Tag Archive for 'mobile strategy'

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!

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!

Are you ready for mobile primetime?

Somewhere in America a small business owner just experienced an anxiety attack that included breaking out in a cold sweat, because he had just discovered two things:

  • Half of the prospects and customers in his market cannot find his business.
  • Half of the calls his prospects and customers want to make to his business never get through.

Pretty scary, huh?! Glad that’s not your nightmare, right?! Well, hold on to that thought as you digest the following information.

Currently, about 100 million Americans own smartphones and that number is growing exponentially. That’s about half of the U.S. population who are likely to own a smartphone sometime in the near future. Here’s the math: 300 million Americans, minus children and others not likely to own a smartphone equals about 200 million, of which half already own smartphones.

So what are 100 million Americans doing on the tiny screens of these magic wands? Besides making calls, texting and sending emails, they are:

  1. Shopping online – making decisions about what they want and who to buy it from.
  2. Navigating to businesses – the one they chose while shopping, or the one previously unknown to them that pops up in their local search.
  3. Buying stuff – using PayPal, credit card, or internal charge in the case of an established account.

But in order to do all three of these things in such a way that makes it easy-peasy for the smartphone owner, the business has to be mobile-ready. That means having all of your business information and resources compatible with the smartphone form factor and technology in at least two ways:

  1. Online information is optimized for mobile search, especially local search.
  2. A mobile website option is available to smartphone users.

By now you get the picture that the anxiety attack of the small business owner mentioned earlier is because his business isn’t ready for mobile primetime. So how dry is your forehead right now?

In The Age of the Customer™, where being relevant to customers is trumping being competitive, a big part of relevance is being fully accessible and high-functioning regardless of how a prospect or customer wants to connect with you. And every day, that connection is increasingly being requested from the palm of the hand.

This will be on the test: Not all small businesses need a mobile app, but all need a mobile website.

Is your business ready for mobile primetime?

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This morning on The Small Business Advocate® Show I talked with Kevin O’Brien, Director of the AppConnect program at our friends, Constant Contact, about including mobile apps in your growth strategy and how to know if your business needs an app or a mobile site. Take a few minutes to click on one of the links below and listen to our conversation — the future of your business could depend on it!

Why mobile apps should be part of your growth strategy with Kevin O’Brien

Does your business need a mobile app or a mobile site? with Kevin O’Brien

Check out more great SBA content 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.

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!

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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