Recently I had a conversation with a local small business owner who suggested social media marketing was on the decline. “People are burned out and tired of it,” he said. “I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.” This is not an unfamiliar refrain; I‘ve heard it many times, always from a small-to medium sized business owner.
Today’s email delivered a timely report from Google—one I wish I’d had in hand as a response for the business owner. According to their data, consumers using their smart phones to research and purchase goods and service is up 120% from last year.
Last year I was informing clients that over 60% of consumers were researching, planning and making purchases via their phones. The update from Google was not exactly surprising, but it is compelling.
According to Google, over eighty-two percent of consumers report consulting their phones for purchases they’re about to make—either on way to the store or when they’re already in the store.
The article over at Think With Google also refers to a Mastercard report which reports customers who shop both online and off with a specific retailer buy 250% more on average. One major retailer claims its omni-channel shoppers are 8X more valuable than those who shop in a single channel.
These numbers indicate a greater need than ever before for strategic, integrated, mobile-friendly marketing and merchandising. The big players have teams of strategists advising them to stay ahead of the consumer trends, but in many ways the local mom-and-pop shops have a harder time of it.
If 8 out of 10 shoppers are influenced by mobile marketing, it’s critical to provide a rich, rewarding user experience at every step along the way. That includes lively, inspired digital media across every appropriate channel.
Staying on top of marketing trends and proven best-practice methods is often beyond the reach of the small business owner who’s been relying on the DIY approach to marketing. Even the smallest not-for-profit usually has some call-to-action to spotlight.
If you haven’t upgraded your flat website to a mobile-friendly, optimized, social media integrated website you may as well just be listed in the phone book. And let’s face it…When’s the last time you even saw one of those?
Omni-channel marketing is here to stay and small businesses who want to remain relevant in their markets will take it to heart.