The Online Revolution
A couple of years ago a small snippet of news in the newspapers confirmed a belief that I have been shouting about to businesses for many a year.
However although this story may have slipped under your radar the underlying message has a major impact on your business!
Major UK supermarket, ASDA had announced that they would phase out its stock of telephone handsets and accessories to concentrate its efforts on selling mobile phones. The reason was that the end of the telephone landline was nigh! ASDA’s research indicated that one in 3 people had given up using their landline and just used it to access broadband services. This rose to 48% of those aged 18 to 34. So the writing for landlines in on the wall, the result is a move to mobile technology for the mass market.
Now consider the following facts.
For over three years, eDigitalResearch and IMRG have been tracking the growth of the mobile market in the UK and documenting changes and emerging trends. 91 per cent of adults personally own/use a mobile phone. Smartphone ownership now stands at 60% of the overall UK population. In the latest results from April 2013, over half (54%) of smartphone owners claim to have used their device to browse for products, whilst just under 40% have gone on to make a purchase.
Still unsure why this is important for you and your marketing?
Well here’s the relevance for you, what I term ‘Local and Proximity Marketing.’
Smartphones are connected directly to the internet and this presents both opportunities and threats for your business. It means that consumers and businesses are accessing the internet in ways that never existed until the past couple of years. This has opened up new, low-cost and free online marketing techniques for even the smallest business.
For instance did you know that for no cost your business details could appear on Smartphones with photographs a link to interactive maps and directions for both walking and driving to your premises. Not only that but links to your website are displayed and customers can enter ratings on your business. You can even provide vouchers for special offers. Most importantly you can examine where the searchers were when they accessed what is effectively a mini website, so you can see where to target future marketing activity.
Oh! and best of all, this system also works on internet searches via conventional computers, laptops and the iPad / android tablets. So your details are online when customers are at home in the office or on the move.
From a local marketing perspective a Smart Phone or iPad/Tablet user can stand in an area punch a couple of keystrokes and find out what businesses of any kind are nearby and get directions to walk to them.
The bad news that if you have not taken up your free registration you won’t be shown on that search. Because the registration is linked to an address there is a threat. Already in North America unscrupulous businesses are using their competitors unregistered mini sites and directing visitors to their business.
Another major marketing technique is the Quick Code, also known as a QR Code. You have probably noticed these small symbols appearing in advertisements in magazines, on vehicles in widows and on products.
These QR codes are like super bar codes but containing much more information. More and more people are downloading a free QR Reader Application (App), (that’s a free piece of mobile phone software for the uninitiated).
I produced the QR Code above in seconds using a free to use website. So when anyone with a Smart Phone, with the reader app, scans the symbol using the phone’s camera it instantly takes them to my main business website. But more importantly for your business you can direct the person scanning the QR Code to a mini website or landing page promoting a product also getting visitors to sign up, giving you permission to send more information at their email address at anytime.
You could even produce a code giving more information about a product, print it on a sticker and put it on the product or on the shelf, the uses are endless.
These are techniques that I am using with clients right now.
If you don’t want to be left behind, join the surfing revolution or be prepared to be wiped out by the tidal wave being ridden by your competitors!
Contact me today to discuss how you can use these ‘Local Marketing’ techniques and many others to boost your business now.