People who are involved with their own small or medium sized business or even people who work for the same businesses sometimes think that all of this technology stuff really isn’t important when it comes to looking for new clients or expanding the company. However, according to social media and internet marketing experts James Martell, host of Coffee Talk, an online program on the topic of Internet marketing, and Don Campbell, CEO of Expand2Web and former Microsoft Web professional, the mobile user market segment is one potential area of clients that simply cannot be ignored because it is growing at an astounding rate.
Mobile Marketing: A Basic Definition
However, what first must be explained for business owners who may be afraid of technology is the concept of mobile marketing. According to industry experts Karjaluoto Heikki and Leppäniemi Matti in their article “Factors influencing consumer’s willingness to accept mobile advertising: a conceptual model”, mobile marketing is “the use of the mobile medium as a means of marketing communication” or “ the distribution of any kind of promotional or advertising messages to customer through wireless networks.”
Another more specific definition from the same source states that mobile marketing is: “using interactive wireless media to provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas, thereby generating value for all stakeholders.”
In a nutshell then, mobile marketing basically means optimizing your website for mobile viewing. But honestly, should you even care?
Facts and Stats that Will Surprise You
According to Don Campbell and James Martell, who discuss the issue in detail in James Martell’s online radio program Coffee Talk, a series which focuses primarily on small businesses and internet marketing, you have to care once you have a glance at some statistics and basic facts:
- Mobile device sales are now surpassing sales of PCs and laptops and show no sign of slowing down.
- More than 44% of Facebook’s 400 million users access the social media website with their smartphone or mobile device.
- 9 out of 10 internet searches conducted on a mobile device lead to an action.
- 61% of local internet searches conducted on a smartphone or internet-enabled mobile device lead to a phone call.
And again, why should you care? Well, first of all, according to Campbell, a full 85% of small and medium business owners do not have mobile friendly websites. This means that hundreds, thousands possibly even millions of people are not getting the message about their businesses; furthermore, the very few companies that have caught onto this mobile web trend while it’s still in its infancy are the ones who are benefitting from access to this market, gaining more clients and profiting handsomely. Shouldn’t you be as well?
Mark Donovan, comScore SVP also sings the same tune as Don Campbell, and about mobile marketing, he says: “With nearly 86 million Americans now shopping on their smartphones, this pronounced shift in consumer behavior is simply too large for retailers to ignore, with the future of their business depending on how well they adapt to the new environment.”
The same question can be asked again: so what does this mean for you as a business owner? It means that right now is the time to make your website mobile friendly; if you’ve been updating your regular website diligently with unique content on your website blog and have consistently placing highly on the internet search engine results list, you want mobile users to visit your site on their mobile devices and call YOU, not some other company.
The Bottom Line
Only 15% of small businesses have mobile-friendly sites; right now there is next to no competition and now is the time to build your customer base before competition gets heavy.
Never forget that at the present time, because there are so few competitors advertising or marketing their websites to mobile users, you’re probably going to get a lot of people making purchases for your services directly with their smartphones or other devices. Make sure your mobile website has a good payment processing system like PayPal, a merchant account, or a bank transfer system. Keep in mind that some customers are uneasy about electronic payment; in order not to lose them as clients, tell them about ordering personal bank checks and using those as their method of payment..
Stephanie Evans is a successful freelance writer who’s addicted to Starbucks coffee and loves everything to do with Disneyland. When she’ s not researching how companies such as www.personalchecksplus.com implement marketing strategies, she can be found spending time with her husband Rick and her two children in Balboa Beach, California.