I’m sure you’ve seen them in airports and downtown areas. Mobile consumers are those who stare into small shiny devices, using their fingers and thumbs to tap buttons and generally ignore the rest of the world around them. Well thats an extreme version, but generally, mobile consumers are a technology enhanced bunch. They carry a handheld or tablet device that is connected to a cellular service for data streaming, or in the case of tablets, some require a WiFi environment to access the massive content available through the internet.
No matter where they are, mobile consumers are wirelessly connected to family, friends, work associates, fans, and groups with similar interests via the most revolutionary devices available to men, women and children, in modern times. From the mobile device, a mobile consumer can navigate to a town, a store, a restaurant or a place of interest. Researching history of a place, or looking for reviews of a hotel, eatery or consumer goods, are all commonplace events in the life of a mobile consumer.
As a mobile consumer myself, I recently visited the Sonoma Wine Country with family members. I used my iPhone5 for all sorts of convenient tasks including photography, looking for teahouses, closest Sees Candy Stores, mexican restaurants, wineries, olive oils and I made ample use of the Maps feature. Since I live in rural Idaho, I’ve never needed to navigate my way to anyplace in my small town or even the town where I go to shop at Costco or Walmart. So upon discovering the exceptional navigation tool built into my iPhone5, I used it to its max potential during our girl adventures, and blazed new trails in my technology pursuits. Without this handy navigation tool, we might have drifted along, wasting time to figure out what road to take, which one we missed. Without the Maps app, we would have been forced to reference cumbersome paper maps and discovery guides. While our foursome packed our guides and maps in the vehicle for each days adventures, we relied predominantly on the gal in my iPhone5 or my cousins iPhone4S. My cousin lives in a metropolitan area, but had never used the voice prompted navigation feature of Maps. Cool! We both learned new things.
This is how the Maps feature works. Plugging in the address or town to which I needed travel assistance, the voice enhanced mapping app told us where to turn, when to turn, and how to successfully arrive at our destination. A small blue radial dot with a beaming circle that pulsed, showed me where I was located, and a red dot represented the destination I had plugged in. I could paste in a full address or just type the first few letters of a town we needed to travel to, and we’d get there without much further ado. During our travels to and fro in the land of wine and olive oil, Apple iPhones’ Maps tool was accurate and such a magical appliance to enjoy in the palm of our hands! Fabulous! …. and it saved the $10 or $15 cost per day of adding a navigation device to our rental car.
Aside from the joy of using the maps feature to assist with our travels, my key point on the subject of mobile consumers visiting rural Idaho is to realize the importance of the device as a direct path to influence increased exposure to your business.
Is your business making the most of an online presence? Does your business have a website?
Especially for those who own and operate a store, an eatery, lodging or provide some type of service for traveling consumers, a website offering information about your business is a no-brainer. At the VERY LEAST, a well developed Google Places account is a must. A Facebook Fan Page is helpful, but those consumers who are not participating in Facebook will not have access.
Starting simple can be your best foot forward if your budget will not immediately accommodate the cost of a professionally launched website. There are many free options available to begin building the content for your website. WordPress.com offers free website hosting and the application that enables you to post the details of your business. Blogspot.com is another popular service for free website services.
Your competition may have a web presence, and if you do not, the competitor will likely capture the interests of travelers to your general area. From personal experience, mobile consumers like myself are planning, researching and designing their travel experiences, adding the final touches on where we navigate, even as someone else drives through the countryside. If plugging in tea or coffee houses during my travels takes me to a specific destination, because the website provided information about the kinds of teas and coffees offered, mention of free WiFi and other sundries, and you rely on fate or some other marketing scheme that precludes a website for your business, well, you just lost a customer and all the friends that mobile consumer might refer to your place of business, as well as the many others who are performing the same rites of passage.
In 2013, if you still have no website, you’ve never visited your Google Places account, you don’t care about growing your business or capturing the attentions of mobile consumers crawling the planet and the region of your business, a cave in Death Valley may be more suitable for your future as an entrepreneur. After all, there is likely no internet in Death Valley and your cave may become a novelty for a few.