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Rotary_270x232I knew it would come to this. Not only has the pay phone gone but so too has the house phone. 

You know, the one attached to the wall.

While helping my friend Mary clean out her mom’s home recently (her mom had recently gone to a nursing home) I noticed an old dial telephone on the shelf.

“Mary," I asked. "Could I have your mom’s phone?" 

Of course she replied "yes," but not until she asked "why?"

I told her it will probably be a collector’s item and besides, I won’t have to worry about losing it.

The longer I looked at the phone, however, the stranger it looked. It really is a relic.

The latest Forrester Research tells us that the number of smart phone users who access the Web daily from their phones is 36%. In addition, 80% of Americans are online which makes you wonder, in addition to Irma, my 94 year old neighbor, who isn’t online?

Another interesting statistic supports that three-quarters of these Americans have broadband, and have not yet added mobile or social network strategies to their marketing mix. I know, many of you that belong to the “I’m not going on Facebook ever” group are gloating. Don’t get too complacent, the latest statistic about Facebook is: if it were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. I never thought I would get myself involved with FarmVille or the Mafia Wars on Facebook, but they really are fun.

I would say it’s just a matter of time until we all move to mobile phones and Facebook. According to Henry Harteveldt, Forrester VP and principal analyst, one in four use their mobile device to research products they will buy either online or offline. For one thing, it’s easier. Forrester predicts that mobile will become the hub of consumer relationships. And it will be all about Apps.

I don’t have an iPhone but I am enamored with their Apps. If you need to know anything, just ask an iPhone user and they have an “App” for it. 

Want to know about the weather? They have an App. 

Want a recipe? They have an App. 

As Yahoo! defines it, an App — or application — is fun or useful software that can enhance your experience on your phone or on the Web.

So how will this affect your business?

  • Communication in your business is important, knowing how your customers communicate is even more important. You don’t have to like where communication is going, but know it will affect your business. And by the way, what’s not to like?
  • Is information about your business constantly being updated or is it forever carved in stone? Think of your web site as if it were a magazine cover. Would you open a magazine if the cover never changed?
  • Embrace new technology; attend workshops on social networking and building your business, determine what do you need to learn and where you start. You may think you’re old school or behind other businesses, but for mainstream it’s fairly new. Don’t get complacent.

One reason to look at online marketing is it’s pretty cheap, and sometimes free. If you know your stuff, you can compete with almost anyone and make a dent in the marketplace.  Do you own a smart phone but still using it as a dumb phone? Take a trip to wherever you bought it and ask for a lesson or two on what it can do. That reminds me; guess I need a trip to Radio Shack for a lesson on my Blackberry.

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