Tag Archive for 'smartphone'

SBA Poll: Do you have a smartphone?

The Question:
How will the news that it now costs the same to make a smartphone as a plain cell phone impact you?

85% - No impact - I already have a smartphone.

10% - I don’t have a smartphone but my next one will be.

5% - I don’t have a smartphone and don’t want one.

My Comments:
Two years ago in our online poll we asked our audience about their smartphone adoption and learned that just over half, 53%, had one, with the rest still using a dumb phone. As you can see, the smartphone adoption rate for small business owners has accelerated since then, with 95% of our new sample either owning a smartphone or obviously waiting until their next upgrade to get one.

This is good news because it’s important for small business owners to at least adopt technology at the pace of their customers. Remember this: Mobile computing was not part of your business’s past, but it will dominate your business’s future.

Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

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!

“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!

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 do you consume online media?

Which Internet-connecting device do you use most often for surfing, social media, podcasts, and video?

94% - Personal computer (desktop or notebook)

6% - Smartphone (iPhone, Android, etc.)

0% - Tablet (iPad, etc.)

My Commentary:

For most of the last 16 years, the device we used to consume online content - text, graphic and streaming media - was the personal computer - desktops and laptops. But simultaneous with improvements to content delivery software, innovators were also busy creating new hardware and broadband capability that expanded our device and mobility horizons: laptops, small-form computers, tablets and the increasingly ubiquitous Smart Phone, all with connections to the Internet by WiFi and mobile 3G and 4G networks.

With all of these choices, we wanted to know what our small business audience was using, so recently, we asked this question: “Which Internet-connecting device do you use most often for surfing, social media, podcasts and video?”

It was no surprise that the personal computer came in first, but we were surprised to see that it was still so dominant, with 94% of our respondents using PCs as their primary device. The Smart Phone (iPhone, Android, etc.) came in second, with a surprisingly low 6% of our respondents.

The biggest surprise was that none of our sample chose the Tablet (iPad, etc.) as their primary device. But that will change.

When we take this poll again a year from now, Smart Phones and Tablets will have taken a much bigger bite out of PC usage.

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Check out other great SBA content HERE!




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