How to Prepare Your Business for the Mobile Revolution
It is vital for businesses today to understand why and how mobile technologies are blurring the lines of time and location to create new frontiers for connecting and engaging with buyers.
“Quantum physics tells us that we can define anything using two variables – space and time, a phenomenon that was featured in the popular film Back To The Future as the “space-time continuum.” For instance, one minute from now you are still the same person occupying the same space as you are this moment, with the exception that you will just be a little bit older,” excerpt from Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business.
Logically then, one of the first steps businesses can take to prepare for the mobile revolution is conducting a self-inquiry about how the variables of time and place influence their interactions with customers. To be more specific, the business should explore the behaviors of its buyers from the standpoint of where and when they will be in the future when they are ready to buy. To accomplish this, simply isolate one of these two variables of location and time, and then consider how it relates to or affects the other.
Where Are Your Customers When They Are Ready to Buy?
For example, consider where your customers are during a particular time of day, such as first thing in the morning. Are they likely to be commuting, already at work, or still at home? Then consider if they are likely to be engaged with your business and how. Understanding that, how can your business leverage mobile technologies to accomplish specific sales and marketing objectives?
Many businesses are actively using their social media channels to connect with customers during typical workday hours. This is logical; but it is also a flawed strategy. The reason for this is the peak hours when consumers are actively using their mobile devices is very early in the morning before going to work (or possibly while commuting on public transportation), and then again during the early evening hours.
How is Mobile Changing the Buying Behaviors of Your Customers?
It turns out that early evening hours are the peak times when consumers are actively using their mobile devices. This is when they are most likely to be connecting with friends on social media, as well as making online purchases or researching businesses. Does your company have a plan in place for capitalizing on this shift from doing business during traditional businesses hours? If not, make this a priority.
Thus far we have only discussed time in terms of the time of day. Now further explore its influences in terms of the day of the week, month, and year. If yours is seasonal business (as many are), these are important considerations. Retailers know that peak buying seasons are windows of opportunity. These are when a retail business wants to be connected with the hyper-connected consumer, especially when they are connecting with friends and family to plan their holiday shopping.
How Will Your Business Adapt to a Predominantly Mobile World?
We now live in an always-on world that is becoming increasingly connected, as well as profoundly social. In many ways, the blurring of time and space with mobile technologies is taking us all on a real-life Star Trek experience whose destination is undetermined. That may sound far-fetched, but the truth is when it comes to mobile technologies, it is not so much a question of what is possible, but when.
More than anything, the key to preparing for the mobile revolution starts with understanding that mobile has the attention of consumers, and that changes behaviors. In emerging countries such as India and China, mobile web search has already eclipsed the traffic from desktop and laptop computers. Before long, the same will be true here in the United States.
What does that mean for your business?
We may have raised more questions than we have answered here, but that is the healthiest approach for adapting your growth practices to prepare for the imminent mobile revolution.
Jeff Korhan is a marketing speaker, trainer, and coach helping small businesses use social media and Internet marketing to create exceptional customer experiences that accelerate business growth. He was a Fortune 50 Sales and Marketing executive who later founded a construction services company that was twice named Small Business of the Year. Jeff is a syndicated publisher and regular content contributor to leading business publications whose own New Media and Small Business Marketing site is ranked among the Top 100 Small Business blogs in the world by Technorati Media. He lives in suburban Chicago, Illinois. Jeff is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business (Wiley 2013), which delivers proven methods for converting mainstream social marketing practices into profitable outcomes. Visit him at www.jeffkorhan.com