With smartphone adoption on the rise in Australia and around the world, it's no wonder that mobile marketing has been a buzzword for years now. If you're like many people, your cell phone was one of the very first things you checked this morning, and no one can deny the remarkable potential of mobile tools for customer engagement and outreach.

But that's not the only kind of mobile. 

Promotional vehicles give you the flexibility to hit the road, seize short-term opportunities and orchestrate unique campaigns. It's another kind of 'mobile marketing' that allows you to meet customers where they're at, in person and with a display packed with demos, products for sale or other items.

With pretty much everyone looking for ways to connect with consumers on their smartphones, could this other approach help you stand out from the crowd and make a deep impression? Here are three ways promotional vehicles and mobile showrooms give you a fresh take on the leading trends and best practices of mobile marketing. 

1. Timing is everything: Reaching out at optimal moments  

In mobile marketing, timing can make a huge difference in response rates. Emails, text messages, Facebook ads and other forms of outreach all run the risk of slipping under the radar if marketers send them when people aren't checking their phones or interested in this type of communication. 

With promotional vehicles and mobile showrooms, you should think about timing as well, and use your portability to your advantage. For example: 

  • Drive to different areas of the city to optimise timing, such as hot spots to catch professionals on lunch breaks or uni students leaving classes 
  • Seize on short-term opportunities, such as seasonal shopping periods 
  • Participate in local trade fairs, arts and craft shows, city celebrations and so on 

A little research into upcoming events and your target audience can help you make the most of your mobility, timing your presence or brand activation event for highest potential. For instance, boost the effectiveness of your cross-country campaign by learning about local events at each city you want to visit, scheduling your itinerary to seize these opportunities.

2. Geolocation: Placing your brand where it matters most  

Location-based messaging is taking off in the retail world and other industries, with iBeacons opening novel ways to engage with consumers.

Mobile showrooms have always been all about the location. You have the ability to position your brand and store at strategic locations to engage with warm audiences or spread awareness of your company.

For instance, a computer retailer could outfit a caravan with interactive displays that allow people to try out its technology, such as the one we did for SOTA Creative's Hills campaign. Taking this type of promotional vehicle to a university orientation would provide students with a convenient option at the moment when they're likely to need new supplies. 

Marketers use geolocation technology to send messages to people when they're in close proximity to particular stores or products, but you can actually position yourself at locations that are strategic for your brand. Creating a stunning or helpful display may be the best form of messaging you have.

3. Targeted, personalised advertising

On a similar token, choosing your location strategically helps you tap into the idea of personalised, targeted marketing. 

In the digital realm, this strategy involves tailoring advertisements, suggestions and promotions to customers' demographics, search history, other purchases and more. The more relevant these messages and offers are to their individual needs, the more likely people are to embrace them and act on them.

Promotional vehicles and mobile showrooms don't give you the ability to adjust your messaging for each visitor (though you could probably incorporate some technology within your display to generate personalised deals). Nonetheless, you can target your marketing based on your prime market segments, selecting the locations, events and venues where your potential customers are likely to be. 

Additionally, many mobile displays are easy to adapt to unique circumstances. For example, that computer caravan might be loaded with professional-grade technology for a presence at an industry fair, whereas it could offer programs and machines more appropriate for students during a uni orientation. Similarly, you could swap out the colours or customise the signage of your mobile showroom to better speak to a particular audience at each event or location. 

Smartphones and their messaging capabilities will remain a key tactic for marketers, but sometimes you need a physical 'mobile' strategy to cut through all the digital noise and leave a lasting impression.