Mobile Marketing Strategies: Think Like Your Customers with Maps and Tablets

Three articles in the Seattle Times caught my attention today:

  1. Microsoft’s new tablet, called Microsoft Surface
  2. A technology feature column about Microsoft Surface and what it means for the future of Microsoft
  3. Apple’s new push to replace Google Maps with its own mobile mapping technology
Google currently owns most of the map data you see on your iPhone.

Google currently owns most of the map data you see on your iPhone. The fact that Apple will take control of its mobile map data later this year shows how important this data is for your business.

Each of these is a huge story in itself. Together, they tell us something very important about where personal – and business – computing and communications are going.

As a business owner or someone in marketing, you need to think of your business in terms of how users experience it on a mobile device. Think about building or redesigning your website for mobile users. You need a separate site for mobile, or you need a site that renders appropriately depending on the device of the user. In either case, this means designing with mobile search in mind.

Search engine optimization and usability (“user experience or UX”) are, more and more, becoming one and the same thing. Don’t just think of using keywords or getting links to your website. Think: How can I help users find what they are looking for? How can I make it easy to get there? How can I give them exactly the right information when they arrive?

I recommend you read all the articles above. The maps article is especially interesting because of the statistics cited about maps and mobile usage – the reasons that Apple wants to take maps in-house is the amount of info flowing in both directions between Google and Maps users. Apple wants control of this info.

If you thought the amount of information available on the Web was amazing, wait until you see what’s coming in the next few years as mobile geolocation gets integrated with that information and businesses realize how much they can make available to users.

The flip side, of course, is that there is going to be an unbelievable amount of data available to businesses about mobile users. Businesses and marketers need to get ready to harness that information.

UPDATE (July 2, 2012): More news to support the idea that maps, local search and mobile are supremely important to the future of your business: Amazon Buys UpNext, Will We Soon See Kindle Maps?

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