Get off your laurels! Time to implement a mobile strategy

Whether it’s through a website, coupon or app, don’t miss your chance to connect with your customers through mobile.

If checking your Facebook newsfeed is the first thing you do in the morning, you’re not alone.

A recent survey by Ericsson found that 35 percent of Android and iPhone users check apps like Facebook before they even get out of bed.

And, more than 50 percent of all Internet activity was done via handheld devices in 2010, according to a recent article from Inc.

What do those numbers mean for your company?

It’s time to stop thinking about the importance of mobile and start developing a strategy. Here are Inc.’s six reasons why:

1. Mobile websites

Mobile websites allow customers to connect with companies no matter where they are. A person who visits a website on a mobile device experiences the site differently than someone on a computer, so consider factors such as small screen size when creating the site. Shopping on mobile websites could potentially be the future of retail.

2. Mobile apps

There are a lot of apps out there, but the most important thing to keep in mind when developing a good one is to make sure it’s useful. For example, Nestlé Purina’s app features a database of pet-friendly places around the country, and the ShopRite app notifies customers of weekly sales. The Starbucks app even lets customers make transactions with their smartphones.

3. Monetize mobile apps

Apps are helpful to your customers, so why not make them work for you? Monetize yours by first offering a free version of the app before touting a premium version that has more content or features.

Inc. provides this example: “Take for example the wildly popular Angry Birds iPhone game. Its ongoing promotion was to offer a free version, while paid subscribers were given access to more challenging levels and other free add-ons.”

4. Mobile coupons

Consider sending mobile coupons in lieu of the paper variety. At checkout, the cashier scans the coupon on the phone as if it were a paper coupon. Target does this by sending coupons via text message with links to a barcode and discount offers.

5. Location-based services

With the rise of Foursquare, Facebook Places and other location-based services, people are becoming more comfortable with sharing their physical whereabouts online. According to JiWire’s Mobile Audience Insights Report, Inc. says, they are also more willing to receive mobile ads and coupons relevant to their current location. More than 50 percent of respondents said they want to receive location-specific advertising.

6. Mobile campaigns and ads

Research shows that mobile ads perform about five times better than Internet ads, and are helpful in driving customers to retail stores or events, Inc. reports. To ensure that your mobile ads are successful, keep them short and easy to understand, and create a call to action with minimal steps. Keep in mind that the design of the ad should match the smartphone’s small screen size.

Read more about mobile strategies here.

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