If you run a small business and don't have an mobile strategy yet you could be in serious trouble soon.
As Michael Brenner noted yesterday: “customers are doing more social and web surfing on their [mobile] devices” than ever before.
This has massive ramifications for business and specifically your business if you don't have a mobile strategy. For example:
- is your website enabled for mobile?
- do you have an app available or waiting in the wings for immanent release?
Again, as Brenner noted: “And according to Morgan Stanley and Gartner, mobile will become our primary internet screen by 2015.”
At present my own mobile content is the podcast I'm promoting and producing. Although the show was initially a slow burn I'm beginning to see a rapid uptake on the show and the majority of consumers are using their smart phones to listen to the show.
Although this isn't the traditional “app” approach, I figure it's a personal and portable way of connecting with potential customers as well as members of my community and a way of extending our content marketing into the mobile market.
The Next Step
Clearly, I'll have to get thinking about a mobile app sooner rather than later but here's the rub: Many small businesses are going to struggle with development costs. At present a lot of small businesses approach us to design their website but have unrealistic budgets. You can't just bash out a brilliant website in a month without a clear strategy, design and implementation for a couple of hundred dollars. Or at least, we don't think you can do that and achieve the results you need. And if small businesses are struggling to cover web design costs, there's no way they're going to have a budget for a mobile app as well.
In many ways, I can see that this will create even more of a hierarchy on the Net. Blogging, and particularly the emergence of WordPress, levelled the playing field. Because blogs were so SEO friendly and easily adapted to content production, it wasn't impossible for the little guy to take on the big corporation and carve out a viable niche on the web.
With the emergence of the app stores and increasing prevalence of smart phone apps small businesses are going to need to compete or risk being left behind. In real terms this is probably the biggest online marketing challenge to small business since the emergence of WordPress.
So what are you doing to compete or are you going to let this massive challenge brush you aside?