Smart Phones ‘Connect’ with your customers

Where have your customers gone? One answer: It’s a sign of the times! Or is it?

Consumer spending is actually up, according to the Aug. 2012 Gallup Economy Consumer Reports, although unemployment in some U.S. areas is in the double digits. (In Doral, the unemployment rate is well below the national average).

So if our customers are spending at least the same (if not more) than before, where are your customers spending if not with you?

There’s a major disconnect in how we, as consumers, find products and services we need and how we, the business owner, goes about finding our customers.

Incomprehensibly, marketing has evolved with thousands of dollars spent in advertising yet the level of customers we need for our business to flourish remains unchanged. As part of my daily ritual, I empty out my mail box and inevitably throw away 80 to 90% of the contents as junk. My friends, customers and co-workers have the same experience.

I wonder how much money has been wasted when colorful flyers, brochures and glossy offers representing so many planning hours and thousands of dollars are deep-sixed — hopefully for just a 1 to 2% return.

Imagine for a moment being new to the City of Doral, knowing no one — just like so many new residents who arrive in our beautiful city every month. Imagine you want, for ex., a good hair stylist. How do we find a Stylist?

As a consumer, we typically go to the Internet and try some kind of web search for a product or service. We ‘Google’ hair stylists or salons, type in “Doral” or a zip code in the address bar. Then we typically select one of the top three or four choices.

In many cases, however, newcomers search by smart phone (recent statistics say 53% of those searches result in an immediate visit or purchase within 24 hours).

Now, let’s take a business owner who wants to reach out to that new or even existing customer? Most owners budget thousands of dollars annually for print, radio and TV advertising. Some invest in elaborate web sites.

Then, when nothing happens, they rationalize that it’s ‘the economy.’ People just aren’t spending money. The truth is a lot less complicated.

Digital “Pull” and “Push” Marketing has been slowly but very effectively taking e-commerce to your consumer’s smart phones. In our fast-paced lifestyle, we don’t go anywhere without our cell phones. In fact, studies show the average consumer is less than six feet from the cell phone at any time of day.

During recent years, we’re becoming accustomed to using smart phones for products and services at increasing record highs. Competitors anticipating this marketing shift have developed ‘mobile apps’ that capture this growing business trend.

Technology advances are steadily replacing desktops, laptops, print media, and traditional marketing methods in favor of the speed, ease and comfort of cell phones and smart phones. So the question should not be ‘where have your customers gone’ but rather, how can you get your business into the multimillion dollar industries of e-commerce and mobile commerce, growing every day?

Many businesses invest in mobile apps to use many features that smart phones users rave about — such as digital coupons, QR Codes, RSS feeds, Fan pages, GPS locators and much more. They know that if you want to compete and grow, go where your customers are going. Better still, go where their phones are going.

Gerardo Reyes, specialist in life insurance, health insurance and retirement planning can be reached at 786-333-7871 or by visiting

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