Are You Ready for Mobile Cause Marketing?

"Fate leads those who are willing. The unwilling it drags." - Seneca

I've been thinking and talking a lot about mobile and cause marketing lately. Mobile seemed to be a big buzz word at SXSW earlier this month and I know firsthand there was lots of talk about it at Nonprofit Technology Conference the following week. Over the two days I was there, the only sessions I attended were on mobile. A lot of chatter about mobile devices!

Frank Barry got me thinking about mobile again this morning (Frank does that from time to time) with this infographic. Mobile is pervasive, inescapable and dominant. Like a tidal wave heading for our shores, there's no running or hiding from it. As cause marketers we have to man and woman up!

But many of us are still playing in the sand oblivious to the impending wall of smartphones, apps, check-ins, texts, and mobile web sites bearing down on us.

As cause marketers we need to resize our thinking for mobile and prepare for the future.

1.  The change begins with you. I'm surprised by the number of aspiring cause marketers I meet that don't even own smartphones, or choose to use them like regular cell phones. You can't lead your organization's mobile efforts if you've never looked at a web site or replied to an email on your smartphone. While people nod their heads when I say mobile is important, they strangely don't believe that this revolution applies to them.

2.  Get busy. Think about everything you do as an organization and what needs be optimized for mobile. A little daunting, huh? Take a breath. A speaker at NTC talked about this (beginning at slide 19) and identified four key areas to rethink for mobile: text campaigns, mobile web sites, applications and email campaigns. This is great place to start.

3.  Start using Foursquare. Sure there are other location-based services to try: SCVNGR, Facebook Places, Gowalla, Loopt, etc. But Foursquare is the Facebook of location. So if you're pressed for time or interest, stick with Foursquare. Check-in to locations, click on "Specials," add pictures, leave tips (something I've only begun to do thanks to a push [more like a shove!] from Estrella Rosenberg.) Focus on becoming more comfortable with how location marketing works for businesses and where cause marketing is playing and could play a key role.

4.  Get social NOW! "Wait a minute!," you might be thinking. I have to embrace mobile and jump on social media too?" Yep, here's why. Social media is the ying to mobile's yang. They belong together. 50% of the people on Twitter use Twitter mobile. People watch 200 million Youtube videos a day on their mobile devices! Mobile devices are social devices. If you're not going to pick up a bat and glove and play along with people, don't even bother showing up for the game. Or sit in the stands as spectator.

5.  Stop talking about your fricken web site. I do believe that web sites are important. I don't believe they are the digital holy grail for your cause. Without innovation, engagement and portability it's an online billboard that doesn't change or engage, and the people that do see it generally just ignore it. Get over your web site.

We all have limited time and resources. The cause marketing of tomorrow requires that you give your full attention to mobile, location and social media.

The mobile wave is hurtling toward you. Will you float or flounder?