Do you remember a time, about ten years ago, when having a website was a trendy thing? There was no proof a website would increase sales. Companies were either guessing it would help or wanted to be one of the elite in their industry and say “Check us out, we have a website!”

That time has passed. Having a website has become mandatory in just about every market place, including the fruit and wine industry. Websites and online marketing have proven to be the sales force of many companies. Unlike radio, phone books, brochures and other traditional advertising methods, with online marketing we get to see all the statistics or analytics of our marketing in accurate real time. If the numbers are not working, we get to tweak it until it works and sales increase.

Getting back to trends of the industry, I am sure you’re getting tired of hearing you need to pay out for a mobile version of your website, or move to a responsive design for mobile browsers. I am happy to say that you’re not alone!

I will also say now is not the time to lock yourself in the cellar, drink a glass of wine and hope the problem goes away. The truth is, it is expected that there will be more tablets sold than PCs this year, and there are more smart phones sold in a 24-hour period than babies being born around the world. Take a minute and wrap your head around that.

This is not just a trend. Google will be lowering the ranking of websites that are not mobile friendly as a result of their studies. Their study has found that 77% of mobile searches happen when people are at home or at work – even when there is a PC nearby and available. They also found 55% of mobile-searches influenced conversions that take place within the hour!

Is your brain starting to hurt yet? It’s going to be okay. There is another bottle right over there. Go get it. I’ll wait. Okay, glass in hand? Let’s get down to it and see how this affects you. I am not going to suggest by going mobile your business is going to double in revenue overnight. However, I am confident that sales will increase if it is designed to properly help market your company. I am also willing to say I am 100% confident your sales will decrease if you don’t embrace what is happening. This is not a temporary trend.

Utilizing mobile marketing builds connections with potential customers. I am sure you have noticed how people like to connect over a nice glass of wine. You are probably thinking it’s because of the good wine; however, like the mobile device or social network, the wine is just the tool used to help people connect.

We all want to be a part of something. This is why the world has so many clubs, organizations, memberships and groups that connect people. So where does this fit in with mobile marketing? Simple, it’s about being connected with your audience or customers. The earlier mentioned stats are telling us people are using mobile to connect.  They are watching. Even expecting you to be there.

This is why social media has become so popular and why almost all social media websites have mobile versions or apps. They know how people want to use their mobile devices to connect.

All smart, savvy businesses have been jumping on board. If you look closely you will see the large companies that are doing well with social media are all doing the same thing. They are trying to be open and authentic so people want to connect with them.

Big corporations are loosening up and are trying to become more relatable by almost appearing not to be “big brand.” Not long ago, if a corporation was going to say anything public there was a huge process leading up to an official press release. People don’t have time for that anymore. With all the information at our finger tips and need for connection, we demand an instant response. Successful companies have realized this and hire people to be the instant responders to anything online.

Here is a true story:

A man tweets about his brother’s frustration with Koodo mobile. Within minutes Virgin mobile catches the tweet and replies, “Your bro should switch to Virgin Mobile. Just sayin’.”

When was the last time you saw a company of that capacity reply to something so fast, and use terms like ‘bro’ and ‘sayin’’ when communicating with a potential customer? Awesome! That company has just become current, funny and approachable. Needless to say, bro switched to Virgin Mobile.

Wrapping this up, I would like you to think about how this matters to your business. The age of information is gone; we have all the information we need as it’s simply taken from one website and reproduced on the next website.

We have now stepped into the age of connection and relationships. It’s just learning how to use the information and technology to genuinely connect with potential customers. If you don’t jump on board and adapt to this changing age, you will be left in the saying to yourself, “Remember the good old days?”

At least there will always be wine.

 

This article was originally written by Mike Cooper of Black Mountain Media for Orchard & Vines Magazine which you can view here

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