The entire category of mobile marketing has been a hot or up and coming topic for a number of years, but it’s one of those that hasn’t really hit mainstream for the typical small business.

I think that’s about to change dramatically and here’s why.

Location aware phones.

iPhones and just about every new phone that’s coming online has GPS capabilities built in. As a phone user this is great for mapping and directions. As a marketer this means you can know where a prospect is and deliver content in very specific context.

Google’s Android, open source handset project, has thrown some real gas on this fire too. Developers can use this mobile OS to integrate all of Google’s growing list of web apps into a phone, including search based on location.

The Application Frenzy

iPhone, Blackberry and Android all have pretty straightforward ways for developers to create simple applications that users can add to their phones. I think this will alter and accelerate the use of mobile devices in marketing. Instead of simply pushing out marketing messages through SMS or email, marketers can and are building location and context aware social networking applications that make it very easy for users to get hyper relevant content and offers while standing at the corner of 12th Street and Vine.

Two things every small business should do now

1) Make certain that your business profile is correct and complete in Google Maps, Yahoo!Local and LocalLive. (Claim your listing in Google or risk having it hijacked) – many devices will use this map data to help people locate and view satellite photos of your place of business.

2) Start exploring ways to make your websites, blogs and email marketing efforts mobile friendly. I use a service called MoFuse to create a mobile friendly version of my blog. (This topic warrants and entire post and I’m working on it.)

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Unfortunately an average company can’t get access to location data on the phone because of the privacy reasons (people don’t want to have just any company know where they are located).

  • Make sure you list your business, services, and products on Google Base, and Google Local Business Center both of which will help identify your location with mobile devices.
    Not only will they identify your locations but you can link lots of rich content as well.

  • David

    You should definitely check this out:

    This service lets anyone — any business — to do mobile marketing quickly and easily. pretty cool.

  • I can’t wait for more tips on making the site mobile-friendly. That is an area of web design that is super underutilized.

    I don’t wonder, too, if another good place to register would be any kind of local list, like the kind you find on state government websites? I just thought of that, but those usually turn up high in the search results for local listings.

  • John Jantsch

    @Max – no one will have access to the information unless the user gives permission, but that’s the point, users are giving permission to Google, Loopt and other location aware applications and the typical small business will have access to them through programs like geo targeted Google AdWords.

  • Hi John! Just set up my MoFuse account! Thank you so much for always sharing such great ideas!

  • Mobile marketing is just another tactic. Although it is powerful, it must be used wisely or else the recipients will dump you.

    I am looking for a company that provides a text messaging platform utilizing SMS such as Salient Mobility (SM). Any suggestions?

    SM seem to be too busy… they don’t even return their calls.

  • Pretty cool, but pretty scary as well! I’m looking forward to picking up an iPhone this week and seeing how it meets my needs as a business owner.

  • David

    Pierre – might be exactly what you’re looking for. have a look.

  • What I think is going to change people’s life is the ability to guide people through their phone to a particular location. In a close future you will be able to send (like you do today with a txt msg) your coordinates to your friends and they will be able to find you from where they are. Imagine not needing to give directions any more… just ping them your coordinates and let the phone GPS do the rest…

    JPh @