RISMEDIA, February 8, 2010—The numbers don’t lie. The facts are clear, people are just not communicating verbally as frequently as they once did. Text messaging, e-mail, Internet and social networking sites are all so readily available to us through our beloved mobile devices that we don’t need to either. We can communicate with five people, in five minutes, five different ways without ever making a phone call.
So in today’s fast-paced, real-time world, is the shift in the way we communicate and interact with one another simply a byproduct of that? Sure it is; as individuals, we use the technology that is available to us to make our lives easier and more efficient. However, in business, we must recognize the shift, quickly adapt, and market our products and services through the “mediums of the moment” in order to capitalize.
So how do we capitalize on the fact that people send billions of text messages a month? The same way that American Idol got viewers to send over a hundred million text messages during its last season and the Mobile Giving Foundation raised over $27 million in just seven days for the Haitian relief effort—a combination of motivation and desire. Motivation can come from anywhere, what motivates me might not motivate you and vice versa. Desire, on the other hand, is a bit of a different beast. When we look at desire and how it relates to a business’ ability to capitalize on the shift in the way people communicate, the numbers would indicate that the vast majority of us share a similar desire; immediacy.
As individuals, we consume the latest gadgets to feed our addiction to immediacy, the 3G this and Wi-Fi that. In business, providing the information consumers desire in an instantaneous fashion, can and will produce an array of benefits. First, by providing the consumer what they want when they want it gives them a pleasant and engaging experience. As such, their overall perception of our brand is enhanced. Second, and possibly even more beneficial to the bottom line, is the fact that if we use the proper technology, we can capture information never before possible through traditional advertising—consumers’ mobile numbers.
Last week we touched on the use of short codes. A short code is a short, easy-to-remember phone number that can be used for the purposes of receiving and sending back automatic, prearranged text messages. One of the benefits of using carrier-approved short codes to facilitate your mobile initiatives is that every time a consumer texts in, you as the business can capture their mobile phone number. In addition, with many mobile marketing platforms, real-time alerts can be set up so that you also receive the contact information of the interested consumer at the exact moment they request it. This means that you can strike while the iron is hot and make a connection with an interested buyer the moment they’re motivated.
In order to set off this chain of events, spark a motivation and fuel a desire, businesses must create a well-positioned call to action. None of this great technology will work unless people know it’s available. Take real estate for example; when people see a property for sale they primarily want one or more of three things: price, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, or to see the inside. As a Realtor you could easily capitalize on motivated buyers by informing them that they could text in right now to get price, property information, and pictures instantly on their mobile device. All it would take is a sign rider on the “for sale” sign.
As buyers inquired via text message, you as the Realtor would receive instantaneous alerts and be able to call them back right away. Maybe the house was perfect and they want to see it, maybe it wasn’t in their price range, either way you get to connect with them and find out what that buyer wants.
As individuals, we use the technology that is available to us to make our lives easier and more efficient. In business, we can leverage that same technology to reach people through the medium of the moment—their mobile phones.
Seth Kaplan is the president of Mobile Real Estate ID. For more information, visit www.mobilerealestateid.com.