What is Mobile Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

What is Mobile Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

by Mihovil Grguric

Trying to pick up the ropes of mobile marketing

This article is all you’ve been looking for. 

You will learn what mobile marketing is, why it is so important, mobile marketing trends, and much more. 

Let’s get started. 

What Is Mobile Marketing: The Definition 

Before getting into details, let me explain what mobile marketing is. 

Mobile marketing is a branch of digital marketing focused on mobile device users.

Nowadays, that includes almost everyone.

Mobile marketing refers to all kinds of promotional messages that appear on mobile devices. It consists of different strategies that help marketers reach their target audiences on mobile. 

It doesn’t matter if the users are on their smartphones or tablets, Android or iOS. It also doesn’t matter if they spend most of their time browsing mobile web, using social media apps, or playing games. Mobile marketing allows you to reach users in different places in the mobile ecosystem. 

Essentially, mobile marketing aims to meet people where they are (on mobile) and deliver them the best possible user experience

The Importance of Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing was once just a small component of digital marketing.

Today, it’s the most important one. 

Why? The world is mobile, and it’s getting more mobile as we speak. 

Here are some fresh mobile usage and traffic statistics that prove just how true that is. 

  • There are 5.29 billion unique mobile phone users in the world (Datareportal).
  • The number of mobile phone users is growing 1.9% year after year (Datareportal).
  • In 2021, the average American spent 3.1 hours a day watching TV and 4.1 hours using their mobile devices (App Annie).
  • In the top 10 mobile first-markets, people spend 4 hours and 48 minutes on mobile every day. This is a 30% increase from 2019! (App Annie).
  • By 2025, ¾ of global users will access the Internet using a mobile device (World Advertising Research Center).

In order to reach all these people, businesses need to develop an effective mobile marketing strategy. 

It is not an option but a necessity. If you ignore this, the competition will eat you alive. 

12 Types of Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is an umbrella term for different types of mobile marketing. These types vary by the platforms they appear in, but also the technologies they are based on.

It encompasses everything from mobile websites and search engines to apps and artificial intelligence. Some of these types of mobile marketing are paid, while others are completely free (organic). 

It’s important to note that the complete list of types of mobile marketing is quite extensive. It includes outdated forms like SMS and MMS marketing, as well as underutilized forms like QR codes.

I’m going to skip these. 

Instead, I’m going to focus on the most important and trending types of mobile marketing. 

Here they come. 

mobile friendly

1. Mobile-Friendly Websites

I know this one is quite obvious, but it has to be mentioned. 

Research shows that a website with an unsatisfying mobile experience can lose nine out of ten users. (Quora Creative)


As long as your business has a mobile-responsive website, you should be fine. Even if you initially build a website for a desktop, it can work well on mobile if you optimize it. 

That is possible thanks to responsive design. With it, users should be able to reveal all the buttons, content, and text that exist on the desktop version but in a way that fits the mobile screen.

This improves the user experience, making reading and navigation easy. 


2. Mobile-Optimized Emails

Optimizing emails for mobile has been an important practice for years already, and its importance keeps on growing. 

This is because more and more people are opening emails on mobile. According to Easy Sendy, 61.9% of email opens come from mobile

For this reason, mobile-first design is essential.

The last thing you want is for people to form bad opinions about your business due to lousy experiences with your emails. 

Creating mobile-friendly emails is not some kind of complex, super-expensive task. It is actually rather simple. 

The main thing you need to do is put yourself in the users’ shoes and see how they feel navigating through your email content on mobile. 

No reader should have to scroll too much or zoom in and out to read the content. Or even worse – get a gigantic image that messes up the entire email. 

Here are some of the things you can do to make your emails more mobile-friendly:

  • Adjust text size
  • Utilize short paragraphs
  • Limit image sizes

social media sharing

3. Social Media Marketing 

Social media marketing is quite a wide category. It leverages both organic and paid advertising.

Essentially, it applies to all types of marketing content users can see while navigating through their favorite social media networks. 

For example, running a business page on Facebook or a business profile on Instagram is considered organic social media marketing

To make the most use of it, you should choose the right social media channels, make sure your posts are mobile-friendly, and interact with your audience appropriately. Today, many popular social media networks are even designed for mobile (e.g., Instagram, TikTok).

On the other hand, paid social media marketing allows you to reach an even wider audience. 

Today, all major social media networks also work as ad platforms. This means you can place ads on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, etc. All of these platforms come with detailed targeting options that help marketers reach the right users. 

Depending on the social media channel, these ads can appear all over the place. For instance, in different placements on the users’ feeds, as well as in their inboxes. 

4. In-App Marketing

Did you know that users spend 92% of their mobile time in some kind of an app? (Datareportal)

Well, now you know, and it’s something it would just be foolish to ignore. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to develop your own app. While this might be a good idea for your business, you can simply advertise in existing apps

This is a form of paid mobile marketing.

In-app advertising is possible thanks to mobile ad networks like Google Ads, Facebook, AppLovin, and many others that place ads into third-party apps.

Ads that appear inside mobile apps can come in various formats. Some of the most popular ad formats in mobile apps are banner ads, interstitial (full-screen) video ads, and rewarded video ads. 

When it comes to this, you should know that the app users prefer engaging with dynamic ad formats over static ones. 

5. Location-Based Mobile Marketing

According to Siteefy, eight out of ten marketers use location targeting for their mobile marketing campaigns. 

Moreover, Google reports that the number of queries that include terms like “where to buy” and “near me” is constantly growing (Google). 

This is because people carry their phones everywhere, and they expect to rely on them wherever they go. 

Have you noticed how, when you travel somewhere, the ads on your phone become more local? This is what location-based marketing is all about. 

It allows mobile marketers to reach their users based on their geographical location. This is done to ensure that the advertised content is relevant to them

For instance, local businesses can set up their mobile ads to only appear within a one-mile radius of their locations. It is very unlikely that people will travel any further to visit a local business. 

Finally, you should know that location-based marketing is possible thanks to different targeting techniques. These include geo-fencing, geo-conquesting, and proximity marketing.

6. Mobile Search Marketing

People have been actively using search engines from the early ages of the Internet, and this hasn’t changed with the rise of mobile.

According to Hitwise, today, approximately 60% of all searches happen on mobile

These searches are also quite different from those made on desktop devices. 

Think about it, when you search for something on mobile, what is your #1 priority? For most people, it’s receiving the information as quickly as possible

For this reason, they pay the most attention to the top results on the search engines. In order to reach the top, you can put away some advertising budgets for search engine ads (e.g., Google search ads). 

These ads can be customized for mobile, i.e.,, advertisers can include a phone number extension or immediate directions. 

When it comes to organic mobile searches, it all comes down to good search engine optimization (SEO). Remember, one of the key things that make SEO algorithms pleased is mobile-friendliness.


7. Mobile Video Marketing

Static content simply doesn’t cut it anymore. According to Facebook’s research, videos can hold people’s attention 5x longer than static images.

Video is especially big on mobile. 

How big? According to Techjury, more than 75% of all video views come from mobile

Mobile video views happen in different places, i.e., on social media, as well as in streaming and entertainment apps. 

In the last couple of years, we have seen a rise in the popularity of video-based social media platforms. TikTok, the world’s most downloaded app in 2021, is the best example of this (App Annie). 

While it is possible to reach mobile video viewers organically, a quicker way to do it is with video ads.

The popularity of video ads is growing as we speak. In fact, according to Statista, video advertising revenue will reach $35 billion by 2024. 

Udonis is quite experienced with mobile video advertising, so we have some tips to share. 

If you want to get the most out of video ads on mobile, it’s important to start strong, keep the videos short, and stay relevant to your target audience. 

8. Mobile Commerce Marketing 

Another type of mobile marketing marketers utilize is mobile commerce. It is a crucial one if your business is based on sales

Mobile commerce has been steadily growing for years already, but the pandemic made it explode. This isn’t going to change any time soon. The predictions are – time spent on shopping apps will increase by 40% by 2025 (App Annie). 

Wondering which mobile marketing strategies to leverage for effective mobile commerce?

One of the best things you can do is create a shopping app. Today, people expect apps to be suited for enjoyable mobile shopping experiences. 

Another thing you should take advantage of is social commerce. Nowadays, almost all major social media networks have social commerce features (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok). 

Finally, it is a good idea to utilize shoppable ads. Even better, their trending video version – shoppable video ads. These ads are available on different platforms, from Youtube to Instagram. 

9. Augmented Reality Marketing

Augmented reality technology has been around for years already.

The concept of AR revolves around creating an enhanced version of the real world. This is done by overlaying it with digital visual elements. 

You’ve probably used this technology to take some cool photos of yourself with animal ears on Snapchat. Or to catch some Pokémons in Niantic’s famous game. 

Yup, all of this is AR.

Industry experts have been predicting a bright future for AR in mobile marketing for a long time. However, until recently, it has been underutilized. 

Augmented reality has the power to transform mobile marketing experiences in all kinds of areas. Not just in selfies, games, and entertainment. 

Here are some examples of how mobile marketers can utilize AR for different businesses:

  • Letting users try out products before purchasing
  • Virtual tours and walk-throughs
  • Augmenting brand materials (e.g., brochures) 

AR events (e.g., concerts and hangouts)

chatbot example

10. Conversational Mobile Marketing

Conversational marketing is nothing new.

Businesses have been engaging with their customers through live chat for years. The point of conversational marketing is to be there for your customers when and where they need you.

However, physically, this is almost impossible.

For this reason, mobile marketers are relying on automated technologies. The most famous technology of this kind is chatbots. 

Conversational chatbots respond to user queries while mimicking human interaction. Most of them send out text messages, while the more advanced ones act as voice assistants. All of this is possible thanks to a mix of pre-programmed scripts and AI. 

For example, chatbots can book dates, place orders, give information, and many other things. 

They are a valuable mobile marketing tool because they meet one of the biggest demands of mobile users – getting information as quickly as possible. They also have a great potential to engage and convert users who need different kinds of assistance. 

You can use chatbots across different marketing channels, from your mobile-optimized website to your Facebook page.

mobile marketing trends influencer marketing

11. Mobile Influencer Marketing 

Mobile marketing is not only about relying on different technologies. Relying on the right people can be lucrative too.

These are mobile influencers – people with fanbases and authority on different mobile platforms. 

Mobile influencer marketing can help businesses boost brand awareness, reach their target audience, achieve authenticity, increase visibility on social media platforms, and more. 

The key to success in this type of mobile marketing is choosing the right influencers. Marketers need to make sure to pick out an influencer who is:

  • authentic;
  • relevant to the target audience;
  • present on the same platforms as the target audience.

Other than that, it’s important to stay up to date with influencer marketing trends. For example, a couple of years ago, businesses fought for the influencers with the biggest follower bases. 

However, in the last couple of years, the tables have turned. 

Now, the trend is focusing on authentic micro and nano-influencers with high engagement rates. Another influencer marketing trend is focusing on video content, just like in other types of mobile marketing. 

12. App Store Optimization 

If you have an app you’re trying to get out there, app store optimization (ASO) should be one of your main focuses. 

ASO is frequently called “SEO for mobile apps”.

Here’s why. 

ASO is a process of optimizing app store listings for mobile apps and games (Google Play & Apple App Store). The goal is to increase an app’s visibility by ranking higher.

App store optimization can help app marketers reach more users even if they don’t have big advertising budgets. The better ranking an app has, the more organic (free) downloads it should get.

What affects the ranking? The most important ranking factors in the app stores are:

  • app name,
  • app description,
  • keywords,
  • visuals (icon, screenshots, trailer).

As you can see, every single aspect of the app store listing should be optimized. If you’re wondering how to get started, here’s a step-by-step ASO guide

Advantages of Mobile Marketing

I could write a book about all the advantages of mobile marketing. 

Maybe one day.

For now, I’ve summed up the most important advantages of mobile marketing. 

Compared to what?

Traditional marketing and desktop marketing. 

There is no such thing as perfection, but one thing is for sure – mobile marketing is a clear winner in this competition. 


Accessibility & Immediacy

One of the beauties of mobile marketing is that it allows you to reach your audience anywhere and anytime

Reaching an audience in a short time has never been more simple. 

People hold their phones in their hands all the time. Thanks to mobile marketing, a couple of clicks is all it takes to deliver your message before one’s eyes. 

Sophisticated Targeting

Every advertiser has (or at least should have) an idea of their ideal audience. These are usually demographic characteristics such as age, location, or gender. 

Today, all mobile ad platforms let you target users by these characteristics. 

However, most of them go beyond this. Ad platforms allow advertisers to filter people by their occupation, interests, hobbies, etc. 

If your assumptions about your target audience turn out to be correct, both you and your users win

You will reach new people and show off your business; meanwhile your users will see ads they are actually interested in. 

However, if it turns out this is not the best audience for you, this is a signal to try out a new approach. This is just another benefit of mobile marketing – you get to learn about who your target audience really is

Trackable Results 

Measuring the results of traditional marketing methods is difficult. For instance, it’s very hard to know how many people who saw a TV ad for a product actually purchased it. 

However, in mobile marketing, everything is trackable and measurable. 

When launching a mobile marketing campaign, you can track different metrics to determine how successful it is. 

Mobile marketing is performance-driven. 

Mobile advertisers can see exactly how many times their ads were displayed (impressions), how many people clicked them (click-through rate), and many other things. All of these show how well the audience responds to mobile marketing campaigns. 


Traditional advertising is so expensive that there is no need to even compare it to mobile marketing.

However, you may be surprised to learn that mobile advertising is cheaper than desktop advertising as well. According to LOCALiQ, mobile ad clicks are 24% cheaper than desktop ad clicks. 

This might be because mobile devices have smaller screens, and mobile ads take up a big part of them. For this reason, they are more likely to catch the users’ attention. 

Another reason why mobile marketing is cost-effective is that marketers can control their costs in real-time

For instance, if they find out an ad campaign is not working well, they can optimize it for better performance or simply stop it and launch a new campaign. This way, they are making sure not to pour advertising budgets down the drain. 

Finally, there are organic marketing strategies like social media and content marketing. They are completely free, which is unimaginable in traditional marketing. 

Personalization Potential

People frequently share TVs and desktops with their household members. However, when it comes to mobile phones, this is where they set the boundary. 

For a vast majority of people, mobile phones are very personal. 

And whether they know it or not, they expect the content they see on these devices to be tailored to their personal preferences.

As you already know, mobile marketers know precisely who they are targeting with their mobile ad campaigns. This also means that they can send out relevant, personalized messages to each and every user. 

If they do everything right, they will see the effects in their campaign metrics. According to Adweek, personalization can increase the efficiency of ad spending by up to 30%.

The Possibility of A/B Testing

Unlike traditional marketing, mobile marketing allows you to experiment with different ideas and concepts. 

When creating marketing campaigns, people tend to have their “favorites”. For instance, their favorite colors, ad creatives, CTAs, etc. 

Many times, these concepts turn out to be complete failures. 

The problem is that people give only their “favorites” a chance while ditching all other ideas on the table. 

In mobile marketing, you don’t have to decide on one option to determine if your campaign will fail or succeed. 

Here, everything can be tested. 

Mobile marketers should test different ad concepts and elements and analyze their results. For example, they might find out that an ad with an “Install now” CTA works much better than the same ad with an “Install for free” CTA. 

Based on the outcomes of these tests, marketers can rule out the things that don’t work and focus on the ones that do.


Every now and then, a mobile marketing campaign goes viral overnight. 

Do you know why this keeps on happening? 

The sharing culture is huge on mobile. 

When mobile users see something they find interesting, they don’t hesitate to share it with others. It usually begins with friends and family, but it can end up going worldwide. 

This can happen for both ad campaigns and organic content. It all comes down to one thing –  enticing creatives

Disadvantages of Mobile Marketing

As you can see, the list of mobile marketing advantages is quite extensive. 

Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware of the not-so-good things as well. 


User Privacy Issues

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to mobile marketing is privacy. This goes for digital marketing as a whole, not just mobile marketing. 

I’ve previously mentioned how different ad platforms offer amazing targeting options. 

This is where the issue lies. 

For targeted advertising and personalization, you need data on your users. A lot of it. 

This makes a lot of people feel exposed and increasingly concerned about their privacy

Facebook’s famous privacy scandals played quite a role in this. 

For this reason, the company made numerous alterations to its privacy options over the last couple of years. All to wash away the sins of the past. 

Generally, it’s okay if users allow advertisers to use their data. This is done with opt-in notices. However, the problem is that most companies just gather and use this data by default. 

Apple was the first brand in the mobile ecosystem to say – “No more!” As of their iOS 14 update, app advertisers need to ask users for an explicit “yes” before collecting their user data. 

No Room for Navigation

I’m sure you’ve experienced this issue at least once. 

Think about it – you’re playing a mobile game, and suddenly, a full-screen ad appears. Okay, there is a timer, so you’re waiting for it to finish so you can exit. Instead of exiting, you end up accidentally clicking the ad, making you frustrated to the point you just close the game.


Don’t blame genetics and your giant fingers for this one. This happens to everyone because of tight mobile screens and poorly optimized interfaces. It occurs in all sorts of places, from mobile websites to mobile apps. 

Best Mobile Marketing Practices for Getting Started

Since mobile marketing is such a diverse territory, there are plenty of best practices for each type. 

Nevertheless, here are some universal tips to get you started. 

mobile users

Identify Your Audience

If you don’t know who your audience is, you might as well return to billboards and flyers. 

One of the most beautiful traits of mobile marketing is its targeting options. However, if you’re not targeting the right users, you will end up wasting money. 

For this reason, it’s critical to conduct proper user research. 

You can do this by creating mobile user personas

These are made-up characters who represent your different types of users. For example, a user persona profile can include age, gender, occupation, location, interests, goals, loyalty level, etc. 

To figure out all of this, you should analyze demographics, behavior, and other data on your audience you already own. 

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you’ll be able to make some important decisions. This includes choosing the best channels to reach them and deciding on the tone of voice you’ll be using. 

For instance, if you find out your audience is quite young, you will want to focus on the youngsters’ favorite social media networks like TikTok and Snap. Also, it would be a good idea to speak to them in their own jargon. Moderately, though – otherwise, they will see right through it. 

Set Clear Objectives

Prior to launching a mobile marketing strategy, you should identify your goals and create a strategy. 

The key question here is – what do you want to achieve with your mobile marketing efforts? 

Some common objectives of mobile marketing campaigns include: 

  • more traffic,
  • more registrations,
  • more purchases,
  • building brand awareness.

The goals you set in the planning phase will be the foundation of your mobile marketing efforts. Different objectives call for different ways to approach a target audience. 

Set KPIs 

After establishing some general goals, it’s time to put them into numbers. You can do this by determining key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to reach with your strategy. 

These numbers should be realistic and measurable.

Some of the most used KPIs in mobile marketing are engagement KPIs, conversion KPIs, and retention KPIs. 

Engagement KPIs tell you how users engage with your ads and what happens afterward. This includes metrics like click-through rate (CTR), session length, session count, etc. 

Next up, conversion KPIs refer to all the actions you want your users to take. Based on your goals, you can set up different conversion events. For example, completed purchases, opting in for subscriptions, clicking a particular button, content sharing. 

Finally, who doesn’t want loyal users?

Retention KPIs allow you to set loyalty expectations. User retention is a metric that measures how many people come back to your product. 

This KPI is especially important for mobile app and game marketers. To keep track of their users’ loyalty, they must track day 1, day 7, and day 28 retention. 

Track Results

Once you’ve set the expectations, it’s time to launch your mobile marketing campaigns and monitor their results. 

You want to track all the KPIs you’ve set, as well as other relevant metrics. 

For example, in advertising campaigns, you’ll want to measure impressions, clicks, costs per acquisition, ad spend, etc.

Review each campaign’s performance in real-time and once they are finished. See if they met the KPIs you set and use this information to make further decisions.

If the campaigns worked even better than you expected, you might consider using the same assets and investing even more in them.

However, if they don’t meet your expectations, think about what you can change and improve. 

At the end of the day, all you want from mobile marketing is a positive return on investment (ROI). This is a calculation of your total returns across all mobile marketing channels. 

When it comes to advertising campaigns, you need to be tracking return on ad spend (ROAS). With it, you can compare your gains against your ad spend. 

Mobile Marketing Tools

You’ve decided to go all-in into mobile marketing but feel like you can’t navigate these waters all by yourself? 

Don’t worry, there are plenty of “helpers” for you to choose from. 

Mobile marketing tools are different solutions designed to enable or optimize mobile marketing

With so many different types of mobile marketing, there are even more types of mobile marketing tools. The thing is, each of these tools is specialized in one area.

It’s up to you to estimate what kind of tool your business needs most. In most cases, this is the tool specialized in your most important mobile marketing channel. 

Some of the most popular types of mobile marketing tools are:

  1. Analytics tools
  2. Social media tools
  3. Multi-channel marketing tools
  4. Search engine optimization (SEO) tools
  5. App store optimization tools 
  6. Notification tools
  7. Marketing automation tools
  8. Video production tools 

If you’re wondering what the best tools in these categories are, make sure to check out our list of top mobile marketing tools in 2022.

Final Thoughts on Mobile Marketing

If you’ve made it all the way here, congratulations – you have just learned the basics of mobile marketing.

As a next step, it would be good to go deeper. We have an extensive list of in-depth articles on mobile marketing you can check out. 


About Udonis

Udonis is an independent full-service mobile marketing agency that acquired more than 200,000,000 users for mobile games since 2018. Visitudonis.co

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