The entire category of mobile marketing has been a hot or up and coming topic for a number of years, but it’s one of those that hasn’t really hit mainstream for the typical small business.
I think that’s about to change dramatically and here’s why.
Location aware phones.
iPhones and just about every new phone that’s coming online has GPS capabilities built in. As a phone user this is great for mapping and directions. As a marketer this means you can know where a prospect is and deliver content in very specific context.
Google’s Android, open source handset project, has thrown some real gas on this fire too. Developers can use this mobile OS to integrate all of Google’s growing list of web apps into a phone, including search based on location.
The Application Frenzy
iPhone, Blackberry and Android all have pretty straightforward ways for developers to create simple applications that users can add to their phones. I think this will alter and accelerate the use of mobile devices in marketing. Instead of simply pushing out marketing messages through SMS or email, marketers can and are building location and context aware social networking applications that make it very easy for users to get hyper relevant content and offers while standing at the corner of 12th Street and Vine.
Two things every small business should do now
1) Make certain that your business profile is correct and complete in Google Maps, Yahoo!Local and LocalLive. (Claim your listing in Google or risk having it hijacked) – many devices will use this map data to help people locate and view satellite photos of your place of business.
2) Start exploring ways to make your websites, blogs and email marketing efforts mobile friendly. I use a service called MoFuse to create a mobile friendly version of my blog. (This topic warrants and entire post and I’m working on it.)