Everyone is talking about mobile these days. Not just in terms of the hardware, but also in terms of its sheer reach. Recent studies in 2012 show that there are about 1 billion smartphones, tablets and phablets in circulation globally, new tech start-ups centred around mobile, innovative new conversation media like Whatsapp and Snapchat and tons of ways to reach the virtually accessible audience.
Yet, many small businesses – florists included – are neglecting mobile marketing; to their own detriment I must add. Basically, businesses not taking advantage of mobile now are leaving a huge pile of money on the table and risk alienating customers. Which brings us to the question: Why, in spite of all the available data, are many small business owners slow to adopting this potent marketing channel?
Ignorance of Tech Trends
Okay, maybe the word “ignorance” is a bit extreme. Let’s call it a lack of awareness. Most business owners are more concerned about keeping their doors open. If they must advertise, they use the more traditional media – newspapers, yellow pages (which incidentally has started transitioning online), classified ads, radio ads – and a bit of the new media like PPC, SEO, social media. All of these media are good, but all of them lack the real time engagement of mobile.
Most small business owners don’t want to over complicate things. So, when web or mobile marketing experts start throwing around words like responsive design, mobile friendly site, mobile site optimization, QR codes, retargeting, mobile coupons and frequent, real-time engagement, it just freaks them out. All these combined with the fact that they may have to do a total overhaul of their main site just makes mobile integration a little too much.
Slower Adaptation to Change
To be fair, this isn’t just a small business thing. The entire human race is quite slow to accepting change, talk less of adapting to it. But in this ever-changing business climate, slow doesn’t quite cut it. Yes, it’s difficult keeping pace with the rapidly evolving technology, but not keeping up will probably cost you your business. Doubt it? Ask Nokia. 5-10 years ago, they were the leading phone maker in the world, the toast of many newspapers and the tech industry, and grossing billions of dollars in revenue and profits annually. Today, they’re just an arm of Microsoft that’s barely making a dent in the smartphone market.
So What Can You Do As a Small Business Owner?
Evolve and adapt. Think of it this way: you don’t evolve, you die. Sorry to put it so blatantly, but it’s the truth. Start looking for ways to incorporate mobile into your marketing campaigns. Find ways to target that audience that’s always within your reach.
How Can You Do This?
For starters, start small. Admittedly, there’s a lot of information out there. But, try not to overwhelm yourself with terms and information that’ll slow you down. Start with a responsive site – this basically means the website will automatically reorganize and reformat to adapt to the size and type of screen when people access your website from a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop.
Get informed and learn everything you can about effective mobile marketing. Familiarise yourself with terms like QR codes, mobile coupons, SMS marketing to mention a few. Then, if you don’t have the time, talk to an online marketing consultant and find out everything you need.
Mobile marketing is a big part of the future. It’s just started and will get bigger. Get in now while it’s still relatively easy and unsaturated.
Are you a small business owner? Do you have problems with adopting mobile marketing? Do you have any questions you need answered or additional thoughts? Talk to us in the comments section and let’s hear your opinions.