By Rieva Lesonsky
We’re hearing a lot about mobile marketing these days, with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. But while most of the talk is about consumers and their changing shopping habits, it’s equally important for BtoB marketers to realize their customers’ behavior is changing, too.
For years, business decision-makers have relied on smartphones to get stuff done on the go. The advent of tablets, and their increasing adoption with the introduction of the latest iPad over the holiday season, has only accelerated the trend. Enterprises are adding tablets for their teams or, if they aren’t, a growing number of employees and executives are just showing up with their tablets and expecting to use them for work purposes (BYOD, or “bring your own device”).
Busy execs, in particular, are taking to tablets and using them for all types of purposes, from catching up on their industry reading to giving presentations to watching videos to taking notes during meetings. How can you take advantage of the fact that decision-makers are spending more time on their tablets?
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile viewing. You’d be surprised how few entrepreneurs do this. According to Web.com‘s recent Small Business Mobile Survey, only 26 percent of small business owners have a mobile-friendly website ( the same layout/content as standard site adjusted to suit a smartphone screen), and just 14 percent have a stand-alone mobile site. Of those who do have a stand-alone mobile site, however, a whopping 84 percent saw an increase in sales as a result. Consider both tablets and smartphones, and be sure to include all platforms. Although the iPad is by far the dominant tablet, when it comes to smartphones, the market is less clear-cut and, especially in big business, many execs still rely on BlackBerry smartphones.
Consider adding a mobile app. BtoB apps need to be useful and solve a problem your customers have by making a process more fun, easier or faster. Think about how typical activities your customers engage in could translate into apps, or how apps can make it simpler to communicate with your business.
Look into mobile advertising. With more execs reading and researching on the go, you may want to move part of your ad budget into mobile. True, you might not be able to afford an ad in the mobile version of The Wall Street Journal, but think about running ads in the mobile versions of your industry’s key trade publications or in their mobile apps.
Get visual. The popularity of video online is skyrocketing, and today’s tablets with their crystal-clear displays are ideal for video viewing. Think about creating short videos demonstrating your product or service, providing customer testimonials or talking about a key issue in your industry.
Whatever tactic you choose, keep in mind that when it comes to BtoB marketing, it’s all about relationships. How can mobile marketing improve your relationship with customers and prospects? How can you provide answers to their questions or solutions to their problems? Make yourself a mobile resource, and your relationship can continue wherever the customer is.
Image by Flickr user Siddartha Thota (Creative Commons)Google+