• 91% of all US citizens have their mobile device within reach 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Source: Morgan Stanley)
• There are more mobile phones on the planet than TVs. (Source: Jupiter)
• Mobile coupons achieve 10x the redemption rate as traditional printed coupons. (Source: Borrell Associates)
• Worldwide, more people own cell phones than toothbrushes (Source: Borrell Associates)
• 70% of all mobile searches result in action within one hour. (Source: Mobile Marketer)
• 85% of children own a phone while only 73% own a book at home (Source: National Literacy Trust)
• In 2008 $4.2 billion was spent on Mobile Apps (Source: Gartner 2010)
• In 2013 an estimated $29.5 billion will be spent on Mobile Apps (Source: Gartner 2010)
What can we learn from this?
Over the past 10 years, mobile phone usage has grown at relatively steady rate. From a marketing perspective, consider this: it is estimated that over 70% of people worldwide have a cell phone of some kind by 2011 (Source: ITU). This means that 70% of all customers can now be reached at any time of the day, in any country in the world, in any language. What’s truly amazing is that since we have entered into the era of smartphone technology (iPhones, Androids..etc) that growth has increased exponentially.
So how can a marketer take advantage of these trends?
Encourage customers take action instantly: It is estimated that it takes a mobile phone user, on average, about 90 seconds to respond to a text message. Compare that to the estimated 24 hours it takes for someone to respond to an email! (Source: Edge Media) As a marketer, if you send an SMS text ad, your customers will receive it instantly and read it almost immediately after receipt. If your text ads are compelling enough, you could see enormous returns.
A new way to reach your audience: Marketers who launch marketing campaigns targeted for mobile devices will increase the likelihood of capturing your audience’s attention. On average, time spent watching TV takes up approximately 16% of our daily lives as Americans (Source: eMarketer). Now consider if 91% of men and women in the US have their cell phones within reach 24/7, you now have the ability to reach your audience at all times of the day. Why spend an enormous amount of money on television ads, when the amount of time your customers are spending watching TV is diminishing? Especially if they are texting and browsing the mobile web while watching re-runs of their favorite shows.
Create a QR code for your business: Anyone can do this and it’s a great way to connect people with your business through mobile phones. These codes can translate into any marketing message from coupons to business cards to directions to your store. All a customer has to do is scan the QR code image with their camera and the corresponding information can be uploaded to their mobile device. There are so many fun applications for this tool, and it’s a great way to capture customers while they are in the purchasing state of mind.
Be visible when customers are ready to purchase: This may be one of the most important reasons to focus on mobile marketing. Most marketers know that being ranked well in search engines is important for customers to be able to find your website online. But what most marketers don’t realize is that these days, more people are searching online for product information while they are in the car driving to the mall, walking down the street or at the office while they sit on the toilet (don’t worry, I do it too). If a customer is ready to purchase, your business needs to be visible online during that mental state. Being visible online in a way that can be effectively received by mobile devices is now equally if not more important than being found online through laptops and desktop computers.
Optimize your website for mobile devices: Optimizing your websites to be viewed on mobile devices will make a phenomenal difference for your business, and can put you ahead of your competitors-at least for now. Almost everyone who browses the Internet with a smartphone can probably remember a time when they visited a website that was not formatted for a mobile browser. Links are so small they can’t be clicked, pictures so small they can’t be viewed, and sometimes the pages are so distorted you can’t tell if you are on the right website. Optimize your site to allow easy browsing for your customers and you will get rewarded immediately.
If there’s not an app for that, make one: This last tip is as much about marketing as it is about the productivity of your own business. Today companies of all sizes are using mobile apps for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is simple: to save time. According to a poll-study conducted by AT&T, approximately 72% of small businesses use mobile apps to increase the productivity of their employees.
I would be curious to know exactly how much time is spent each day by people checking their cell phones while they should be doing more important tasks, like working or spending time with their kids. I bet half of you have checked your cell phones at least once while reading this article! My point is that we are all aware of the power that the cell phone has over each of us. We are, whether or not we choose to admit it, addicted to new content and cell phones give us a dose whenever and wherever we need it. Companies today will go bust if they fail to realize the marketing potential brought on by mobile media consumption. The facts don’t lie – mobile is taking over all other forms of media consumption. Take advantage or get left behind. Can you hear me now?