Consumer marketers are naturally drawn to tactics that offer the greatest reach. Brand marketers, in particular, are reliant on distribution channels. As a result, the largest audience of possible buyers usually dictates where marketing dollars flow.

Yet a universal truth has emerged: The best return on investment (ROI) comes from targeted, personalized, and (often) one-to-one marketing methods.

It's been relatively easy to classify available marketing tactics according to how much reach or targeting is afforded by each, but mobile is different. Communication between a brand and consumer via text messaging can be an effective way to engage, share offers, and send/receive alerts, but the ROI is difficult to measure, and little is learned about consumers (aside from their mobile phone numbers).

So, what can be done to make the most of your mobile marketing dollar?

Overcome Mobile Fragmentation

The limitations of most technologies that run and track mobile SMS texting campaigns cause mobile marketing to have a "one and done" reputation. Campaigns are also underwhelming, considering that consumers expect marketing efforts to be targeted and relevant, especially when delivered via a digital channel.

Although branded mobile applications can be engaging and can also have public relations value, they're not always the most effective use of your mobile marketing dollar.

The fact remains that fragmentation persists in the smartphone market: As a marketer, do you blast messages via text in an untargeted fashion in an effort to reach every type of mobile phone? Or do you create an application that may be usable by only a fraction of possible customers (smartphone users)?

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Gib Bassett is director of marketing at Signal, a provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) mobile solutions that help marketers develop, execute, and analyze cross-channel mobile, Web, email, social media campaigns. Reach him via email, LinkedIn, and Twitter.