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Your customers are looking for you on their mobile phones

November 18, 2009

A new report from BIA/Kelsey shows almost 20% of mobile users searched the mobile web in October 2009 looking for local products and services. This figure is up from 15% from the previous year.

What may surprise some folks is only 11% are looking outside their local area for products and services. Local has a 2-1 margin and I feel it’s safe to say this margin will only grow as the amount of local content increases.

Nothing is more local than a mobile phone user and their phone. They want to know what’s going on immediately around them and if you give them a way to say “I want to hear from you Brand X since I am a customer and value your information about offers, exclusives, etc.” they will likely act on it. Mobile redemption and brand recall for mobile offers and information easily beats other forms of marketing.

Once they say they want to hear from you, reach out to them in a meaningful way on an ongoing basis. My advice I always give is to think of the one thing you want to tell a customer right now. This is not a repetition of your “About Us” blurb on your PC website.

For example, say I’m with a group of friends and we want pizza. Forget the fact that I know every pizza place within a five mile radius of my house. I won’t be looking for a pizza place but what I will bring up to my friends is “hey, I got this text message offer from Zepi’s-let’s go there”. I show my friends the message and I can even click on a link to their Ruxter site and look at their menu on my phone in case someone says they want a salad or wants to know if they have beer specials.

It’s not enough in the mobile world to offer your name, rank and serial number like you do with your PC site. Yes, as the report points out, mobile users want that information, but they also want to know why you matter-why should they care about you in the one or two minutes they just devoted to looking for you. You need to tell them at all times why you are special. Give them information about you that they can’t get elsewhere and that meets their immediate needs.

This report is yet another example of where the mobile internet and the PC internet diverge. Mobile marketing is about meeting the demand for local satisfaction of immediate needs.

Dale Knoop is the President of Ruxter and an industry-recognized pioneer of mobile data services. In 2005 Dale won an Emmy while serving as the GM for Sprint TV. In August 2009 he launched Ruxter which allows anyone to quickly and easily become part of the rapidly growing mobile internet with a fully optimized mobile website they can share with anyone. You can contact him here. Follow Ruxter on Twitter

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