Did you know recent studies show that 84 percent of mobile phone users keep their device within ten feet of them at all times? Nielsen Mobile reports 97 percent of mobile subscribers read a SMS (text) message within 15 minutes of receiving it; 84 percent will respond within 1 hour. You don’t need research to see how dependent people have become on their mobile devices. Just go to your local shopping mall and watch people using their smartphones to shop, text, tweet, post, snap photos and yes, even occasionally talk to someone (too busy doing all that other stuff on the mobile device to talk!).

Collectively we have been slow to leverage the power of mobile for marketing. According to eMarketer, U.S. adults spend 10.1 percent of their total media consumption time with mobile, but only 0.9 percent of total ad spend is dedicated to mobile. Truth be known, many businesses are still trying to figure out social media and some still don’t even have a website.

Now is not the time to keep doing the same thing in hopes that consumers will change their behavior. According to a recent report from KPCB’s Mary Meeker, in May 2013 mobile internet usage was 15% of the total internet usage and is growing almost 50% a year.

If you are feeling left behind, here are six steps you should do now:

1. Define your customer online experience

Ask yourself:

  1. How will  customers to find you online, and
  2. What do you want them to do next (e.g.locate your shop using google maps, read your customer reviews on Yelp, make a purchase)?

2. Optimize your website for mobile

While many businesses have websites that look great on a desktop or laptop computer, it may be hard to see and navigate on a smartphone or tablet. Many website templates are optimized for mobile devices. If it’s time for refreshing your website, choose a template that is mobile optimized. If that is not an option then consider a service like dudamobile that allows you to create a customize mobile site.

3. Integrate a loyalty program

4. Make your emails mobile-friendly

According to Constant Contact, 38% of our emails are read on a mobile devices. Make sure your emails are concise.

5. Incorporate text advertising

For example, a restaurant owner might want to send out a text message at 10:30am to his regular customers announcing the “Daily Special”. Knowing with 97% certainty that a text will be read makes it a very powerful marketing tool when used appropriately.

6. Get a mobile app

Because so many consumers have a smartphone, it makes sense to create a more engaging mobile experience by implementing a mobile app.

Remember Einstein’s definition of Insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” He was a smart guy. Your customer and prospects are going mobile and you need to embrace the change.