How smart is your smart phone? I’m predicting here and now that 2011 is going to be the year of the smart phone, and if you don’t have one or you haven’t figured out how to maximize your mobile potential, you’re going to lag behind. In the months ahead iPhone is going to be available through another provider besides AT&T, proliferating its already widespread popularity on a more reliable network. Android is going to continue to dominate thanks to open source technology that makes it a developer’s dream (and nightmare) when creating apps. And Blackberry is in the game to stay, thanks to its awesome security and popularity in the corporate world. More and more developers are looking for ways to create apps that make your smart phone even smarter – more useful, more efficient, and ultimately, the device you turn to in order to meet your digital needs.
Why does this matter to Internet Marketers? Because being mobile optimized is going to be critical to your ability to remain visible. The next place smart phones are going – and they are headed there very rapidly – is multimedia. Already you can connect your smart phone to the Internet and your social media accounts. You can turn your smart phone into a radio. In the coming months, there will be more applications developed that let you stream video, TV, and other media. As the floodgates open, you’re either going to drown or ride the waves to bigger success by being positioned to leverage the newest and greatest technologies.
Desktop computers are dinosaurs. Laptops no longer function as portable devices but just the sleeker version of the desktop that you sync to occasionally. We travel with iPads, Kindles, and smart phones – and it is these portable technologies upon which marketing strategies need to be built. If you aren’t mobile ready – branded, visible, and capable of accepting mobile payments, yes, but also mobile optimized – you will lose competitive advantage.
There are steps you can be taking now to be mobile optimized, and it all starts with finding a good mobile development firm. Second, you need to make sure you carry your branding and image through everything you do, so that there is a cohesive feel between what consumers see of you on the internet and what they see of you on their mobile devices. Third, you need to start boning up on the capabilities and potential of mobile advertising and marketing, creating ways to be visible in the mobile market. Whether it’s working with your mobile development firm to create low cost apps that provide real value or making sure everything you do can be seen just as easily from mobile devices as it can from a computer, NOW is the time to position yourself for success in the mobile revolution.
Ultimately, what you want to be prepared for is mobile advertising. Like the Google PPC campaigns of the last decade, the new wave of marketing will be through real time bidding (RTB). RTB is going to be the marketing model of the decade, empowering marketers to more efficiently spend their budgets while accurately targeting their market with laser-like accuracy. You can read in detail about RTB here, but suffice it to say that if you’re not ahead of the curve when it comes to mobile technology, you’ll fall behind quickly. RTB is already on the Internet, with the value of each impression being much more valuable than its PPC predecessors. As smart phones get smarter and more multimedia apps are developed, you can bet that Real Time Bidding will become even more valuable as you begin to extend your reach into the hands of consumers, most of whom are beginning to turn to their smart phone for just about everything they do. Don’t get left behind!