You Only Think You Need A Faster Horse

How can needing a faster horse relate to mobile marketing?

Image of a horse next to a Model T Ford, like traditional marketing vs mobile marketingThere’s a quote that is often attributed to Henry Ford, although whether or not he actually said it has been the subject of some debate. Whatever. The quote goes like this, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have said “a faster horse”.” In speaking with dozens of local business owners about mobile marketing solutions, I think this quote applies at least a little bit. Hear me out on this.

Most business owners want more business. They want more customers because they know that more customers means more revenue. Whether or not we’re climbing out of this economic downturn or not, we all need to eat and have a place to live. I don’t know anyone who’s gone into business to lose money. The point is to get more money coming in than going out at the end of the day.

Before there was Internet marketing

20 years ago, if you wanted more business you’d have taken out ads in newspapers and the yellow pages. Back then there was no world wide web, so you didn’t even need a website. Some brochures and business cards, maybe even some radio advertising and your business message would be in front of plenty of eyeballs.

The Internet changed everything. It took some time, but from 1994 on business owners gradually realized that they needed a presence online. They saw that NOT having an online presence could cause customers to start looking at the competition. Like I said, it took time for this paradigm shift to happen. Businesses that adopted online marketing strategies often flourished, leaving their competitors in the dust.

Along came the smartphones

In a few very short years, mobile technology has become the fastest growing industry in human history. More people have adopted this technology in a short span of time than any other technological advancement, ever. These people are your customers. And every day, more and more of them turn to their mobile device first to find information about places to go, things to buy and activities and services to enjoy.

In trying to answer the question about getting more business, many business owners seem to be stuck a few years in the past. Their finally catching onto the Internet. Things like website design and user experience come into the discussion early on. We might even cover topics like search engine optimization and occasionally, social media marketing even comes up.

And now there’s mobile marketing

But mobile marketing is not the first thing on their minds. For whatever reason, they see customers walking around their business, faces buried in their smartphones, but being able to connect with those customers through their mobile devices is just not on their radar.

I want to change that.

If you’re a business owner, you may be thinking that you need a website redesign. Or you need to improve your social media presence. Maybe you think you need better SEO or more back links. You could be considering a pay-per-click campaign, print ads or email marketing. There’s nothing wrong with marketing by way of any of these channels. In fact, a good marketing strategy will make use of more than one.

Here’s the thing about mobile marketing

More and more, your customers leave their homes in the morning with their car keys, their wallet and their smartphone. That’s it. Think about what it would be like to know they have an app for your business walking around with them all day. With some of the mobile marketing features we build into our apps, you’d be able to send out things like:

  • Push notifications of upcoming specials
  • Create a loyalty coupon system, kind of like the stamp cards at coffee stands
  • Make it easy for people to call with a single click
  • Or get directions and a map to your business
  • Even share your business into their social media networks

You may be thinking you want the faster horse of more Internet marketing, more SEO, more social media presence. I want to give you the car, a complete mobile marketing solution for iOS, Android and an HTML5 mobilized version that will work much like a native app on almost all other mobile devices.

I’d like to know more about your business and would be happy to show you how affordable a cutting edge mobile marketing plan can be. I can even arrange to put a custom demo app together for you to preview at no charge. Contact me for a free consultation…

Smart Phones, Smart Travelers

It’s that time of year…

image of a globeTourism season is upon us. The days are getting longer, people are itching to get out and get away. If you’re business is in the hospitality industry pay attention as your customers have reached a tipping point. Hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and bars, even places of worship and realtors feel the impact of tourism, and the rise of smart phones.

Smart phones, some background…

Here are some interesting statistics from ComScore:

  • 51% of mobile device owners get their travel information from their smart phones.
  • One in five smart phone owners use their phones to book travel arrangements, find restaurants, bars, places of worship and even real estate information.
  • 62% of mobile travelers are male.
  • More than 75% of them are between 18 and 44.
  • About half of them live in households earning $75,000 or more.

These mobile travelers fit the profile of early technology adopters, and their mobile devices are an “essential travel companion.” More than 80% of Americans have a mobile device, and more than 90% of those have their smart phones within reach 24/7.

Small businesses, mobile presence

If you own a smaller local business and you count on tourism for part of your business, you need to understand that your customers are starting to expect a solid online and mobile presence from you. Now is the time to think about and invest in your mobile strategy. If you can provide them with a great experience now, you have a much better chance of winning their loyalty in the future.

For those local business owners who fail to develop a mobile presence, opportunities to find new customers and retain existing customers may fade, as competitors jump in and adapt to the way smart phones are changing consumer consumption habits.

The mobile revolution is happening, make sure your business is ready for it.

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