If you’re an entrepreneur, you likely understand that to be successful and competitive in the marketplace, customer service needs to reach people “right here, right now.” People expect information in real time—with the click of a link or a touch on the screen. And they want it while they are waiting at their doctor’s office, walking down the street, or relaxing in their easy chair.
A recent poll¹ paints a pretty clear picture that if you’re not connecting with customers when they’re on the go, you run the risk of having your brand come to a screeching halt.
Three-in-ten online Canadians (31%) now own a smartphone. That’s an increase of over 50% since last spring of 2010. And as ownership rises, so too does usage, with smartphone owners spending an astonishing 17.3 hours per week using their device.
And guess what folks. Most of that time is spent on activities other than talking. The majority of smartphone users take photos (70%), send or read email (70%), check the weather (52%), and send or receive IM’s (52%) with their device.
The greatest increase in smartphone usage rates is connected with social networking (Facebook/Twitter), with 48% of smartphone owners using their devices to check social networking sites.
So what does this suggest to business owners? If you want to reach your customers, you need to think mobile and make sure it’s part of your overall marketing mix.
There’s lots of ways to do this. Try catching up with them while they’re tweeting or posting on Facebook. Remember to keep your messages short and simple. Direct them to your company’s website—your 24/7 salesperson, always ready to showcase your product and service benefits.
Make sure your website makes it easy for your mobile customers to engage with your brand. Is your website optimized for mobile users?
If you’re sending out newsletters and you’re not already offering an e-version, there’s no better time than now to move in this direction. With the right e-newsletter program, you can set up a format that’s easy to read on a mobile device.
Whatever e-marketing strategy you’re undertaking, don’t abuse it. Just because you can reach people around the clock, doesn’t mean you have the right to inundate them with marketing messages. Like any good marketing strategy, you need to meet people’s expectations. Be engaging, but be polite.
Mobile marketing is not just a fad, so it’s time to consider how you can use it to drive your brand. Smartphones can transform the way the public interacts with your brand. If you’re going to connect with an ever increasing percentage of the market, your business needs make sure your brand makes it right into the back pocket of your customers.
¹ Statistics Source: Ipsos.com (May 26, 2011)