Why mobile matters to local businesses

The mobile space is definitely the Wild, Wild West for most of us. One thing is obvious about mobile: The amount of time that Americans spend engaged with their phones, tablets and other mobile devices only continues to grow. More than 1.3 million people –  89% of adults in the West Palm Beach market – subscribe to a cell-phone plan. Furthermore, most adults access the Internet on their mobile devices and place search queries with local intent. So what does that mean for businesses? If you’re wondering whether you should invest in a mobile strategy, the answer is YES!

As people become more comfortable using their mobile devices, having a mobile presence will be essential for business performance. Not only should businesses have a mobile strategy; they cannot afford not to have one. Just as importantly, however, businesses can’t afford to over-invest in unsuccessful mobile endeavors. As with any other marketing tool, businesses should determine how their core audience is using mobile and how they can invest in exposure in those areas.


Aaron Shapiro, CEO of Huge, said it well: “To get it right, align your mobile efforts with clear goals and realistic KPIs (key performance indicators), balance service to users with value to the business, and ensure that mobile products are well-managed and maintained.” (Read the full article at http://www.fastcompany.com/3001078/biggest-mistakes-companies-make-mobile-marketing-and-3-strategies-actually-work.)

The best way to get started is by making sure that your website is mobile-friendly, in order to ensure the best user experience possible. You invested in a website for a reason: It’s your business partner 24/7, and your audience is on the web. The same reasons apply for creating a mobile website. A good resource for determining whether a company’s website is mobile-friendly is www.howtogomo.com. Make sure that your mobile website is clear and easy to navigate. Click-to-call and click-for-directions buttons are highly encouraged, as most people accessing your mobile site are probably on-the-go and looking for contact information.

Beyond creating a mobile-friendly website, companies might want to invest in the development of their own app if it will enhance their services and improve their customers’ overall experiences. For many businesses, apps are a good way to improve their core offering by making their services more convenient for their customers. Golf courses, for example, can create an app for golfers to book tee times, track their score, monitor the weather and order lunch – all straight from their mobile devices.

One important note on mobile apps: If you’re considering one for your business, considerpromotion of the app as well. Just like you didn’t open the doors of your business and expect people to come flooding in, it’s important to spread the word that you have a mobile app available for download. Your hope is to expand your reach and to make mobile apps profitable.

There are many display-advertising and mobile search opportunities to drive traffic to your mobile website or mobile app. Mobile marketing can be a great investment, as there are several advantages to targeting your audience in the mobile space. Mobile devices are usually held by just one user and not shared, the way traditional media are. There is the possibility for instant engagement, as users can often click to call and get directions.

Your message stands out; there is usually only one sponsorship message on mobile websites and mobile apps. In other words, you’re delivering your message to on-the-go, affluent consumers. Finally, mobile campaigns complement traditional advertising, as traditional media reach the most audience during working hours and more people access their mobile devices (especially tablets) during lunch and outside of normal working hours. This is demonstrated in the chart below:

So remember, mobile isn’t some scary monster. As consumption habits change, so should business strategies. Think of mobile as another tool to reach your audience, one that complements traditional advertising and can seriously enhance your services and overall customer experience. The web and mobile web are working constantly, so use them as your business partners. Make sure you have a presence you’re proud of, and set clear goals and KPIs for any new mobile venture.

written by: Kathryn Bulman