Harnessing the Future of Online Marketing: How to Go Mobile
Smart phones and iPads have forever changed the way consumers and clients interact with businesses. Almost 75% of the world’s population--over five billion--use mobile phones. According to Gartner, a leading information technology research company, international mobile ad revenue in 2011 will total $3.3 million. In 2015, Gartner predicts this figure will rise to $20.6 billion. This is a huge, potentially lucrative market that you simply can’t afford to ignore--literally. Tap into it naturally with these mobile marketing tips.
Create a mobile-friendly website.
Hire someone to make a version of your website optimized for mobile phone use. It should be easy to access and quick to load. Display your business’s contact information prominently, including your email address. When mobile users visit a website on their phone, they want pertinent information as quickly as possible. Whether it’s business hours, prices, or location, make sure to give it to them.
According to Frost & Sullivan Market Intelligence, individuals read over 98% of texts received. The CMO of Hipcricket states that 97% of consumers do so within four minutes of receiving a text. Compared to the measly response rate of email marketing, which prompts recipients to open only 22% of emails, texting is a breakthrough in mobile marketing. An ideal way to update your customers on new and existing products and services, texts also help attract new customers and encourage old ones to stay loyal. Additionally, when business is slow, well-timed texts can drive customer traffic to your business in waves.
Use the main appeal of mobile access--its portability and ubiquity--to your business’s advantage. Time texts to potential customers to coincide with their lunch breaks. If you own a restaurant, consider offering a special around dinnertime. No matter what your industry, if your business experiences repeated customer downtime, send a text with a compelling call to action or special rate and watch customer interest spike.
Focus on iPhone and Android.
Windows Phone and Palm have long been in the far lower end of the buying spectrum. Other phones, like Blackberry, have recently lost a significant foothold to iPhone and Android in the mobile market. In light of the increasing iPhone and Android market domination, business owners should concentrate on making mobile websites for these types of phones almost exclusively.
Create an app for your business.
Many companies are cropping up that allow businesses to easily build and manage their own apps for iPhone and Android. Paying for an app does not make sense for every business, however, since it can be expensive and might not provide the return on investment necessary to make the endeavor worth it. If your organization could benefit from geo-coupons which present users with location-optimized deals, for example, you might want to look into creating an app. Apps can also send out push notifications, or SMS messages, to everyone who has downloaded them. There are many more pros and cons of developing a mobile app for your business that you should look into thoroughly before making a final decision.
Although not an exhaustive list of mobile marketing tips, the suggestions above are a sound primer for setting your business up for easy mobile marketing success. Mobile-friendly websites and well-timed, targeted texts are essential tools to raise sales, attract new customers, and keep pre-existing clients hooked. While it’s still important to maintain non-mobile websites and create quality email campaigns, every business should take the steps necessary to reap the benefits of the mobile marketing revolution.