaign: Chevy was able to generate 39 million total views by integrating their Chevy Game Time App into the Super Bowl TV campaign that was running concurrently. Mobile campaigns shouldn’t be produced in Instead, they should be integrated into the complete marketing program.
  4. Create a Campaign that Works Across Multiple Screens: Mobile isn’t just about Nor is it just about tablets. The most successful mobile marketing campaigns are developed with an understanding of the environment. For example, tablet users are often at the top of the sales funnel and doing initial in-depth research while smartphone users are often at the bottom of the sales funnel and ready to make a purchase.
  5. Leverage Every Phase of the Sales Funnel: One of the unique aspects of mobile marketing is that mobile visitors use it for search and discovery as well as for purchase and connecting with the brand. Mobile is not just about the top of the sales funnel nor is it just about the bottom of the sales funnel. Instead, it’s about every phase of the sales funnel.
  6. Test Your Way to Success: Mobile is digital in nature, which makes it a perfect tool to track and measure the effectiveness of your campaign. But that’s only half the battle. The second half is to sift through those insights and make adjustments to improve the performance of the future By testing your way into success, you’ll be in a position to continuously improve the ROI of your mobile marketing programs.

In the end, mobile isn’t simply a new sales channel or marketing tool. Instead, it’s a revolutionary new medium that is transforming not only the way consumers connect with brands but how those consumers make purchases and stay engaged with those brands. The sophisticated marketer will leverage the power of mobile today and tomorrow to differentiate their brand and stay ahead of their competitors.