Most of the world will soon be carrying around smartphones and using them for everything. Right now, more than half of the US population between the ages of 18 and 45 uses smartphones and that percentage is growing daily in all demographics. As many as 1.2 billion people worldwide stay connected with mobiles. What does this mean for you? It means that marketing to mobile phones is critical to your business's success.
You get everything in your hand.
The beauty of the smartphone is that it offers everything in one place. People are using them to do much more than ever before. They use their smartphones to:
- Search for all kinds of information
Comparison shop for products they buy offline
Look for coupons, discounts and deals
Navigate using maps
Find local businesses
Tell others about the local business they love
Play interactive games
Check the weather
Arrange their schedule
Listen to music
…and maybe occasionally call someone.
Take a look at the list above and ask yourself, 'How can my business help?' If you can provide help with one of the things above, you have the beginnings of a successful mobile marketing plan. Your goal is to make life easier for people by providing information or services they can use.
Smartphones Are Great for Businesses
Marketing online offers major advantages over offline, but smartphones offer even more. One of the great things about smartphones is that people are always on them. They carry them everywhere and they're always powered on. Mobile marketing also has much higher response rates than regular online marketing. When you market to PCs, you have a single window of time for getting your message across. With smartphones, you have many more opportunities to reach people at any time of day and any day of the week.
Surveys of web surfing habits show that smartphone users are much more focused on what they're doing than PC users, who are generally multitasking. Smartphone users are looking for more specific information and you've got their full attention if you can provide what they want.
Mobile marketing is also great for business because smartphones use wireless technology. This means easier and faster communication between you and your customers. You can deliver messages instantly to them wherever they are. For example, this allows you to send coupons right at the point of sale when they're considering whether to make a purchase or not.
If you want to start mobile marketing, the first step is to do your homework. If you don't already have your own smartphone, get one and start playing with it. The better you understand it from a user's point of view, the better you'll be able to cater to your customers. Learn about best practices and read mobile marketing case studies. Know your market well and brainstorm ways your business can help people do what they do on their smartphones.