Open the latest advertising mailer form any electronics store and it’s got pages of smart phones. Gadgets are hot right now, and phones especially so. The iPhone is of course the big seller and there are huge range of others. There’s also mobile devices other than phones, especially the iPod touches and burgeoning tablet market.
These devices do far more than make calls and send txts. They do a whole range of things, but the thing that’s most important to our profit driven purposes, is browsing the internet.
It’s still relatively early days for smart phone and already we see widespread usage. Social media is the big thing on phones. Maps and directions get pretty heavy use and we’re seeing more and more mobile browsing.
This is the tool prospects have in their hand when they’re out and about and in need of a business like yours. It’s a great place to be found ahead of your competitors.
While mobile marketing is already effective, the big gains are coming in the future. And that future is rushing towards us. If I was going to make a prediction I would say in the coming years mobile marketing will be the biggest source of new business for local businesses (aside from referrals).
As usual there is a reward for the early adopters. There’s a chance to get established in the market. You should be able to get some business results right now, but the real benefit will be the near future when everyone is using their mobile to find local businesses.
What To Do
The first and most important thing is to have a mobile version of your website. Many phones can only display sites that have a mobile version. These are smaller, stripped down sites that give the user exactly the information they’re likely to need.
Some of the principles from normal websites remain, but many are changed. If you think about what a mobile user wants it becomes obvious what you should give them on a mobile site. Quick information that will help them make an informed decision. Contact details and a location map are usually key things.
Secondly, as mentioned phones are most used for social media. While all of your internet marketing is likely to benefit from social media, this is especially true on mobiles. Exactly how this looks will depend on your business. You can make it easy to share or like your business or go to the real social end and have clients show when they ‘check in’ to your location.