Monday, October 10, 2011

Capturing the Mobile Consumer…..Where Do I Start?

Today, there are more than 311 million people living in the United States and according to the CTIA Wireless Association, there are more than 300 million active subscription plans to some form of wireless service.

A wireless service subscription can be many different types. There are the wireless internet cards you can buy for your laptop, which gives complete mobile access to the internet from your laptop anywhere your carrier has an available network.

There are monthly plans you can purchase to obtain wireless access to public “hot spots” like coffee shops, diners, airports, etc. I have found these to be of limited value as the “hot spot” must be using the network you have enrolled in or else it is useless.

We are seeing a tremendous expansion of the mobile web seen on today’s cell phones. Most cell phone today come with a browser which allow you to access the internet with the add-on purchase of a data plan from your carrier.

Next we get to the “Smart Phones”. Today’s hot phone is the iPhone 5. Android, Window 7 phones, and yesterday’s favorite, Blackberry, all make smart phones which give access to the internet via the various carriers’ wireless data networks at speeds up to 4G. (4G stands for “4th Generation” of cellular standards for those of you who are wondering).
And let’s not forget tablets. Apple developed the iPad and launched the product in April 2010. The product sold 3+ million units within the first 80 days to market. Since then, we’ve seen similar products produced by companies like Blackberry, Sony, HTC, Dell, and many more. We are smack dab in the middle of the wireless revolution.

With the birth of the smartphone and tablets, a new channel of marketing has evolved to present product offers to wireless subscribers. Today’s consumers start their day at the kitchen table reading the paper online, continue to check email and stocks on their smartphone on the commute to the office, take their tablets to lunch to review the latest version of their presentation or check on tonight’s big game, then finish the day on their laptop again reading “tweets” on Twitter or posting to their Facebook accounts.

Sounds like a lot of wireless? It definitely is. But if a company manages their advertising budgets properly, they can take advantage of it. According to a recent US Census Bureau report more than 48% of total US retail sales were made online.

I strongly suggest to those business development professional that now is the time to embrace wireless, not run from it due to budgetary restraints. Direct some of your marketing budget towards starting a wireless marketing campaign. If you do nothing else, at the bare minimum, make sure your company has a mobile web friendly landing page. There’s nothing better to show off your business than having a professionally developed mobile page pop up for the consumers searching your product line.

I enjoy hearing back from my readers so please share any ideas you may have for marketing plans and any success you may have already had with your programs……