Mobile Marketing vs. Other Media

We’ve touched on the differences between mobile and internet marketing, and talked about how much more effective mobile can be than direct mail campaigns. Now let’s take a deeper dive into how mobile marketing vs. other media your bank might be using now. 

Traditional marketing typically includes five major media categories: print, broadcast, direct mail, telephone, and outdoor. Although traditional marketing has evolved in many ways over the last few decades, the fundamental principles have remained the same. Traditional marketing relies on the “Four P’s’:

  • Product refers to a deep understanding of your own product and how it would fit into your customers’ lives. 
  • Price means understanding supply, demand, and profit margins. 
  • Place is about getting your product in the right place at the right time for your customers to see. 
  • Promotion means how you get the word out about your product to your target audience.  

Even though digital marketing also follows these principles, it does so in different and often more effective ways. vs


Drawbacks of traditional 

Sure, traditional marketing has probably worked well for your community bank from the start, and you may be reluctant to “fix” something that’s not broken. But it’s time to look at traditional marketing in the context of 21st century technology and customer expectations.

One of the biggest drawbacks of traditional advertising is its lack of interaction. Today’s consumer doesn’t want to be told what to do. They want to explore their options at their own pace, ask questions, and offer their opinions. But traditional marketing is a one-way street from the business to the consumer. You broadcast information to your target audience, hope and pray that the right people will see it, and that’s it. That billboard offers no options for a one-to-one connection with or feedback from your audience. 

Another vital aspect of mobile marketing vs. other media is the lack of control once your ad goes out. Once a newspaper ad, mailer, or TV commercial goes live there is no opportunity for you to change it. While this may not seem like a big deal, it could be a big factor in the long run. Let’s say your bank sends out an offer for a new CD special at 2.20% APY for 12 months. By the time your mailers hit mailboxes your board has decided to change that to 2.50% APY. What are your options? You certainly can’t retrieve your mail pieces and replace them with this more attractive offer, and although you could send a second mailer, you’re likely to break both your budget and your customers’ patience for your constant “junk” mail. If you were to run the same ad on mobile, it would be simple to switch out your creative to the new rate mid-campaign–even the same day the rate changes. Your new, better rate may be shown to the same audience, but this time the change will certainly spark their interest. 

Another drawback of traditional media is your lack of control over who sees your ads. With TV, for instance, you can pick the time slot your ad is shown and you have a vague idea of the probable demographic of the majority of the viewing audience. But there’s no guarantee that those people are actually looking at the screen at the time that your commercial airs. You don’t know if the audience pool that sees it is even interested in the product you’re advertising. With mobile, you can use several methods to target very specific people who are the most likely to be interested in your product based on their specific mobile browsing and search history.

Traditional marketing is also more expensive than mobile. Recurring costs–especially for print advertising–can be a huge investment that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good return. If you’re running a print ad in the newspaper, the ad will only be effective if seen by your target audience the day it’s published. If the people you’re aiming for don’t open the paper that day, there’s no way back. The only way to try to reach those people is to pay – again – to run another campaign, and costs will add up quickly. And let’s be honest; most newspapers and mailers usually end up in the recycle bin. For less than the price of postage or a print ad, you can target those same potential customers with ads on their phones, regardless of their location. Of course, your ad isn’t going to be on their screens 24/7, but it will appear at crucial times at an effective frequency to get noticed–at a fraction of the cost. Mobile can even complement traditional advertising. For example, say someone gets your mailer and later that day sees a mobile ad with the same offer on Facebook, then sees it again on Instagram the very next day. This is just one more way to keep your offer top of mind. 

The high cost goes hand-in-hand with the next downside, which is a lack of customization options. If your target audience is a very specific group, it’s going to be difficult to reach them using traditional marketing methods. Sure, you might reach certain segments, but it’s nearly impossible to target a hyper-specific audience like you can on mobile.

Arguably one of the biggest problems with traditional marketing is the inability to track campaign metrics. Knowing how well your campaign performed is extremely important in going forward with your next campaign. Traditional marketing just isn’t easy to track, so it’s nearly impossible to know what kind of return you’re getting on your investment. In contrast, marketing on mobile makes it incredibly easy to track engagement so you can know exactly what is and isn’t working and adjust accordingly. 

Why go mobile now?

Now that we’ve gone over the drawbacks of traditional marketing methods, let’s check out some stats that demonstrate the power of mobile. 

Were you surprised to learn that on the basis of research done by Pew Research center 81% of all Americans own a smartphone. Consider that in 2011, when the first such survey was conducted, that number was only 35%; smartphone usage has more than doubled in only seven years. To get more specific, 94% of Americans ages 18 to 29 and 89% of Americans ages 30 to 49 own smartphones. It was also reported that smartphone owners spend on average over four hours a day using their device. What are they doing on their phones for all that time? Apps account for over 90% of smartphone internet time, with social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Youtube taking five of the top 10 spots. 

Why these stats are so important? When placing your ads in mobile apps, you’ll want to reach people where they spend their time and money. Not only is social media where people are spending much of their time, but it’s also where they’re buying things. Social media users spend 37% of their time interacting with branded content. In fact, it’s been reported that one of the top 10 reasons they’re on social media is to purchase products that are advertised to them. Fifty-seven percent of Millennials say that social media has made the ads they see more relevant to them and 48% of all social media users say they made their last online purchase as a direct result of a Facebook ad. Remember that one of the drawbacks of traditional marketing is the difficulty of targeting a specific audience. It’s the total opposite on mobile. When you’re specifically targeting your ideal customer with the laser accuracy of mobile, the chances of your bank opening that account or getting that loan application is significantly higher.

Let’s take a step back from all these numbers for a minute and focus on some other positives of having a mobile marketing strategy. First, and perhaps most importantly for community banks like yours, is that mobile marketing levels the playing field when competing for ad space with regional and big banks. Smaller banks simply don’t have to have million-dollar advertising budgets to achieve effective mobile marketing results. 

Mobile marketing can also help your bank stay relevant. With an online presence, mobile-friendly website, consistent attention to SEO, and at least one active social media community, your bank will rank higher in the minds (and search results) of anyone looking for a new banking partner. Plus, tracking metrics in real time and making on-the-fly changes to a running mobile campaign will optimize your efforts to reach the right people, generate the highest ROI possible, and show search engines that your content is fresh.

Like the number of smartphone users, the opportunities within mobile marketing will only grow in the coming years. Adding mobile to your existing marketing strategy is something you should consider now instead of later.


Regardless of the industry you are in, it is extremely important to take mobile marketing into consideration and begin integrating it as part of your business’ marketing strategy. You don’t want to lose out to those who are already using and having success with mobile marketing. Creating a strategy can seem like a daunting task. There’s always the option of partnering with a third party agency to help you effortlessly create the most successful campaign possible. 


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