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Mobile Marketing: The Head-on Collision with Social Media by Paul Beaulieu

The year 2013 is about over, so let’s do a quick recap of social media for 2013 and what you should be working on for 2014. Hopefully business owners have realized the power of social media within the foodservice sector. We know … people are talking about our brand, for good or bad, and they are doing it online in communities. We no longer have total control of our brand. Yes, you may read that sentence a second time. Power has been transferred from you, the business owner to your customers. If you doubt this, search for example, bad yelp reviews. Bad reviews in print can kill a business, but online it has an exponential effect. Assuming we have dipped our toes into social media, the next big frontier (not really, it’s already here!) is mobile marketing. If you have not started to think about mobile marketing, mobile compliant website, and mobile loyalty programs, here are some eye-popping statistics, that should make you stand to attention.

  • 29% of people say their cell phone is the first and last thing they look at each day – Staticbrain.com
  • 46% of mobile users browse the Internet at least twice a week. Prweb.com
  • 51% of American’s have cell phones – Pewresearch.com
  • 78% increase in website traffic on mobile devices from 2012 to 2013. Hubspot.com
  • 25% of all global internet traffic will be mobile by 2014 – Marketo.com
  • $10.5 billion will be spent on mobile marketing by the end of 2013, figure will roughly double by 2015. – Marketo.com
  • 50% or more of mobile Internet is coming from users over the age of 35. It’s just not for younger people anymore. – Mashables.com

OK, think about this for a moment. There is absolutely no other device that is personal (we all have cell phones). They are pervasive (you carry them with you all of the time). Then we have the proximity factor. We can geocentrically target mobile device users. Mobile devices have become a great enabler to help consumers make purchasing decisions. The key here is proximity. If most adults have cell phones, and your target market is say a three to six miles radius from your restaurant or business, a powerful way to reach them is through their mobile device. Mix into the equation, social media, and the fact the people spent three times the time socializing on mobile then they actually do eating, it becomes simple math. The integration of mobile and social media will be key to leveraging your business and getting a leg up on your competitors in 2014. Many of your competitors, especially quick-service chains and fast-casual chains, are already out in front with this mix of technology. Independents have a lot of catching up to do. Do you?

Next, let’s touch on mobile compliant websites. If mobile traffic is up 78 percent from a year ago on smart devices, and your website is not mobile compliant, you’re missing out on a HUGE revenue stream. It’s the end of 2013 and I am still amazed by the lack of or poor Internet presence by companies in our industry.

Now we are talking about mobile in 2014. You have to get yourself caught up or out in front of technology if you want to gain market share from your competitors. I can’t stress enough this point. Luckily, if you already have a Point-Of-Sale System (POS), you probably have some sort of mobile integration.

What you should take away from this is, 2014 should not be a year where you hope your business will increase because of your product offerings. If the target client is always on the move around you, reach out to them via mobile technology, to increase brand awareness, brand visibility, and ultimately loyal customers.

About the Author

Foodservice Monthly is the newsmagazine foodservice professionals rely on.

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