“4.2 billion out of six billion people in the world own toothbrushes, and 4.5 billion people own mobile phones,” was the buzzed about statement at the annual Mobile Marketing Association Forum Asia Pacific conference earlier this year.
That’s a pretty bold statement, but it’s one that small businesses should pay close attention to while brushing, flossing and texting away in life.
“This is definitely the digital space to be in!” says Gonzalo Araya, principle and chief creative and analytics officer of L7z Group, LLC. “If anything, we are here digitally to enhance any current and business-forward initiative.” If everyone’s attached to his or her phone, it makes sense to do business on it.
Last month PC World posted an article listing 10 business ideas to start from your Smartphone, which got me thinking about how to go about putting a business on the mobile, social and online platforms. I spoke with Araya about what to consider and how to make the transition.
Here are some of his suggestions:
1. Follow trends in technology. To be successful and innovative, you need to competitively stay ahead of the market.
“We began with traditional Web 1.0 business solutions and now we are in Web 2.0, with technology even taking us to Web 3.0, be it defined or not,” says Araya. “The U.S. has been slow to catch up on the emerging mobile platforms, while overseas they’ve embraced this technology and [it] has become ‘business normal,’ rather than a new requirement.”
2. Review your business plan. Before hiring an integrating company like L7z Group to transition your business to your smartphone, make sure your business strategically aligned with today’s market.
If it isn’t, “Make changes to put your company’s direction in second gear,” says Araya. “Many times business owners believe that a business plan is their Bible and it’s not to be changed.” This mind-set is absolutely wrong.
3. Strategize. To be a winner or even just a game player, you need to understand the field. That means researching how your industry works and relates to mobile technology. You want to examine how it can be applied and how it can enhance your business initiatives.
“analyse what’s already been done, what has been successful and what has failed,” says Araya. “You need to be able to quantify and measure results, and always look at it from a business and marketing perspective.” Araya suggests answering the following questions: Will it solve an internal communication paint-point? Will it maximise my brand exposure?
4. Create a timeline. There are many underlying factors to examine before setting a “go live” date with a full-service digital solutions provider like L7z Group.
“Depending on the mobile business needs, this could be as easy as 30 days for a simple SMS campaign to ‘X’ months for a robust multi-platform integrated campaign — big range, scope of work differences and compliance guidelines determine your ‘estimated live date,’ as well,” says Araya. “What we do is completely different than your bulk-message providers out there that start you at a ‘flip of a switch.'”
Realistically speaking, Araya says a basic SMS takes 30 days. A robust SMS program estimates 60-90 days. Allocate 2-4 months for a mobile app and that time frame depends on the platform or platforms.
Remember, with mobile, social and online platforms, the goal should be that your business is seeking dialogue and not a one-way advertisement.
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