Tag Archive for 'mobile'

Mobile computing will dominate your future — are you ready for it?

Remember all the years I’ve said every small business MUST have a website? It’s still true, except now that’s not enough. Today you also have to be ready for the mobile customer.

Once only wizards and fairies had magic wands. But in The Age of the Customer, hundreds of millions of Earthlings now have one in the palm of their hands. Here are the U.S. numbers:

According to Statista, this year over 180 million Americans will own a smartphone, and that number will grow by 10% to almost 200 million in 2016. That’s just about every American between the ages of 16 and 80. Here’s another way to say that: Essentially all of your prospects and customers.

In a recent online poll we took of our audience, slightly more than half either had a mobile site or were acquiring one. Good for them. But that means almost half didn’t and had no plans.

technology-512210_1280Tough love alert: If your business isn’t ready for mobile primetime, it’s a dinosaur waiting to become extinct. Any questions? But there’s good news: You can avoid death-by-mobile in less than a month. Stay with me.

Where we once converted our analog lives to the online digital world with a personal computer, the shift is now to the small screen of the smartphone. And we’re integrating these new light sabers into our lives and businesses even more than the PC including, but by all means not limited to:

  • Download and use productive and fun apps
  • Read newspapers - even books
  • Navigate on foot and wheels
  • Record and share our lives with photos and video
  • Connect to others on social media
  • Shop for, buy and pay for stuff

You can get ready for mobile customers with these two steps:

1.  Hire someone to help you get your online information optimized for local search. This is important for a comprehensive online strategy, but mandatory for mobile primetime. Mobile users are often literally trying to find your business.

2.  Hire someone to build a mobile site (might not be the same person as #1). When your URL is requested from a smartphone, the mobile site presents automatically with your regular website offerings netted out and with fewer graphics for the smaller screen - form follows function. Mobile sites cost less than mobile apps to create, update and maintain, and a mobile site icon looks just like a mobile app. Most small businesses don’t need a mobile app.

Here’s that good news I promised: You can complete these two tasks in a month. How much will it cost? Not as much as you think, but that’s not the question. How much will it cost if you don’t get ready for mobile primetime?

Write this on a rock … Mobile computing wasn’t any part of your past, but it will dominate your future.

Jim Blasingame is the author of the award-winning book, “The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.”

VIDEO: Your future business success is tied to mobile

Your small business success is tied to mobile. In this New Age of the Customer®, it’s more important than ever to prepare for the moment of relevance.

Your future success is tied to mobile from Jim Blasingame on Vimeo.

Throwback VIDEO: Is your business ready for mobile primetime?

This week, we’re throwing it back to a video from four months ago. While it may seem like “old news,” I can assure you the information is still relevant. Are you ready for primetime?

<a href=”https://vimeo.com/83062909″>Are you ready for mobile primetime?</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/jimblasingame”>Jim Blasingame</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.

“Follow me home” – a gift from customers

First, let’s establish two maxims: one classic, one new.

Classic: The cardinal rule of customer acquisition – it’s not your customer’s job to keep your business top-of-mind, it’s yours.

New: Your website is becoming less of a destination and more of a distribution center – develop a strategy that doesn’t depend upon prospects and customers returning to your homepage.

Every business owner knows it’s easier to keep a customer than find a new one. But with all of the online options and commercial clutter, keeping their attention is getting harder.

The good news is for every example of how technology makes business more complicated, there is a corresponding tool or application that increases efficiency and productivity.

The best example for how to stay on the radar screen of people who already know you – users, prospects and customers – is to practice what I call the “Follow me home” strategy.

Once someone determines they like your business, they’re increasingly willing to give permission for you to “Follow me home” with digital information and content, by email (newsletters), texting (updates), social media (useful content), etc.

“Follow me home” supports three critical elements in 21st century customer relationships.

Emotional: At the heart of “Follow me home” is trust that a business won’t abuse this privilege. This is a gift – value, protect and perform on this.

Practical: “Follow me home” conveys that you understand people have other options, are very busy and want help staying connected.

Technical: Elements on your website that make “Follow me home” easy (“Subscribe to our free newsletter”, “Follow us on Twitter, etc.), score the online hat trick: values, thought-leadership and technical capability.

“Follow me home” is good for your business in four ways:

  1. You’ve been invited to connect with regular, useful content and appropriate marketing messages.
  2. Since it’s a natural law that a prospect has to see several impressions before converting to a customer, “Follow me home” becomes an effective and efficient conversion practice.
  3. “Follow me home” is one of the best ways a user pre-qualifies themselves as a prospect.
  4. New technologies make delivering on “Follow me home” easier than ever.

Make it easy for users, prospects and customers to give you permission to, “Follow me home.”

“Follow me home” is a buying signal waiting to happen. Are you listening?

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I have written and talked extensively on “Follow me home” and other perspectives in The Age of the Customer. Click here to listen, read or watch.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Your future success is tied to mobile

Something happened last year, is happening this year, and will happen again next year that has never happened before in the history of the world: People from virtually every walk of life are acquiring the same thing, at the same time, for the first time.

Features-rich, application-ready mobile platforms – aka, smartphones. Watch as Jim tells your small business needs a mobile site to stay relevant.

Watch more of Jim’s videos HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Your future success is tied to mobile

Something happened last year, is happening this year, and will happen again next year that has never happened before in the history of the world: People from virtually every walk of life are acquiring the same thing, at the same time, for the first time.

Features-rich, application-ready mobile platforms – aka, smartphones.

Millions of Earthlings are acquiring smartphones that use a local mobile network to connect to the Internet and gain access to other World Wide Web resources. And, of course, to make calls.

Business owners and managers around the world are trading in their older mobile models for ones that allow increasingly handy mobile business apps. In many cases, a person can now make an overnight business trip taking no more technology than their robust smartphones.

First world consumers are upgrading to smartphones because of all the cool personal apps. In America, where consumerism was born, smartphones are changing how we access information, buy things and connect with our communities.

And as millions of citizens of second and third world countries acquire a smartphone, it becomes their very first computer and will connect them to the Internet for the first time in their lives. Before owning a house, a microwave, or a car, they will join the 21st century marketplaces of stuff and ideas through the power of a device they can hold in the palm of their hand.

We wanted to know where small business owners are on this global, smartphone adoption continuum, so recently, in our unscientific online poll, we asked our audience, “Not counting calls, how much do you rely on a smartphone for texting, email, music, social media, books, or accessing online content like news, videos, etc.?” Here’s what we learned:

Just over one in 10 of our respondents said, “It’s my primary device, every day, all day;” 16% chose, “Increasingly for more tasks;” while over half said, “It supplements my PC when out of the office.” The last group, 16%, admitted that they don’t own a smartphone – yet.

From a Park Avenue penthouse to a village in Valdivia, the shift to mobile connecting and computing is turning steeply upward. For Main Street small businesses from Beijing to Bakersfield, Age of the Customer forces are causing competitiveness to be trumped by relevance. And increasingly, relevance to customers is defined by your mobile strategy.

The future success of your small business will be directly connected to global mobile.

Today on The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked more about these poll results and why it’s imperative for small businesses to have a mobile strategy. Take a few minutes to listen and let us know how you have included mobile in your marketing strategy.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!




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