The question of whether small businesses should use mobile to attract customers has recently been shown as a resounding yes since Pew Research announced in July that the majority of Americans now own smartphones.1
Business owners are not blind to this fast-paced trend toward increased use of handheld devices like tablets, iPhones and Androids. The 2013 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll says 85% of small businesses now use some kind of smartphone and 80% of small firms founded less than two years ago use tablets.2 But how is this technology being used.
Here’s a short roundup of different ways smart owners are using the trend to market their business to potential customers and grow their companies:
Mobile-friendly Websites. Mobile-friendly websites allow customers to find you when and where they are searching. When setting up a mobile-friendly website, a responsive design could help set you apart from your competition. Simply put, responsive design automatically adjusts your site to fit the screen of whichever tablet or smartphone the viewer has, making it easier to navigate and choose your business.
Text Marketing. Also known as SMS mobile marketing, for “short message service,” it is the use of text messaging to potential customers via mobile devices to market your products and services. Often, text marketing is opt-in; meaning potential customers are familiar with your business and are already qualified leads. Text marketing capitalizes on this by allowing you to make special offers like coupons or discounts available to them, increasing the chance they will become repeat customers. For some ideas, check out our How to Offer Coupons to Your Customers on Mobile Phones article.
Equip Your Team With Mobile. Whether by tablet or a smartphone, many businesses are finding that the technology can be great sales tools. Your team can showcase specific products or services, pricing, customer reviews, etc., on smartphones or tablets while in the middle of a sale. This helps better connect your customer to your business, building trust and loyalty.
Use QR Codes. A QR code is a scanable, computer-generated code that directs users to a variety of information that you specify, such as promotions, images, a web link, email address, contact information, a menu, social pages, coupons, etc. QR codes are memorable because they ask the customer to take action and every scan is a lead to your business.
One of the most attractive things about mobile marketing is that it allows you to be creative. There are many options and price points in mobile marketing that can help you meet your business goals. Trying working some mobile marketing techniques into your current marketing strategy to get a feel of how they might perform for your business. You can easily modify mobile marketing so that it works with the marketing efforts you currently have in place.
Have you tried mobile marketing? If so, what seems to work best for your business? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.
1 Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, April 26-May 22, 2011, January 20-February 19, 2012 and April 17-May19, 2013 tracking surveys.
2 The 2013 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll, December 2012.