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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 an 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. Having a website could be fundamental to the success of your business in the long run. These days it is more common for business owners to get in touch with an internet marketing service that can help them to work on their social media presence, as well as helping them to build a website that they are proud of. This will help them to focus on other areas concerning the day to day running of the business, instead of having to set time aside to work on its marketing aspects. Not knowing how to create a website or to work social media shouldn’t be an excuse for businesses if they are unable to find success.

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 customized mobile site. Mobile apps can be a great help to people who need to have it on hand when they are out and about, e.g. taxi app, map app, etc. so with any mobile application, there needs to be a form of software testing conducted to make sure that it runs smoothly and any bugs are seen first hand and fixed as soon as possible as this can send customers away and not use it through frustration.

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 10:30 am 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. There are apps for just about everything these days. Even laundromats can now accept payments for their laundry services via a handy app that you can learn more about here:

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