Tag Archive for 'mobile computing'

Is your business ready for mobile prime time?

A smartphone is as close to a magic wand or lightsaber as exists outside of the dimension of fantasy.

Recent research by eMarketer indicates that more than 130 million Americans will own one of these in 2013. The same group is projecting that number to grow by a third – to almost 200 million smartphones – by 2016. That’s just about every American who isn’t a small child or nursing home resident. Here’s another way to say that: Essentially every one of your prospects and customers. Allow me to spell it out for you: If your business isn’t ready for mobile prime time it’s a dinosaur waiting to become extinct. Any questions?

Here are two important first steps so your business will avoid extinction by mobile:

1. Get your online information optimized for local search. This is critical for a comprehensive online strategy, but mandatory for mobile prime time, because mobile searchers are often trying to literally find a business. If I’m in Peoria and hungry for pizza, you want me to find you in my local mobile search for “pizza in Peoria.

2. Decide whether to invest in a mobile site or a mobile app; either one will get your business ready for mobile prime time. Here’s the difference:

Mobile app: A software application that downloads to and resides on a customer’s mobile device.

  • Advantage: Downloaded information, like an article or podcast, that can be used later without an Internet connection.
  • Disadvantage: Updated information, like today’s menu or discount, has to be downloaded and will likely take longer to present than a mobile page.

Mobile site: Your website condensed for the smaller mobile screens. When your regular URL is requested from a smartphone, the mobile site presents automatically with the most important elements and less graphics. In other words, form follows function.

  • Advantages: Most mobile sites cost less than most apps to create, update and maintain, and a mobile site icon looks just like a mobile app icon.
  • Disadvantages: Most mobile sites aren’t as sexy as most mobile apps. And just like your regular website, a mobile site cannot be used unless the device is connected to the Internet.

Here are Blasingame’s Ready for Mobile Prime Time Rules of Thumb:

1. Not all businesses need a mobile app, but every small business needs a mobile website;

2. Get ready for mobile prime time or get ready for extinction.

The Age of the Customer is being driven by customer expectations, and nowhere is this truer than with mobile.

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Last week on The Small Business Advocate Show I talked more about mobile computing and the 21st century marketplace with Chuck Martin, mobile-marketing researcher and guru, and author of the award-winning book, The Third Screen. Click on the links below to download or listen to our conversations. Is your business ready for prime time?

What is the current state of mobile computing?

What is the impact of mobile computing on consumers?

Small business can compete against Amazon with a mobile strategy

Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Small Business Advocate Poll: How much do you rely on a smartphone?

The Question:
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?

12% - It’s my primary device, every day, all day

16% - Increasingly for more tasks

56% - It supplements my PC when out of the office

16% - Zero - don’t own a smartphone

My Comments:
The primary thing to take away from this survey response is that more than eight of 10 of our respondents use a smartphone. That should be a wake-up call for small businesses that don’t have a mobile strategy for attracting and serving customers. I’ll have more to say about this in an upcoming post. Stay tuned.

Chuck Martin, author of The Third Screen and CEO of The Mobile Future Institute, appears regularly on my radio program to discuss the future of mobile computing and why small businesses need a mobile strategy. Click on one of the links below to listen to our latest conversations. Also, leave a comment and tell us how you use your smartphone.

Mobile computing is the future of small business

Take advantage of mobile business opportunities

Business owners get closer to their mobile devices

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

What kind of mobile phone do you use?

For some time now, I’ve been encouraging small business owners to buy and use a smart phone - the kind that allows those cool mobile apps to be downloaded - like an iPhone or a phone with Google Droid operating system. The reason is because mobile computing is the future. Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google said he expected Google to be more successful in the future with mobile than they ever had been with the desktop.

We wanted to know what kind of hand-held communication device you were using, so last week we asked this question: What kind of mobile phone do you have? Here’s what our small business audience told us:

Those who said they used some kind of a smart phone, represented 53% of our respondents. The rest, 47%, said they were still using a regular cell phone. Based on industry numbers about the smart phone adoption rate of all users (27%), our survey would indicate that small business owners are employing smart phones to a higher degree.

I love it when people listen to me.

On The Small Business Advocate Show, I’ve talked with Chuck Martin, author of the new book, The Third Screen, many times about the future of mobile computing and creating a mobile strategy to remain relevant in the 21st century. Click here to see all of the conversations I’ve had with Chuck on this important topic.




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