4. Consider mobile commerce.
When customers visit your website from a mobile device, are you prepared to engage and convert them into customers? Studies indicate that, “Four out of five consumers use smartphones to shop” and “the ‘mobile influence factor’ (or effect of smartphones on in-store sales) on retail purchases will increase to $689 billion (or 19% of total store sales) by 2016.” (Source: comScore, 2012; Source: Deloitte, 2012)
5. Invest in mobile-friendly technology.
How does your website look on mobile platforms? According to Compuware, “57 percent of consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Similarly, 40 percent of consumers will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.”
6. Define mobile marketing goals.
How can you attract and engage customers on mobile devices? After defining mobile marketing goals, many businesses will turn to mobile web banners, SMS advertising and other forms of mobile media tactics. In fact, eMarketer expects U.S. mobile ad spending to reach $7.19 billion [this] year and nearly $21 billion by 2016.
But if mobile is a consideration, walk before you run. Maria Mandel, executive director of digital innovation at Ogilvy New York, advises “to crawl first by deploying SMS messaging; walk, by using banner advertisements or building a mobile WAP site; and then run by offering video or downloadable applications to consumers.”
7. Measure mobile programs.
Develop success metrics and KPIs. Track your mobile efforts with free mobile analytics tools such as Google Mobile Analytics, AdMob, Bango and Flurry.
8. Accept mobile payments.
Every business can use mobile devices to accept payments at trade shows. Service companies can accept payments on-the-go using Square, and e-commerce stores can enable Google Wallet payments.
Brick and mortar retailers can update POS equipment to enable mobile wallet payment options in-store. For example, “when it is time to pay, the consumer turns on his or her phone’s screen, opens the wallet application, enters their pin number, and passes the phone within a few inches of the contactless payment symbol. The payment is then processed just like a conventional card transaction.” (Source: First Data, 2012)
“Within five years, half of today’s smartphone users will be using mobile wallets as their preferred payments method.” (Source: Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, 2012)
9. Incorporate mobile into your content strategy.
A smaller screen reduces comprehension so keep your content clean. Make your content more scannable by avoiding huge chunks of text and using more subheadings and bullet points.
10. Consider the costs.
Once you have identified a mobile focus area decide if you will a) facilitate your mobile program in-house or b) outsource it to a mobile agency. While it may appear less costly to go at it alone, consider the time, resources and learning curves of your team in comparison to hiring a specialized consultant or agency.
“The biggest consideration for small businesses when it comes to connecting with mobile consumers is rethinking the traditional ‘path to purchase,’” Gary Colen, CEO, AMP Agency suggests. “What we’ve found is that many people look at mobile as a check box in their marketing plan, which is overlooking the big picture. Mobile is not solely about the device or even a channel, but instead the behaviors enabled by having the device on you at all times.”
“Brands will need to determine how to best enable consumers to access content when they need and want it in order to drive as many conversions as possible. The key takeaway is consumers are connected 24/7. As Kiip CEO, Brian Wong, believes, ‘It’s not online or offline, it’s online or asleep,’” Colen said.
How will you tackle mobile this year? Let me know in the comments section below.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Visa Small Business and I receive compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, however the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s.
Photo: © Naka, Fotolia