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Big Promotions.net, Advertising Specialties, Dallas, TX

Reaching Customers In The Age Of The Smartphone

by Susan Morgan on March 9, 2011

It wasn’t all that long ago that we talked about the smartphone perhaps replacing the PC (or MAC) on your desk… and it looks more and more like this is just what’s happening. The growth of smartphones (not to mention tablets like the iPad) is incredible… to say nothing for what you can do with a device that fits in the palm of your hand… that you can use virtually anywhere. It’s not enough to have web access at home or at work anymore… now we need it everywhere we go.

But if you’re a business… these devices pose a challenge. Just how do you adapt to the new technology? How do you reach customers in the age of mobile apps?

We’ve come a long way since the first websites appeared just about 15 years ago. Today there are those who believe that the mobile web and app market is about to explode — between Apple and Android there are a sea of 500,000 mobile apps. Interesting that in surveys of mobile device users, iPad owners appear to be the most receptive to advertising. Smart businesses are trying to find ways to work with all this new technology, and you can too.

Start by making sure your website works flawlessly on these new devices… visitors can see things and navigate with a finger as opposed to a click of the mouse. Think about using the latest geo locator applications to deliver deals via those mobile devices at the right place and time for buyers. Remember, your audience is increasingly mobile… and your marketing needs to keep step.

This is where promotional products can really make an impact.

Rather than print pieces that get viewed and tossed, a promotional product is tangible… you can touch it, hold it, use it. These items stick around — especially if the product you choose is a quality, attractive item that has a real purpose. One that leaves recipients with a good feeling… a feeling of being valued and understood. By giving such an item you set up the unconscious need in the mind of the recipient to return the favor (i.e. give you their business) first chance they get

One of the other fantastic things about promo products is that you can print virtually anything — including the new QR (quick response) codes able to be scanned by a smartphone or tablet in order to access digital content. These codes, unlike barcodes of the past, are able to hold thousands of alphanumeric characters. This, and how easy they are to use (QR code generators are abundant, and free), is what makes them so appealing to small businesses.

Developed in the 1990s, QR codes are by far the best way to link mobile phones to just about anything. You can use them to share videos, landing pages for special offers or coupons, blog posts that have gotten a lot of attention, a whole ebook, installation instructions, sources for replacement parts, directions to your location, customer feedback forms and more. You can even generate a QR code that links a smartphone or tablet to the LIKE button on your Facebook page. Just amazing what these curious looking symbols can do.

By putting a QR code on a promotional product, a mug for example, you give everyone who gets that item immediate access to relevant content — super important to the growing numbers of tech-savvy recipients out there. Using your QR code there’s no searching an app store to download something, these codes are simply read by a scanner (RedLaser, I-Nigma, ScanLife and others) in the smartphone or tablet that takes you to a mobile smartsite that looks just like the app interface. The recipient gets just the content they want, without having the clutter of useless apps on their device.

What’s more, promotional product can be distributed any way you like. Send to specific customers. Give away to potential ones. Reward your hardworking employees. This hold-in-your-hand approach isn’t something people are used to, especially in an age where contact is by email or text.

All the more reason to use them, don’t you think?

Susan Morgan on sabtwitterSusan Morgan on sabfacebook
Susan Morgan
Creative, passionate and detailed, Susan brings 25-plus years professional writing experience to a variety of projects — get-noticed direct mail pieces, full line print catalogs, eye-catching color brochures and totally original. search engine friendly company blogs, web pages and online articles.

A lifelong love of storytelling has also produced a full-length novel (Out of the Ordinary published by booklocker in 2007). Susan continues to indulge her passion for fiction with a growing number of short stories (one an award winner in 2004, another in 2008) and finalizing a second novel.

In her spare time Susan enjoys gardening, studying astrology and tarot, being with family and friends and keeping up with politics and current events.


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