B-to-B : The Mobile Multitool
3 smartphone and tablet strategies for business marketersNovember 2012 By Jared Brickman
In a time when smartphone use is experiencing rapid growth, it's important for businesses to think about how they can seize communication opportunities presented by mobile technology—especially in marketing to other businesses. From a visual for one-on-one sales pitches to a comprehensive product catalog for viewing on the go, there are a number of potential uses for mobile marketing and purchasing. Already, marketers are prioritizing the mobile users, thinking about their needs first in the development of digital assets.
The Decade of Mobile
In a 2012 AT&T poll, 96 percent of businesses surveyed reported using wireless technology, with 63 percent indicating that it was essential to their operations. In 2012, a study on mobile usage by Pew Internet found that 68 percent of adults whose household income is greater than $75,000 own a smartphone, further indicating the widespread use of mobile among key business decision makers.
International businesspeople can be even more beholden to this phenomenon. Technology website All Things D recently reported that India's mobile Internet users made up more than 50 percent of total traffic in May 2012.
From the data, it's clear that advanced mobile devices have quickly become an essential tool for conducting business. It's important, therefore, for B-to-B marketers to develop specific strategies that target mobile users. The following are a few ways to leverage mobile in business marketing and purchasing activities.
1. Mobile Websites and Apps
You may have already made a hearty investment in a "desktop-sized" website for your business. However, there are serious usability issues that come with viewing a large website on a small mobile device. Going further, there may be favorable circumstances for you to offer a unique set of content and features to mobile users. To this end, you can develop a distinct website optimized for mobile or, for assets with more aggressive functionality, a mobile application.
In many industries, the decision to make a purchase starts outside the purchaser's office. With mobile, not only can your company be on the scene, but it also can tap into mobile device technology as a means for enhancing the user's experience. For example, a home construction materials distributor could develop a "fast-order" catalog tool targeted at construction site managers who need a way to quickly replenish supplies. To make the ordering process more convenient, the form could use the mobile device's GPS technology to automatically input the user's location.