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