CHRIS: Last Sunday was going to be a busy day. Besides church and catching glimpses of football, we were given a short deadline to create an email campaign for a new client (we’ll call him Bob) with a planned Sunday launch. Yep, we work weekends sometime. We love what we do and don’t mind occasionally working on the He-sheweekend. As we say around here, if it isn’t fun, we don’t do it! Of course, this meant being in contact with Bob over the weekend for copy approval. To meet his deadline (and ours) meant staying plugged in to my laptop and phone.

We were getting things done when we ran into a problem.

A Big Problem? I can’t find my cell phone.

I, like many people today, only have one phone. I have a couple of phone lines, but only one phone. I had no way to call Bob. No way to text him. No way to communicate with him in any way except email him and hope for the best.

To make matters worse, Bob was out of town for the weekend! This. Isn’t. Good.

17 years ago, I didn’t even have a cell phone. Now it’s like an American Express card. You simply don’t leave home without it!  It’s incredible how in such a short period of time that what began as a convenience has now become a necessity.

ROBIN: It was crazy, wasn’t it? Sending emails back and forth, and waiting! You and I could Skype but Bob doesn’t Skype or Hangout on his phone.

It wasn’t overly stressful, but it’s awful when you can’t find your phone! You’re right. I can’t leave home without it. I don’t feel safe. I will turn around, go back. Heavens forbid I should be disconnected from the world!

Just today I told a couple of gentlemen I’m working with that if I don’t respond to an email within 1-2 hours on most days, I didn’t get it. I use my phone to make calls, receive calls, send texts, read and send email. I take photos, send them to my kids, post online or send in an email. I’ve stood at the front of a room before I delivered a presentation, took a picture and posted it on Facebook to promote an event in-the-moment. My constant companion helps me keep-it-real. Heck, it’s my alarm clock. My smartphone is a tool that I use to be productive.

CHRIS: Now I realize that I’m a bit of a communications technology troglodyte, (which is weird since I used to be right up to date as a television director) but, when it comes to my phone, I feel I only need it to make calls, take calls and have voice mail. Oh, I can accomplish all the things Robin listed above, it’s just a little more problematic. I do, however, have the ability.

I do, that is, if I actually have the darn thing in my hand!

And Robin is right. It wasn’t overly stressful. The only places I had been the night before were in my car and, toward the end of the evening, at a local “public house” for a drink. I deduced that, if wasn’t in the car, it had to be at the bar, and so it was. I picked it up and not only was everything right with the world, we were really only about an hour behind schedule.

But, Robin is equally correct when she states how much we’ve come to depend on them for everyday life and how much business has come to depend on them in their marketing efforts.

ROBIN: Our analytics reports show that a large majority of people who read our email and access our blog are using mobile devices. Same with our clients. More people are reading their information on mobile devices; smartphones, tablets and iPads, than on desktop or laptop computers. This is paradigm-shifting.

While I’m right with the curve, Chris is lagging at least 10 years behind. Gotcha, partner!

Opens

CHRIS: Here’s the new reality. In the emails we send for our business and our clients’ business, over half of the recipients open and reply to them on their mobile devices. Heck, for many people, their only computer is their mobile device whether it be smartphone or tablet.  It’s not a phone anymore, it’s a computer that just happens to make phone calls.

ROBIN: What does your smartphone mean to you as a business owner or marketer? Here are 5 Tips to Help You Become Smarter than Your Smartphone:

  1. You must absolutely, positively, no questions asked, optimize your website for mobile. If you don’t know what that means, ask us. Our design team can turn this around for you quickly.
  2. Same goes for your email marketing. Make sure that your email marketing software optimizes your email for reading on a mobile device. (Failure to do either 1 or 2 will result in the loss of a potential customer. NO ONE wants to pinch and scroll on a device to read something!)
  3. Use your smartphone to take photos of your customers in the moment right after the sale. The reality is, your customers are happiest right after the sale is made. Showing your fan base your happy customers helps them be more confident in doing business with you. (Ask any realtor or car dealer!)
  4. Post those photos to your social media pages as they happen. (This includes the fun moments in your office or your store.) Show your fans what life is like at your company with spontaneous photo-sharing and commentary as it happens.
  5. Monitor your analytics. Whether you use Google Analytics, or any other available platform, track how your customers and prospects are engaging with you. Watch for trends. Adapt as the market changes.

CHRIS: If your communications with your clients, even with your friends and family, are not optimized, conforming to responsive design, (both buzz words for your message is immediately readable on all devices,) you may be turning off your readers as well as subtly telling them you’re really not all that up to date. (I know, that is a little ironic coming from me.) But it is essential for you as a business or marketer.

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