Goin’ Mobile – Taking Your Business to Customers on the Go

Goin' MobileWith the rapid growth of mobile devices in the US, there’s no denying that mobile internet use is quickly on the rise. In fact, in 2008 an important milestone was reached when mobile access to the Internet exceeded desktop computer-based access for the first time.  Since then, U.S. mobile Internet users have continued to steadily increase from 50.9 million in 2008 to 85.5 million in 2010, with a projected growth to 101.1 million in 2011. This increase in mobile web usage continues to create a tremendous amount of opportunity to reach customers on the go.

Businesses large and small are increasingly using the mobile web as a platform to reach consumers. In fact, a recent study by the Online Publishers Association reports some interesting facts:

  • About one-in-ten mobile Web users said they have made a purchase based on a mobile web ad
  • 23% said they have visited a mobile web site
  • 13% said they have requested more information about a product or service from their mobile device, and
  • 11% said they have gone to a store to check out a product due to a mobile web site or ad

Since most mobile web users are primarily focused on accomplishing a specific task, the key to leveraging mobile web is to provide users with the perfect balance of the right amount of information with a platform that is fast and convenient.  Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is the specific platform that’s used to create mobile web sites optimized for easy access from mobile devices, including those with limited processing capabilities and smaller screens.

Mobile Marketing

Imagine this scenario: You’re a restaurant owner. You send out a text to your subscribers that says: “It’s 11 am, where’s your lunch?  Waiting for you at the Main Street Grill of course! Show this text to your server and receive a free milkshake with your meal.”

The text goes to everyone on your subscriber list. Within moments, they forward your text to their friends and coworkers. Soon, you start seeing some familiar faces walk in the door. You notice an increase in your foot traffic that day. And the next day. And even the days and weeks following.

That’s the power of Mobile Marketing.  Mobile marketing is a permission-based marketing tool that lets a business owner reach their audience in a way no other marketing medium can – instantaneously, through text messages, directly to their mobile devices.  Mobile marketing is a great way to connect, engage, and communicate with your customers, because you can so much with it:

  • Send a simple message to create top-of-mind awareness
  • Introduce a new product or service
  • Offer a “limited-time” coupon or discount code
  • Promote a Facebook Page or other social media community
  • Entice consumers to visit a mobile website for information or specials
  • Encourage entry in a participation-based campaign, such as a contest or sweepstakes

And with a projected 246 million mobile device users in the US (that’s over 79% of the population), it’s easy to see why mobile marketing is fast becoming a major player in the world of consumer communications.

With the increase in ownership, decrease in price, and advancement in technology for mobile devices, mobile marketing is definitely here to stay.  It is a powerful marketing tool for growing your business easily, affordably, and exponentially.  Have you done any mobile marketing or do you know anyone who has? Share your experience in the comments.

Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs.org, BizWarriors.com and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley).

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