Most business owners we work with, like you (and me, for that matter), wear a lot of hats and look to folks with a variety of expertise to keep us informed.
When it comes to your marketing hat, that’s what I’m here for. So allow me to let you in on one of the most important marketing strategies you need to think about right now: making sales via smart phones.
Google estimates that 65% of smart phone owners have used them to find a local business to make a purchase. It’s easy to see why people use their phone for local searches. We live in a society that is on the go and smart phones provide information wherever you are. With statistics like those it’s easy to see why “mobile” is one of the biggest buzzwords in marketing right now.
Smartphone and tablet usage has exploded and by 2015 more people will access the Internet from mobile devices more than from desktop computers. If that doesn’t speak loudly enough, consider the following:
- Tablet usage has more than doubled since the holidays.
- The average iPhone user only spends 45% of his on-device time making voice calls.
- In just 48 hours – between December 24-25, 2011 – 6.8 million Apple and Android devices were activated. (TechCrunch, December 27, 2011)
- 91 million people will use mobile searches on a monthly basis, according to the marketing news and research service eMarketer
- The U.S. now has more wireless customer connections – via broadband tablets, cell phones, and mobile devices – than PEOPLE!
- 62% of smartphone owners use apps
These numbers got my attention. Did they get you thinking about the potential to reach customers on their mobile device? They certainly make a strong case for the need to “go mobile.”
If you’re wondering where to begin, here are five affordable (mostly free!) things you can do to reach customers ready to buy your product or services on their iPhones, iPads, Androids and other mobile devices:
- Get found. In this on-the-go world, customers can find anything with a few taps on their mobile device. Running errands and in the mood for Mexican food? Chances are, you’ll use the GPS on your smartphone to find the closest place or best deal. So, how does this apply to your business? Make sure your business is listed on sites like Google Places, Yelp, Bing, FourSquare and Facebook Places so that it is showing up in the places people look.
- Offer discounts via existing apps. Chances are you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars (or more) to create your own app. And even so, how would you rise above the clutter? Instead, all you need to do is get your offers added to already-existing, popular apps like, Valpak or Groupon apps.
- Social media and mobile email. These are free tools that let you stay in touch with your customers from anywhere, anytime. Be sure that you have you work email, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, Instagram and other social media channels you use on your own smartphone. That way, you can interact with customers in real time to strengthen relationships, push them to the sale and handle customer service issues.
- Get a mobile version of your website. Most websites don’t display nicely on mobile devices. Making a mobile-friendly version of your site may come with some website development costs, but it is money well spent since 91 MILLION people will access websites from a smartphones and tablets. This article from Inc.com has some great pointers for getting started.
- Explore SMS text messaging campaigns. I think this is one of the biggest untapped ways for businesses to reach customers and build loyalty. Take into consideration that 94% of text offers are opened immediately – and 26% of people that see a text ad respond at least once (Scarborough Research, 2009) – and you’ve got yourself an effective, quick way to make some sales.
In closing, I should mention an added bonus for going mobile: these technologies are easy to measure. You can see exactly how many people have viewed your site from a mobile phone to how many people respond to a text message offer.
So, are you convinced yet? Are you going mobile after reading this? Are you planning a mobile marketing campaign this year? Or, have you already had success with any of these mobile marketing strategies? Tell me about them in the comments!
David Domos developed WhyBuyFromYou.com to provide content to help small businesses develop their branding, marketing and sales systems. In the past he held key leadership positions for a fortune 500 company. That company led the market in both sales and brand awareness and David was a significant contributor to its growth. David has been on the Amazon.com best seller list in their Direct Marketing, Communications and Entrepreneurship categories. He is a student of sales, marketing, branding & small business growth, continually focusing on the reason people buy. Follow him on Twitter @WhyBuyFromYou.