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Mobilise your business
The rise of mobile technologies such as smartphones, tablets and mobile broadband Internet access is transforming the way we live and the way we conduct business. Organisations today must now address the expectations of customers, employees, and partners who increasingly want to do business on the go. Having a well-defined mobile strategy is no longer optional; it is now an organisational imperative.
Whether you’re in a for-profit company, the public sector, academia or a non-profit, you should be thinking strategically about how your organisation can take advantage of mobile.
Digital analytics firm Comscore predicts that by 2014, global mobile device use in the form of smartphones, ultrabooks and tablets will surpass desktop computer use. The numbers are expected to continue rising, confirming the notion that we have entered the post-PC era. In fact, according to a study by eMarketer, mobile use is growing at a pace 14 times faster than traditional desktop use.
In effect, organisations have a shrinking window in which to plan toward and invest in systems to ensure mobile-empowered consumers can find and access your services on their smaller screens, Internet-connected devices.
If your organisation still thinks mobile strategy is not relevant, consider the following:
• 20 per cent of all Web traffic is from mobile devices. So every 1 out of 5 visitors to your site is using a mobile device.
• More and more mobile device users are using their smart phones and tablets to shop or transact online.
According to Google, local search is at least 20 per cent of total queries on the PC, and at least 40 per cent of smartphone queries. This means a growing number of people are looking for what’s nearby on their mobile devices.
5 Ways to Take Advantage of the Mobile Revolution
So what can your organisation do to take advantage of this upward trend in mobile adoption? The opportunities for customer engagement are plentiful. Here are five considerations for leveraging the mobile revolution.
A Discoverable Mobile-Friendly Site
The first and most obvious step is having a mobile-friendly version of your site. Start by viewing your existing corporate website with a mobile device yourself. How does it display? Is the content easy to read? Can you easily find information?
Additionally, with so many potential users searching for you online via their mobile device, you need to pay more attention to your site’s search engine optimisation.
Use well thought out keywords in your titles and content and don’t forget the appropriate tags. For your internal links, utilise keyword-rich anchors that use the names of nearby cities and towns as well. Location-based keywords will help you stay visible among other local businesses.
Enable Mobile Transactions on Your Site
Mobile transactions are surging as more mobile users are using their devices to connect to services and complete transactions online. Your potential customers should be able to easily select, purchase, and complete transactions on your site with a mobile device.
Mobile apps are the new battleground for businesses, brands and service providers fighting for more direct contact with consumers.
Dedicated mobile apps offer consumers more convenient access to services and content. Consumers are already buying mobile phones based on which ones provide the most popular apps. It will no longer be sufficient for organisations to just have a Web site, even if its Mobile optimised.
While it might be tempting to dive head-first into mobile app development, it’s important to carefully analyse and think through your mobility strategy. When done right, a mobile app can enhance your business through greater efficiency, effectiveness and reduced time to accomplish tasks.
Take Advantage of Text
Text messages are opened and read by far more recipients than any other medium, like e-mail. Consider using mobile alerts to maximise your messaging campaign.
Text-based messaging can actually be a welcome way to tell your customers about special deals, or to announce new products and services.
Mobile messaging typically costs less than other traditional methods. Just make sure to give an easy way to opt-out.
Invest In the Ecosystem
For all its growth potential, the promise of mobile cannot be fully realised until the entire local mobile system matures.
Organisations that want to leverage mobile also have a responsibility to invest in and support the development of local developer capacity, transformation of banking and payment practices, infrastructure and education of consumers.
This is particularly important in emerging markets where the inclination may be to import mobile capacity. This may give short term benefits but not long-term sustainability.
For long-term gains, governments and organisations must see themselves as investors in the mobile revolution. The returns will redound to us all.
Bevil Wooding is the chief knowledge officer at Congress WBN and an Internet Strategist with Packet Clearing House. Follow on Twitter: @bevilwooding or: facebook.com/bevilwooding or contact via email at [email protected]
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