In today's world, technology is changing at a rapid rate. So fast it is even hard for developers to keep up with it. Mobile Internet grew by 400% in 2012 and is supposed to overtake desktop PC internet usage by the end of 2013. The statistics are stagering when you break down the numbers, mobile-based technologies are growing faster than any other advertising or technology medium of all time.
The overall term "Mobile Technology" is really broken down into several top performing technologies that are used on several "Mobile Devices" such as smartphones and tablets all rolled together and grouped under the one term.
Lets break down a few of the major players incolved with Mobile Technology:
GEO LOCATION: The most notable for shore towns and "Local Communites" are those that utilize the local or "GEO Location" aspect of mobile. These include Google+ for local search and other apps like facebook or foursquared etc. These technologies can enhance your small business by allowing your customers to "Check In" at your location, leave reviews or get coupons and more.
This is an important advertising medium for the small local business mainly because it is inexpensive. Sure, there may be a cost to hire a developer to get you going but as of now facebook, linked in, twitter and the like do not charge for services on either end of the scale.
"If a customer checks in at your business on facebook it will post to their wall and all of their friends news feeds."
As the technology matures friends find friends. So if Tom checks in at your store and Bob sees it on his mobile device, he can get your business location and directions with a couple of click and meet up with Tom. You get Bob as a new patron.
MOBILE TEXT MARKETING: For some time small businesses have been embracing email advertising due to the fact of cost. You can send many more email for much less money then you could print and mail an advertisement.
Over the years several significant changes have occurred in email marketing. Including, the infamous "Can Spam" laws, restrictions on US based emails per hour seen on most reputable hosting providers, inbox filtering (which puts your advertisement right in the spam box so the user doesnt even see it) and then their is user burnout and a falling open rate. People are just tired of an email box full of junky adertisements and delete them without even opening them. Enough about what doesn't work anymore, lets move on to what does.
Now back to the Mobile Text Marketing of today. Heres the upside, there is no inbox, there are no spam laws (yet), message delivery to the targeted user in 98%, No spam box and here are the two crucial ones. Most users have their mobile phone within reach 24 hours a day and most mobile messages (87% of them) are opened within three minutes of delivery. When you add that to most people who you will send your message to have asked to receive it the ROI is huge.
"If a customer asks to subcribe to your mobile mailing list they are generally looking to recieve special offers or discounts to your business"
Another great emerging technology combines the Mobile Messaging aspect with GEO Location. This means that you can send a specific message only to users in your immediate area if you wanted to. Say withing 3-5 miles of your business location.
The next part of the puzzle uses GEO Location with Local Search. It is called Augmented Reality or AR for short. This is one of the newest to arrive in the United States but one of the coolest.
Augmented Reality: Allows a user to combine the real world they are in with the online or mobile world. Using their mobile app they can point their camera at either a printed advertisment and make it come to life or a specific location and recieve real time data as an overlay on their device.
This technology is being adopted by everyone from toy manufacturers like "Mattel" to Local Business Marketers. The main players in pushing the technology is none other that Google, who will soon be launching "Google Glass". You will be able to wear these sunglass type devices and using your mobile device they will transform the world right before your eyes.
"Lets say you own a local restaurant, if a user points his cell phone down the street passed your location, you could show the person your specials of the day. Or if you are a local realtor or hotel, you could show a perspective renter if rooms are available or let them see a virtual tour of the rental just by pointing their device at it."
This technology is emerging and gaining popularity at a rapid pace. If you couple these advances with some key factors like google investing hundreds of millions of dollars into mobile technology and the fact they just bought the Zagat review site and adapted that technology to their online review system for Google Local. They also just ourchased the #1 travel and review business which is both online and offline.
These and other factors such as "peer review" works way better than any other advertising all lead to the fact that even small town USA has to somehow adapt with the new mobile technology to compete in today's world. You may think that Mobile is not for you or your business but I guarantee nomatter who your customers are, they are using it every day.
I will leave you with a couple of quick statistics from Google:
Smartphones have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Smartphone penetration has risen to 44% of the population and these smartphone owners are becoming increasingly reliant on their devices. 66% access the Internet every day on their smartphone and most never leave home without it. Implication: Businesses that make mobile a central part of their strategy will beneﬁt from the opportunity to engage the new constantly connected consumer.
Smartphones have transformed consumer behavior. Mobile search, video, app usage, and social networking are proliﬁc. Smartphone users are multi-tasking their media with 86% using their phone while doing other things such as watching TV (52%). Implication: Extending advertising strategies to include mobile and developing integrated cross-media campaigns can more eﬀectively reach today’s consumers.
Smartphones help users navigate the world. Appearing on smartphones is critical for local businesses. 94% of smartphone users look for local information on their phone and 90% take action a result, such as making a purchase or contacting the business. Implication: Ensuring that clickable phone numbers appear in local results and leveraging location based services on mobile make it easy for consumers to connect directly with businesses.
Smartphones have changed the way consumers shop. Smartphones are critical shopping tools with 96% having researched a product or service on their device. Smartphone research inﬂuences buyer decisions and purchases across channels. 35% of smartphone users have made a purchase on their phone. Implication: Having a mobile optimized site is critical and a cross-channel strategy is needed to engage consumers across the multiple paths to purchase.
Smartphones help advertisers connect with consumers. Mobile ads are noticed by 89% of smartphone users. Smartphones are also a critical component of traditional advertising as 66% have performed a search on their smartphone after seeing an oﬄine ad. Implication: Making mobile ads a part of an integrated marketing strategy can drive greater consumer engagement.
Read the full report Our Mobile Planet