We all know there’s a huge boom in mobile computing and mobile marketing, but does that mean you either develop phone applications or look on from the sidelines longingly? Not hardly.

image I read How to get in on the Mobile boom on VentureBeat yesterday. What I like about that post (aside from the fact that it’s written by my daughter) is the nice list of options. It’s a good reminder that you don’t necessarily have to create the world’s best iPhone application to take your business into the mobile world. It can be as simple as buying advertising. And it can also be staged, taking ads as a first step and seeing how that goes before you go on.

This is good advice:

Don’t just go charging in to develop your own iPhone app. Take just a little time to consider what makes the most sense for your company. Mobile advertising can be a great way to get your feet wet, while building up a full mobile presence requires a bigger investment with the possibility of greater rewards and risks.

She points out five main options, three of them variations on advertising, and two of them involving code and programming and mobile apps.

1. Advertising inside applications.

The Apple App Market has 115,000 apps, and the Android market already has 13,000 according to a Mobclix App Snapshot in a recent SMART report. In-app advertising can allow in-depth targeting based not only on application, but also by behavior, demographic information and location.

2. Advertising on the mobile web.

Most new phones have web browsing, so there’s a range of expense levels and targeting available.

3. Sponsoring an application.

Let somebody else do the software, but join them in the branding.

An example of this is the 50 Cent “Baby By Me” sound lab that allows the user to remix 50 Cent’s latest song, while prominently featuring Vitamin Water. This is much less common, but depending on your marketing strategy, might be a good middle way between banner ads and developing your own application.

4. Create a customized mobile website.

It’s not always that hard, as more platforms become available, customizations of existing websites, optimizing with CSS and other tools. Lever off what you already have, and get onto the mobile browsers on phones.

5. Create a mobile application.

More resources required–more risk, too–but the web application can also be the biggest win. The post ticks off some intriguingly big successes, like Adobe’s iPhone Photoshop application; eBay’s iPhone application; and Pandora, the internet radio web application, which discovered its new iPhone application is generating half of its new signups.

(Photo credit: Madlen/Shutterstock)

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.