Important question to all entrepreneurs and small business owners: Is your online media strategy dedicated to traditional desktop and laptop users? Have you invested adequately in a strategy to drive access to your business via mobile devices? If the answer is yes and no respectively, well you are putting yourself in the undesirable position of missing out on the next wave of online business communication.
The good news is that you are not alone. The fallacy that most businesses continue to suffer from is viewing mobile as an intermediary medium between the client and their website or an SMS campaign tool at the most. Even gargantuan businesses like Facebook have been hit with this reality. While more and more users are accessing Facebook on their mobile devices, the company, as yet, has been unable to replicate the success of its desktop based advertising on the mobile platform.
Enter Brian Solis, a digital analyst, sociologist, self proclaimed futurist and published author of books such as ‘What’s the Future of Business’ and ‘The End of Business as Usual’ who states that the effervescent mobile devices – smartphones and tablets, are now worthy of having their own client engagement experience. With more than 100 million smartphone users (as of 2011) and an expected base of 90 million tablet users by 2014 in the U.S alone, this is one creamy pie that the business owners can ill-afford to not grab a bite of.
As an end user how often have you tried to access a website on your mobile and it fails to function with the same veracity as on the desktop? Booking tickets, paying your bills, renewing your insurance online can be nerve wrecking experiences on a mobile device, with no surety of the transaction actually going through or worse still your credit card being debited while the website flashes a transaction failed message.
Brian in his latest post asks the crucial question – with technology and customer behavior evolving, are you evolving your digital strategy as well? Mobile apps, besides being the new form of information exchange, are changing the way businesses do business. My colleague Vincenzo Ravina’s recent article on Smallbiztechnology regarding how the hotels are now catering to mobile users, also showcased a great example of this. The iConcierge App developed for Radisson allows its guests to use their mobile devices to plan their itinerary, request for room services, book additional services like a spa, check flight details and book a cab.
Ask yourself the basic questions of who in your business is responsible for driving the mobile platform, what is the experience of your customers on mobile devices and how well is it integrated with your social media and website? And even though you may feel that you need to do a lot more before you can invest in a highly developed mobile platform, make sure it’s part of the overall growth strategy chalked out for your business.