Guest post by Elizabeth Cagen (learn more about the author at the end of the article):
How often do you find yourself walking down a street, sitting in a coffee shop, or strolling through a mall and realize you’re oblivious to everything going on around you? Why? Because your head is down, focused on the amazing piece of technology nestled in your hand. You’re not alone, as we’ve become a nation of bowed heads and dancing fingers, addicted to our smartphones and tablets.
Welcome to the mobile society.
Not only do you exist as a member of that world but, as a businesswoman, you also need to find a way to convert this growing phenomenon into an advantage for your organization.
This is the year that mobile will overtake desktop as the primary access to the Internet. According to a report by Accenture, 69% of all Internet users will go online using a mobile device. A tremendous number – 85% – use their mobile device to access the Internet once a day or more. All generations are participating, with 80% in the 14-29 age group and 45% of the 50+ demographic going online through a mobile device.
These are your potential customers. They are on the move and living online. You need to catch up to them. As you scan the mobile landscape and ponder how it affects your business, what do you need to be doing now to capture these prospects?
Rethink Your Mobile Strategy
Incorporating mobile into your marketing plan requires you to rethink your approach and to develop new skill sets for your team. To take full advantage of this new mobile environment, develop a comprehensive mobile plan: set your goals, define your strategy, and determine the who, what, where, when and how of your implementation plan.
- If you’re trying to increase revenue, consider offering online coupons – easily accessible on mobile devices – to entice your on-the-go prospects to visit your store or website.
- If you hope to expand market share, find or develop mobile apps that enable your customers to transact business with you on their smartphones and tablets.
- If you’re looking to grow profit, develop added-value online services and charge your mobile customers a premium.
If you hope to beat your competition, the development of a mobile strategy needs to be a priority. It may require investments, particularly in software development, but you must avoid falling behind in today’s mobile society.
Rethink Your Mobile Customers’ Behavior
Thanks to technology, we’re now living in the age of the “Empowered Consumer”. Today’s customers are more knowledgeable, assertive, collaborative, discerning and self-sufficient. Their mobile devices have become the “remote control” for their lives. They want what they want, when they want it. As a provider of products and services, you need to meet that “instant gratification” demand or your competition will, instead.
You need to understand where, how, and when your prospects are online. How do they engage? How does mobile get them what they need?
Why do consumers go online with their mobile devices?
- To interact (email or social media)
- To transact (online banking or shopping)
- For information (product or service research, store locations)
- For entertainment (online games, movies, audio)
Determine which of these purposes applies to your business and how you can enhance such experiences to appeal to your prospective customers.
Rethink Your Mobile Customer Engagement
Once you’ve defined the behavior of your mobile customer, determine how you’ll reach them. This could include:
- SMS messaging
- Email marketing
- Display advertising
- Social media
- Pay Per Click ads
For each method, remember that you’re likely reaching your target customer while they’re on a mobile device. Make it easy to convert that customer on the spot while you have their attention. According to Google, half of all mobile search conversions happen within an hour. You should have your ads, whether paid or PPC, developed with a responsive design, making it easy to see on a mobile device. Have a clear call to action button that initiates a phone call to you, immediately provides directions to your location, or otherwise enables an instant response as soon as your prospect clicks on it.
Every day, consumers are finding new and different ways to use powerful mobile technology to accomplish their goals. Forward-looking businesses are providing consumers with the ability to carry out daily tasks and be more efficient with their time on-the-go. Mobile has unshackled your customers from their desktops. It’s time to rethink how you are going to reach them.
About the Author
Elizabeth Cagen, Digital Marketing NOW’s Director of Strategy and Operations, has developed digital strategies and managed marketing campaigns for some of the largest companies in the world, including Staples, Merck, and Brooks Brothers. Prior to her work in digital media, Elizabeth worked on traditional media campaigns for Toyota, AT&T Wireless, and AstraZeneca. Digital Marketing NOW offers strategy, branding, web development, design, SEO, paid search marketing, conversion optimization, display advertising, analytics and more.