It was a sad and strange twist of fate that saw Apple founder Steve Jobs lose his battle with cancer a mere day after the latest iPhone 4 S is released. Jobs is mourned by millions for his innovation in this age of technology as well as his work with animation giant Pixar, who brought us the much-loved Toy Story franchise. But perhaps one of Jobs greatest legacies is the iPhone, which has changed so much of the way we function in our day to day lives. Specifically for us in the marketing world, Jobs has changed our customer’s behaviour and consequently the means by which we reach them. So how do you stay relevant to your customers in the aftermath of Steve Jobs and the age of the smart phone?
There is no doubt that a large proportion of your potential customers will own a smart phone and will be using it on the go. As it stands, 79% of all mobile phones shipped into Australia are smart phones, with Apple iPhones representing 31.4% share of the market. It’s a hard statistic to ignore and a huge pool of potential customers that actually want to be reached.
One of the key points we have to understand about the iPhone and its competitors is the way in which it creates immediacy and convenience for the user. That is, smart phone users want to be able to access your business quickly and easily because it’s convenient for them to have you waiting right at their fingertips. In this sense, reaching customers via their mobile isn’t so much a case of advertising to them but of allowing them to reach and indeed buy directly from you via their mobile.
Users who require a product or a service will often look it up on their phones during their work day and they’ll do it in a variety of ways. They may search according to their location using their GPS capabilities, Google a service in their area or even use an App such as Urbanspoon to search for restaurants. It is essential for you to be there waiting; so how do you do it? The first step is a mobile optimised webpage. It sounds fancy; but all it really means is that your website is clearly viewable on handheld devices with smaller screens.
There are nearly 1 billion mobile internet users worldwide, so to help more customers reach you, it’s essential to have a mobile version of your current website. The main reason being that if a user accesses your current website on their mobile phone they may encounter blank spaces, or worse, a site that isn’t readable on their small screen. With users spending an average of 74 minutes a day on the internet using their mobiles as of June this year, it is vital that your business be available to these potential customers. With mobile optimisation, not only can customers contact and find you, but they can even purchase goods or book appointments directly. The smart phone user is all about convenience, so by offering this service you’re appealing directly to your target market.
In short, getting on board with the iPhone generation will allow you to;
Increase sales: Your clients can purchase products or gather information from your site while they’re away from their PC.
Reach more prospects: Expand the reach of your website to include prospects who do their research on the mobile web.
Show your clients your business is cutting edge: By creating a mobile website you are showing your customers that your business is forward thinking and tech savvy enough to cater to all web users.
Steve Jobs saw a chance in the iPhone to cater to a generation of people who want access to information instantly and conveniently, by putting the web in their hands and weighing about 150 grams. He has created an entirely new way of accessing information, and for us, a whole new mobile market that needs to be understood.