There's a lot to be said for the quaint, little, independently owned boutique that survives solely on a Yellow Pages listing (in print), a single landline contact number and advertising through word of mouth.
It can be a real treat to wander into a store like this and browse through the wonderful goodies that it has for sale, speak to someone who has worked there for over 40 years without altering anything in their approach to sales and marketing or the produce that they have to sell.
However, that's where the fun ends and that's also where the business stops. Stores like this rely on the one-off novelty factor and they're never going to be sound business ventures, in the long or short term. If you're looking to make money from your business, you need to get technological. You need to get mobile!
Even if you are not completely stuck in the dark ages and you do have a website for your business, facilities for your customers to buy online and perhaps even a Facebook page, you're still lagging a little behind and losing out on business, customers, sales and other types of conversions (like when someone signs up to a newsletter, for example).
Technology helps to increase sales. Our society is addicted to new technology. We love it and we love to buy from businesses that make everything easy for us through the height of the newest technology. For example:
- If your website has videos on it to show certain products in action, we will watch them and we will be romanced by them.
- If your business provides top-notch updates via Twitter about anything and everything related to your line of business at regular times every day, we will follow you and we will recommend you to our fellow Twitterers.
- If your products are mentioned across Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and other social sites on a regular basis, we will see you and the brand awareness of your company will develop naturally as we continue to "Like" you, "Post" you and "Link" to you as part of the course of our natural social networking day.
But is that enough in today's technological world? Should a business be doing even more with technology in order to sell, sell and sell some more?
The answer is, of course, yes!
If you want to be the proud owner of a successful business; a business that sells its products or services and makes money from doing just that, you need to go mobile.
Consider the following:
- If you target the mobile internet audience via QR codes, Click to Call advertisements or even by designing your website to look good on both laptops and mobile device screens, customers will visit your site more often, when they are on the move and even when they are in the retail store of a competitor in order to do some price comparisons on the spot.
Our society is becoming less and less forgiving in terms of time-wasting and the younger generation is the least forgiving by far.
A seventy year old man, reading the morning newspaper in the local cafÃƒÂ© while waiting for a cup of tea and a slice of toast, will wait 15 minutes to half an hour if he has to. He's happy and comfortable and has all day, but he's not one of the biggest spenders in the world either.
The seventeen year old girl, looking for a new black dress because she's just landed herself a part-time job to cover her expenses as she continues to study is just yearning to buy! She wants to find out how much her black dress could cost her NOW and she wants to price compare those dresses NOW too. She doesn't have the time or the patience to wait until she gets home in order to check using the home computer.
What does she do?
She goes mobile!
She flips open her phone and does her research using mobile internet access on the way to the city center. She spots a good deal and clicks on a Click to Call advertisement to speak to the store directly.
She happens to see a magazine supplement from a newspaper left on one of the nearby seats on the bus. Inside is an advertisement for a beautiful black dress with a QR code in the corner. She takes a picture of the QR code and does a little price and size research online.
The bus stops at the traffic lights and she sees a billboard advertisement for a little black dress with a promotional code printed on it for online customers. She goes to the website and enters the promotional code to find out what her discounted price for this dream dress could be.
She does all of this before she even arrives to any store and she is a much savvier shopper when she arrives to the store because of her recent mobile internet research too.
One of the best things about going mobile is that the customer is not the only one to benefit. Mobile internet advertisers are also much better off too.
When our seventeen year old girl clicks on the Click to Call advertisement, the Pay Per Click Manager of that campaign knows which advertisement brought her to the store.
When she takes a picture of the QR code, the marketing team knows which advertisement brought her to the site and it knows that the advertisement is having a good effect.
When she enters the billboard promotional code into the store's website, the advertising store receives information about which advertisement had a positive effect on their seventeen year old customer.
Mobile internet advertising means that customers get a better, quicker and sometimes cheaper deal on their purchases. Mobile internet advertising also means that advertisers know exactly which advertisements are working and which are not.
Who loses? Nobody.
Who wins? Everyone.
If you really want to increase sales and improve ROI, you need to get mobile internet advertising savvy and get clued up on all that goes with it. Get savvy, get mobile and get selling!
David Chapman is president of Webrageous Studios, a Pay Per Click Management Company based in Reno, Nevada.