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  3 Easy Ways to Get Started in Mobile
Written by Kelly McIvor   
Three near-term steps for businesses to take to address the mobile consumer: Update your directory listings, optimize your web site and develop a Mobile VIP list.

In an ideal world every forward-thinking business owner and marketer would be going through a well thought out process of developing a comprehensive mobile strategy. They would start by defining their customers and setting their objectives. Then they would identify the behaviors and actions they want to enable using mobile and finally they would choose the appropriate mobile technologies to implement. But the world is not ideal and, frankly, many managers need to show some near-term results. Most want to jump straight to doing something. Here are some straight-forward ways to start leveraging mobile in the short-term that won’t send you off in the wrong direction.

Update your listings
If you’re a retailer who relies on foot traffic you know how important it is that people find you. And today’s mobile consumer is looking for you. In a recent study by the Mobile Marketing Association and Sybase 365, 56% of consumers surveyed said they would use their mobile device to find a store location, compare prices, research deals and coupons, find a product or make a purchase.
There are plenty of ways consumers can use their mobile device to find you: search engines like Google and Bing, directory services like Yahoo and YellowPages.com and applications like Yelp and AngiesList.com (all of these services have a mobile version). Make sure your business is listed in these services and that your listing includes the most up-to-date information. There is usually no charge for this and it’s an easy way to make sure you’re seen by the mobile consumer.

Optimize your website
Optimizing means applying design techniques that allow your site to dynamically change how it displays based on the type of device being used. This is how some Wordpress themes work. The most popular technique uses CSS and javascript to change the way things are presented. In an ideal world you would build a separate site for mobile rather than just optimize the design of the site you already have. The mobile user is in a very different mode from the stationary web user and a good mobile experience demands changes in the way the content is presented and organized. However, that takes time, planning and often more resources than the cautious marketer is willing to dedicate. Optimizing your existing site will be a step in the right direction and if you watch your analytics you'll be able to tell what areas of your site are most important to the mobile user. That knowledge can help you when you decide to build a separate mobile site.
Once optimized you can start putting links to the site in your SMS campaigns (see below) and create a QR code that points to your site. For more on QR codes see this how-to guide.

Develop a Mobile VIP List
The power of a well executed SMS program has been proven many times over. Text messaging is unique in its ability to be pushed to the mobile device without requiring any action on the part of the recipient. There is also plenty of evidence that consumers are willing:  
  • In a recent survey by mobile marketing firm HipCricket one third of respondents indicated they’d be willing to join the mobile (SMS) loyalty program of a trusted brand.
  • In a U.S. study conducted by eMarketer, over half of the respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 said that they would give their mobile number to a business in order to receive coupons or vouchers.

Getting started is pretty easy, too. There are dozens of online self-service platforms that allow you to start developing your mobile VIP list (or better yet multiple, segmented lists). Proceed cautiously, though, as there are many ways to fail when using SMS.

So, if you know you need to start addressing the mobile consumer but don’t yet have the resources or commitment to develop a comprehensive strategy get started with one or all the above and you’ll have a good foundation for your future plans.

Contact Atomic Mobile for help with your mobile plans.