Goin’ Mobile!

Mobile Devices

“I can stop in any street inviting people that we meet, Goin’ Mobile!”

Written by Pete Townshend of the rock band The Who and released on their 1971 album “Who’s Next?”, the iconic rocker “Goin’ Mobile” told a story of riding around in a car with no particular destination in mind. This was apparently something Townshend enjoyed doing. He of course had no idea how differently the phrase would turn in the 21st Century. Google’s recent purchase of Motorola Mobility has made one thing perfectly clear: the future of the digital world is all about “Goin’ Mobile“. Sales of desktop and laptop computers are lagging while ultra-mobile iPads and Smart Phones are mushrooming, signaling the clear preference that people in today’s highly mobile world want the freedom to take their computing power with them where ever they go.

As a result, one in four people now own Smartphones and online social networks are visited by over three-quarters of the population. Think your customers might be there, too? You better believe they are.

So how can you participate in the Mobile Revolution?

Think about how your advertising can go mobile. How can you reach people as they are going through their day? What can you offer them to entice them to stop at your place for a while? One example is Subway, which saw startling success with a mobile marketing test in Buffalo, NY, and recently announced a huge mobile marketing push for 2012.

Here are eight strategies you need to consider for “Goin’ Mobile” (with a tip o’ the hat to Heidi Cohen and Clickz.com):

  1. Be Search-Friendly – Regardless the type of retail establishment you are, people have to be able to find you when they search. According to eMarketer, mobile search advertising will have grown almost 60 percent by the end of 2011; 2012 looks to be even bigger.
  2. Be Social – Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are lifelines to people who use them to constantly check the barometer of their networks.
  3. Be Touchable – Location-based services like Foursquare allow your customers to tell their friends where they are. Be sure to offer something to entice them to check in at your place, like mobile coupons.
  4. Be Competitive – Online search and comparison shopping has reached the point where customers can now check your prices against your competitor’s while they are in your store. Want to make that sale? Make sure you offer the best price or service for their money.
  5. Be Textual – If you’re trying to reach the teen market, you’re wasting your money on email advertising. That’s just so 2009. Texting has become the primary way teens communicate with each other. Can 20- and 30-somethings be far behind? Offer time-critical updates and daily deals via text message. But don’t be annoying. Offer an easy way to opt out, too.
  6. Be App Savvy – Mobile applications are fast becoming the number one way to provide customized content to Smart Phone and iPad users. Supersaver Coupons, in Evans, Georgia, recently released their mobile coupon app that allows you to select from available coupons which can then be used in the businesses that offer them.
  7. Be Adventurous – Whatever else you’re doing to advertise your business, mobile is not something you can ignore. While other types of advertising may or may not give you clear indication of how effective they are, mobile advertising has a strong response rate that is undeniable.
  8. Be User-Friendly – How users experience websites on their mobile phones dictates the design and interface. In 2010, Powerserve won a Gold ADDY Award as well as Best Of Show for their work on the William Raveis Real Estate mobile website. In the judges’ opinions, it “worked the way a mobile site should work”. Be sure your site is designed for ease of use so your customers will return again and again.

For an increasing number of businesses, the Smartphone is where the battle for customers is moving. Be sure you’re moving there, too.


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