Mobile Media 101
Do you remember when you got your first cell phone … or mobile phone as we used to call them? Do you remember call rates of $1+ per minute? Well we’ve come a long way baby. According to a report last week, there are over 302 million cell phones in use today in the United States. Even when adjusted for those people who carry multiple phones (work, family, etc); with the current population pegged at 311.5 million that means roughly 90% of the U.S. owns a cell phone.
But wait … it’s not just a cell phone anymore – for roughly 28% of all cell phone users that’s now a smartphone such as a Blackberry, iPhone, or Android. Now your phone doesn’t just take & make calls for you, it holds your calendar, handles your e-mail, gives your kids a way communicate without knowing how to spell, allows you to take pictures almost anywhere (and never in focus!), and with the introduction of the infamous “apps” your cell phone can replace your computer for many desktop functions.
Then just when you mastered your smartphone, along came the iPad, and the tablet computer was born. Suddenly you weren’t restricted to that little 2”-4” screen on your phone. If you could carry 1-3 lbs. extra (and seriously ladies, with the size of some of those purses, why wouldn’t you have room for an extra pound or two!) you could have more computer power in your purse than many folks have on their desktop. Suddenly people weren’t squinting to read mail on a tiny screen; they were watching YouTube videos embedded in e-mail on a 7” or 10” screen with color as good as any big screen TV.
What does all this mean to you and your marketing efforts? Consider:
What does your website look like on a smartphone screen?
The result? You need to make sure your site is usable from a smartphone or a tablet. If a large portion of your market is accessing your site through these devices (there are analytics out there that can provide you with that information) then you need to consider either having a separate site designed for the mobile user or at least make sure your site can be read even if it isn’t pretty.
What does your web address look like?
The lesson from this? If you have a long domain name, register a second one that is as short as possible and redirect the second one to the first. At the same time try to make that short URL as memorable as possible – don’t worry about including a keyword in it this time. Mobile users are going to use your site because they remember it – not because they found you with a Google search!
How quickly do you respond to an online inquiry?
Certainly this mobile evolution can’t be all bad ... what are the
For the average mediator, text-message marketing isn’t going to be an appropriate marketing venue. But for some of you whose market niche is defined by prospects age 35 or younger, this is something you can’t ignore. When surveyed, last year’s freshman college class indicated that they considered e-mail to be “old fashioned” and by a wide majority they indicated that text messaging was their preferred method of communication because it was faster (btw – most of those same kids had never owned anything but a digital wristwatch ... and many had never used anything but their cell phone for time functions!). The same results come back every time we survey users under the age of 35 – texting is the preferred communication method so adjust your marketing campaign accordingly if this is your target market.
Is ignoring the mobile evolution going to destroy your marketing efforts or send all your prospective clients off to your competition? Probably not today, but this market is moving so quickly that you need to at least address the issues revolving around your website quickly – at least if you intend to still be practicing five years from now.
Coming next month:
QR Codes ... Your 1” Marketing Opportunity