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Internet Marketing

Mobile Could Be BIG for Business…

With the market flooded with smartphones and tablets these day, you’d think more businesses would be catering to the mobile users. They’re  not.  As my US colleague has reminded me more than once… “If you want to know what the internet and online marketing was like ten years back, go to New Zealand”

“If you want to know what the internet and online marketing was like ten years back, go to New Zealand”

Yes our small size that is the culprit, slowing down technological adoption and innovation. Our population density has a lot to do with it. Look at South Korea where many view TV programs streamed to their iPhones, due to the widespread Fibre cabling + 3G phone networks. In NZ, with its dispersed population, we simply can’t afford that sort of high speed infrastructure. This is sad, especially as our consumers here are just as eager to adopt.

Yes our infrastructure is poor, but so is the business mindset. However we could at least do the lower cost stuff, like mobile-optimised websites which are fast and easier to view on hand-held devices.

Is your Business Website Mobile Compatible?

This should be a fundamental offering today when you’re having a new website built or updated. Yet too often I’ve heard of developers charging thousands more for this relatively low cost addition. Assuming they’ve the right coding framework it’s typically just a hundred or two extra lines in the sites stylesheet file.

Mobile apps are another option too. Those needed for business use and interacting with clients need not be expensive. Many are popping up like wildflowers.  Toolsets like WeeverApps and Uppsite.com are but two examples from the dozens available, allowing small businesses to have their own mobile app developed at relatively little cost.

Lack of Knowledge is a big barrier to success online

But online or mobiles tools without a strategy and education behind it is a waste of time (and money). A mobile website or accompanying app isn’t enough to succeed. It’s like being provided a new car, but not knowing where you want to go or given lessons on how to drive. I see this a lot with online systems, especially email marketing where loads of companies now use it, but there’s no planning behind it or analysis of outcomes. Similarly websites where analytics data is largely ignored. SEO is a one-off event at the time of the build and quickly forgotten, even though Google changes it’s algorithm every week…

I think there is a wealth of opportunities around mobile [and SEO], but only if businesses make the decision to invest as much in education as they do the tools at the time of purchase. As an engineer, I’ve seen this with many technologies from PC software, digital printing systems through to online solutions. In the hands of well trained users, they can perform incredibly well, providing a fast ROI, making life much easier. Without training they too often fail and are quickly discarded as a bad idea.

p.s. I think IBM back in the 80s had the right idea when selling new technology. A third of the budget on the product itself (hardware/software), another third on implementation and another third on ongoing user training and education…  The practice today is often a few hours supplier training, then leave it up to staff to ‘figure it out’ for themselves, when they have the time. It’s no way to run a modern business….

Also read Inc Magazine

Discussion

3 comments for “Mobile Could Be BIG for Business…”

  1. Why is your website isn’t responsive then if its so easy?

    I’m in digital marketing at the moment, with front end development background.

    “Yet too often I’ve heard of developers charging thousands more for this relatively low cost addition. Assuming they’ve the right coding framework it’s typically just a hundred or two extra lines in the sites stylesheet file.”

    Please, there is a little more to this than few extra lines. hah.. this kind of stuff shouldn’t be published.

    Posted by Gabi | November 13, 2013, 4:15 pm
    • I take you point. Certainly this old site (est 2008) is not yet responsive (my xmas project), but instead, is coded to auto-display appropriately for mobile phones in a simple blog list layout, not responsive, which for this sort of blog site is appropriate.

      But if I’m building a brand new site from scratch, it really is only a few hundred lines of extra css coding I add in. I will admit it depends too upon the CMS and/or framework the developer is using at the time. Sites custom coded from the ground up and even those on platforms like Drupal etc can mean a huge amount of extra work and cost to make responsive. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are viable open source options (e.g WordPress that I use) that are really quite easy and ideal for small business use. Yes, special websites like ecommerce and directory sites will need more work and perhaps a thousand lines of extra css coding, but these are in the minority.

      Posted by Kevin Trye | November 13, 2013, 5:39 pm
    • To prove that with the right platform, it really can be just a few hours coding work, here’s a good article on the topic. The comments of the article make good reading too. http://tinyurl.com/nvqbcb2

      Posted by Kevin Trye (@kevintrye) | December 3, 2013, 11:00 am

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