Looking forward to 2012, now that we have a sense of the 2011 mobile marketing Heisman trophy candidates and the 2011 mobile trends to track in 2012, there’s only one thing left to do: identify how to be a successful mobile marketer in 2012.

Below are the 5 strategies we think most important. Please share any thoughts or ideas about mobile marketing success in 2012 to the comments, as we would love to discuss. 2012 is going to be quite an exciting year.

1) Use Incentives To Drive Engagement

Incentives can take many forms: push, pull, monetary, non-monetary, social pressure, etc. The secret is to think hard about exactly why people will engage with a mobile campaign no matter what the context.

Once such example of this type of thinking is the Instant Win (pdf) campaign. Here, every single person that engages with the campaign wins something (no matter how small), with the chance to win something really exciting/valuable/meaningful. Any barrier to entry created by people who choose not to engage because “nothing is in it for them” effectively breaks down.

Think about this feature as a means to drive in-store traffic or bodies to an event booth. Giving everyone a concrete reason to engage in person (as opposed to a less concrete reason like “chance to win”) is an innovative way of viewing incentives and mobile engagement. In 2012 mobile will be won by those who most effectively drive engagement (NB: we can’t stress enough – incentives don’t need to be “win a trip to Cancun.” Well thought out non-monetary incentives (e.g. “be the first to know,” “receive exclusive access”) can be just as effective).

2) Take Advantage Of Any Opportunity To Enhance CRM

Mobile marketing, just like all marketing, is about one thing: DATA. Data provide marketers with their most powerful tool for persuasion.

The concept of a mobile web tracker illustrates this concept well. By segmenting consumers according to the actions they take, and delivering a message accordingly, CRM becomes a part of mobile web marketing.

In 2012, look for ways to create and analyze data for all your mobile marketing campaigns. Never be satisfied with the amount of information you can gather, as technology providers will be happy to innovate right alongside you.

3) Deliver Cross-Channel Engagement

When can 1+1=3? Before the M&A folks get too loud, let’s offer another alternative: marketing communication channels. By integrating communication channels, marketers not only get the ability to initiate conversations across different mediums, but also a means to make mobile campaigns more innovative.

Enter the concept of subscriber opt in forms. Installed onto any media (e.g. emails, Facebook pages, websites), they can instantly map subscribers from one channel to others.

In 2012, focus on finding out not only who consumers’ identity, but where they engage. Combine these two findings into an opportunity to launch multi-faceted communication campaigns that dip into the strengths and avoid the weaknesses each communication channel would possess if left to its own devices.

4) Bridge Physical And Digital

The best part about a mobile phone, as opposed to a tablet or desktop computer, is that it’s with a person all the time. Thus, mobile marketers have a unique goal: transform all those moments spent away from other technologies into revenue.

In 2011, those black and white pixelated images QR codes introduced themselves into everyday lexicon. When done right they can be extremely powerful. When done wrong, well they just open the door for other technologies that do the same thing.

In 2012, look for opportunities to bridge the physical and digital better than anyone else. Combining incentives, clarity, a clear strategy and solid design will ensure that your calls to action are effective.

5) Focus On Monetizing Subscribers Lifetime Value

We don’t need to go in much detail on this one (though here it is if you need it). The point is that a one-off campaign is not going to cut it in mobile marketing. You’ve got to initiate an ongoing conversation to take advantage of the interactivity and immediacy that characterize mobile device communication.

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