The CTIA Wireless Association recently reported over 250 million Americans (80% of our population) carry mobile phones today and the worldwide market is growing fast. The IDC (Independent Data Corporation) reports smartphone vendors anticipate shipping out more than 450 million smartphones in 2011. That’s in comparison to 303.4 million shipped last year.
Are you ignoring this tremendous market? Smartphones, and tablet PCs will remain a part of our daily lives. It’s time to get on board with mobile.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
Hopefully you’ve built or changed your site over to WordPress. It’s the hottest CMS (content management system) available today that’s free and easy to use. If your site is on WordPress making it mobile friendly is as easy as installing a plugin. Yep. That’s right. The one I recommend is WP Touch, though there are plenty of others to choose from. Google it.
Smartphones are able to browse the web and they can view your website whether or not its “mobile friendly” but the experience isn’t very good for visitors when it’s not optimized for mobile. You can add code to a non-WordPress site to bring it up to speed. Just ask your web developer to do it for you.
Is mobile right for every marketer? Consider your target market. Are they smartphone users? If you’re catering to 60-somethings who are about to retire, as a demographic they’re likely less inclined to use smartphones. And, in that case, you may not need to worry about this at all.
The iPhone eBay app brought in $400 million in sales for 2009. While that’s a mere 6.7% of total revenues for them, it’s still impressive. If a customer chooses to install an app on their smartphone, it’s a pretty good bet they’ll use it, like they did on eBay. Would you like 6.7% more in sales?
Creating Mobile Apps
It’s much easier (and cheaper) to create mobile apps than you probably think. In fact, you can get started for free.
- Buzztouch allows you to create your own mobile applications for the iPhone and Android. It is a free builder and you can download the source code, so you can submit to the iPhone App Store and the Android Market yourself. In addition:
- IconJ offers a number of free options for creating iPhone-formatted icons and other graphics to promote your various mobile applications.
There’s another way to take advantage of mobile marketing and build loyalty.
Large companies have been using mobile coupons as an incentive for both loyal and potential customers for some time now. What many small businesses don’t realize is that offering mobile coupons is neither as difficult nor as expensive as they expect.
Small businesses on a budget can get all the benefits of a mobile coupon strategy at a very reasonable cost by keeping it simple. The most basic mobile coupons consist of nothing more than a text message with a coupon code.
Since most phones now support picture messaging (MMS), you could go a step further and create a coupon image to send to valued customers. However, these types of coupons have no real advantages over the simpler ones.
Do you have a mobile marketing strategy in place? How’s that going for you?
If not, are you considering it? What’s your biggest question / concern about it?