The Way To Gen Y's Wallets Is Through Their Phones

As I write this, I am impatiently waiting for my iPhone 4S to be delivered.

Yes, I preordered the phone and, yes, I got up at 2 a.m. Central Time on Oct. 7 to do so.

It's kind of a big deal for me when Apple releases a new iPhone. My iPhone is rarely -- if ever -- more than an arm's length away. It's the last thing I check before I fall asleep and it’s my alarm in the morning.

And I'm hardly the only one. Recent data released by the maker of the Opera Mini smartphone browser revealed that Gen Y users are its largest user group and, of those users, they browse the Internet on their phone more often than on a laptop or desktop computer.

Those figures are unlikely to slow down any time soon as phone manufacturers install faster chips and higher quality displays.

Here are a few ideas on how to get started with your mobile marketing.

1. Build an Awesome Mobile Site -- The first step in your mobile journey should not be to build an app. You need a good mobile site first. And that means getting over your obsession with Flash, embracing HTML 5 and hiring the best user interface and user experience people you can find. (Overpay if you have to.) Your mobile experience has to be flawless -- the margin for error on a mobile device in design is a lot less than through your traditional website.



2. Drive People There -- I still haven't found a mobile ad platform that I love or at least like more than any of the others, so I'll give the nod to good old-fashioned social media. This is one of the most unobtrusive ways to drive traffic to your mobile site as 43% of Twitter users access the service via mobile and Facebook Page Likes from mobile users have grown -- at least for the company I work for -- to 25% of our weekly new Page Likes.

Use this time to work out all of the kinks. Find out what people are using your mobile site for and how you can make that process easier.

3. Decide If You Need an App -- Keep in mind that 80% of branded apps get fewer than 1,000 downloads, according to research by Deloitte. Why? Because they don't add value -- you have to think in terms of utility. If your idea for an app doesn't at least marginally enhance a user's experience with your brand, don't build it.  However, if you can add value, there is demand. In that same research from Deloitte, 75% of mobile app users expect every brand to have an app.

Mobile marketing is not going away. Start testing now to refine your strategy and build a strong mobile relationship with Gen Y consumers.


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