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Mobile marketing – you can’t afford to ignore it

Nowadays it’s hard to find a single person without a mobile phone. For business and pleasure, we’re all busy interacting with one another verbally, online, and, of course, via phones, be it conversations or text messaging. In today’s business world, you’re completely out of the loop if you don’t have a mobile phone stuck to your palm most of the time.

From the savvy business person, to the mum on the run, to even teenagers, the mobile is usually the first thing picked up in the morning and the last thing checked at night.

Smart companies and business leaders are now well aware that mobile technology is more than simply ‘handy’. These people want to be ahead of the game and are seeing the value of not just adding mobile technology to their strategies but considering the use of mobile technology as a very important aspect. It’s no longer about building your website and building the mobile site later. Smart companies engage with mobile technology from the outset to capture that important, ever-growing market of mobile users.

It’s reported by Nielsen that 96 percent of Australia’s population owns a mobile phone, and of these, two out of three mobiles are internet enabled. Around 73 percent of mobile internet users have used their device to search online for a resource (source Nielsen Internet & Technology Report 2009-2010 [Online Australians age 16+]).

The companies that develop and produce smartphones are constantly pushing the boundaries and striving to innovate. As we know, retail sales are at a tipping point. Consumers now expect to use their mobile phones as a channel to engage with and purchase from their preferred retailers. A small percentage of retailers recognize this opportunity and have launched mCommerce (mobile commerce) to their customers, and in a small-time have produced significant sales increases.

If retailers neglect to acknowledge the power and opportunities of mobile technology, unfortunately, they will sit back to watch their sales continue to plummet. Here are our top 10 reasons to focus on mobile technology and make sure you’re not left behind:

1. Consumer enthusiasm and engagement with mCommerce is growing (predicted to grow to $120bn by 2015).

2. Mobile is in real-time. You can talk to your consumers anywhere at any time, 24/7, 365 days a year.

3. Real-time interaction on mobile informs in-store decision making (51% of consumers have used their mobile phones for in-store activities).

4. Your audience is already trying to find you through their mobile device (17.9% of men aged 13-44 have tried to browse an online retailer using their mobile handset).

5. Instant integration with social media.

6. Your website can (and should) be optimized for searches from mobile devices.

7. Twenty-five percent of consumers are disappointed they can’t browse their preferred retailer’s website via their mobile device, and said they would look for an alternative supplier (i.e. your competitor) and never try to access that site again.

8. You can build an effective mobile platform by integrating it with your existing eCommerce provider.

9. Mobile enables an ongoing conversation with your customers through messaging and applications.

10. A focus on design and usability for mobile devices will enhance your brand offering.

Top 3 tips to get started with mobilizing your brand:

1. Select the most important parts of your website to include in your mobile site – remember, you don’t need to include everything.

2. Have a clear call to action on each page – make sure you tell your audience what to do or what they should do.

3. Ensure your mobile website works on all smartphones – test, test, and test again. Making sure it works properly is key to success.

Smartphones are set to achieve nearly complete market penetration in the youth and adult sectors within three years, and mobile browsers are becoming the standard platform for accessing the internet. It’s time for retailers to activate their brands via mobile technology to add value and deliver an engaging and memorable experience.

David Fastuca is co-founder of the digital creative agency Locomote.

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