If 2016 was the year of mobile, then 2017 stands to be the year of mobile strategy.  More specifically, the year of wallet marketing strategy.

If you’re not familiar with the mobile wallet, that’s OK; if you haven’t yet determined how to create and deploy a mobile strategy for your business, that’s not so OK.  Your mobile wallet strategy might be the most important thing you do with mobile advertising, marketing or promotions all year.

This means that more folks are searching, researching, shopping, emailing, and more, primarily using mobile.  As mobile becomes an even more integrated part of everyone’s daily life – not just the millennials or the hipsters – it’s vitally important that every business has a plan to attractively present itself to mobile users.

What’s the big deal about mobile wallets and why do I need a wallet marketing strategy?

If you’re sitting here thinking this, you’re probably not alone.  Unless you’ve already dipped your toes into mobile advertising, you may not know what goes where in the puzzle.  Let’s take a quick look at the options:

#1 – Mobile app – unless you’ve got a very purpose driven reason for a mobile app (think Uber, United Airlines, or AirBNB), or you have a huge existing user base (think Starbucks or Angry Birds), then you probably aren’t going to want to waste your time building and supporting an app.

[LISTEN: Mobile app vs Mobile Wallet Ads – PODCAST PART 2]

#2 – Ads on other people’s mobile apps – this could work for you, but it’s only going to be effective if you have something to leverage when (IF) someone clicks the ad and goes to your website, podcast, or something else that’s easily mobile accessible and compatible.  If you haven’t updated your site to be #MobileFirst and checked it via Google, then this probably isn’t going to work well for you.

#3 – Mobile wallet advertising – I’ll admit to being biased, I think the wallet marketing strategy is the smart play for nearly every business.  Whether you’re running a brick and mortar business, and want to use iBeacons or geo-fencing to increase foot traffic, or you have an online coaching service and wish to send more user friendly updates (that get much better response rates than email marketing), your best bet is the mobile wallet.

[DOWNLOAD: 3 Steps to Creating a Mobile Strategy – FREE WORKSHEET]

Apple’s iOS comes with Wallet pre-installed.  It’s the Apple Pay mechanism that also stores tickets, boarding passes, coupons, and nearly any offer you can think of pushing, as long as you work within the boundaries of the system.  There are a number of third party wallets for Android, so those people are in your target market as well.

Recently I read about a new app for Windows Phone that emulates the Apple Wallet and iBeacons trigger function, so if your target demographic is actually using a Windows Phone, they’re not out of reach either.

Mobile Wallet Pass

Here’s an example of a mobile wallet card – it doesn’t get much more simple.  The mobile wallet pass front has a couple of graphics, and the back has a list of clickable links.

Great, you’re probably thinking, but what does it actually do, and why do I want it?

Using lock screen notifications, you can update your prospects, customers, clients, etc.  Not everyone has notifications enabled, but those are the same people that are not seeing other notifications as well, and we can’t really change that.

Send lock screen notifications based on time or location; this helps you to provide an optimum experience for your community, and offers them valuable information when it’s most likely to matter.

The other super cool part is the back – if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that you can link to almost anything…  web page, social media, YouTube or Vimeo video, podcast, Maps, and your CTAs (calls to action) are actionable with a single tap.

This means you can send out a notification and ask your customer base to email you, for instance, via the one tap link you’ve provided on the back.

I told you that response rates are phenomenal, yes?

Not only are the response rates great, but the actions that your targets take are exactly the ones you want them to choose.  And of course you can change these to reflect updated marketing, new offers, etc at any time.  Think about that.

Developing a wallet marketing strategy should have just moved to the TOP of your To Do list.