Going Mobile: The New Age of Business Marketing and Mobile Webistes
Raise your hand if you have one of those shiny Smart Phones? Raise the other if you have one of those Star Trek-looking devices they call tablets? Chances are, you look like you are signaling a touchdown right now and everyone around you is wondering if they moved up football season. You aren’t alone. The majority of business-minded people today have one or both of these items. Why? Because the world is constantly moving, changing and getting faster, and we have to keep up.
Jeremiah wrote, “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?” (NIV Bible, Jeremiah 12:5)
While the prophet probably didn’t have mobile media devices on the brain when he wrote that statement, his thought holds true for this concept: if you’re having trouble keeping up with the technology of today, you won’t be able to keep up when the next wave of devices, programs and various technology arrives.
“But I have both of these types of devices. Don’t you see both of my hands raised?”
Yes, most of us have the technology of the day, but are we using these devices and technology to their full potential? I’m not talking about having the latest apps or programs on your mobile device. I’m not talking about how you can find the closest Tex-Mex restaurant to you while you read your latest blog post and teleconference with your best friend (all while operating an automobile – for shame). I’m talking about getting the most out of this new wave of technology for your business.
Lower one hand if you don’t have a mobile website for your business. Lower your other hand if you don’t have a mobile app for your business. Chances are your arms are glad to be resting again, but you shouldn’t be happy with your position. Mobile websites and business apps are the foundations for the mobile business world and this new era of on-the-go commerce.
“But I already have a website. Can’t they pick it up on their mobile devices?”
Yes, but often times non-mobile websites do not work properly on mobile devices. Why is this? The short answer is that the coding for a mobile website is different than that for a non-mobile website. The devices can’t fit a regular site in them and often the content on the website is just too big for the device. Is it frustrating to think that you spent all that money on your website and now you have to have another separate website just for mobile devices? Yes, but the longer you wait to create a new mobile webpage, the more frustrated your customers will become trying to work your site on their mobile devices. And which will they abandon first? Your site or their device?
I’m sure that you have attempted to pull up one of your favorite sites on your mobile device only to be frustrated by how difficult it is to see and peruse the site. If you’re like me, you almost want to throw your device across the room you’re so frustrated. Guess what? It’s not the device’s fault. Most people don’t have a mobile version of their website. They either don’t know about them or they don’t think that they are necessary. I mean, how often do people actually look things up on their phone or tablet?
The fact is, because people are trying to stay ahead of everyone else and remain on the cutting edge rather than getting caught up in the chaff, people are using their mobile devices to access the internet more than their laptops or desktops (do those exist anymore?). By having access anywhere they are, they can get more work done and make purchases on the fly. Do you think they are going to struggle to navigate your website (which probably looks awesome on a regular computer), or will they find a competitor who has a mobile website that works quickly and is easy to navigate?
Luckily for you, not many companies have mobile websites just yet. This negligence of the mobile web market by most businesses, while frustrating for the consumer, is beneficial for you. Most likely, your competitors don’t have a mobile site. You can jump out in front of them and take your company to those devices people can’t seem to separate themselves from (I mean, it’s an epidemic. Eventually somebody will just come up with a way to graft smart phones to people’s hands.).
So my site’s easier to see on their Smart Phone and Space Tablet. What else is in it for me?
-Because they are considered mobile, most mobile web developers will tailor your site so that people can click a button and automatically call or email your company for more information. This streamlines your business and makes it easier for the customer to get in touch with you.
– Since everyone pays their bills and makes purchases on these devices, they can click a button and buy your products while they travel down the road. People who don’t have to wait on making a purchase are less likely to reconsider making the purchase. It’s not to say that your product or service isn’t any good; people just naturally delay and neglect. If you can cut down on the opportunity they have to do so, shouldn’t you?
-Have a blog? Create a free app that allows people to subscribe to your blog. People love free stuff and they are more apt to read your blog while on the go than after a long day at work. More importantly, they’ll appreciate how accessible your information is compared to your competitor.
-Speaking of apps, create an app that promotes your latest products. Whenever new stuff comes into your business or your services expand, these people will be a click away from knowing and purchasing. Have it made so that a number pops up next to the app every time an update happens. People love that, and it’ll keep them from clicking the app before a new update. Nothing is more frustrating than visiting some place and nothing has changed.
-Get a coupon app. You’re going to have sales and deals. Why not have an app created that lets people download them before coming into your store or calling your business? It saves on printing and storing the things, and having your coupons solely available via app (which of course will promote your site and mobile site) presents a feeling of exclusivity for those who download the app.
-Since nobody (I mean, it’s shocking how few businesses have mobile sites) has a mobile site, when people are searching on their mobile device for the service or product you provide, guess who is going to come up first? FIRST!
-There are tons of more ideas, but if I kept going you’d have to hire me as an outside consultant.
“So how much am I looking to shell out for this mobile website?”
Take a deep breath. Mobile Websites and mobile apps are not that expensive to create. Compared to creating a quality custom website, you’ll think you are stealing the thing. You might be thinking, If mobile websites and apps aren’t expensive and they can help me so much, then why aren’t more businesses using them?
Well, it’s the same reason so many people waited a decade to get into the website game. The same reason people delayed providing mobile phones for employees. The same reason the transition from typewriter to desktop computer took forever. People delay. They neglect. They’re scared. More often than not, though, they just don’t know, especially when it’s something relatively new.
You have the information now, though. The question is, what will you do with it? Will you delay until everyone else has one and it’s safe (and late)? Will you ignore it until the next phase (and not do anything about that either)? Or will you locate a web developer versed in creating Mobile Websites? Is this the era that you finally take the lead on something?
Have questions or comments about Mobile Websites or Apps and how they can work for you and others?
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