3 Ways That Printers Can Sell Mobile Websites

By | January 31, 2012

There is no doubt that the world of mobile is creating many opportunities for folks in the marketing and communications industries. Mobile technology has opened up new ways for companies to reach prospects, generate leads, and provide customer support.

For service providers, there is opportunity to help marketers achieve their mobile-related goals.  One area in which this is true is related to mobile websites. As the number of smartphone owners continues to rise, so will mobile web traffic.

The technology to build and provide mobile websites for other companies exists. But how can a print service provider sell this solution to their clients and prospects?

Here are 3 ways to get that conversation going:

As a Service That Complements QR Codes

If you are currently creating, tracking, and/or printing QR Codes for your customers, then you have a tremendous opportunity to engage them in a conversation about mobile websites.

Many of the QR Codes that I see “in the wild” today still point to regular websites that were designed for viewing on a desktop computer or laptop.

This is bad for many reasons! For one, it means that the person who puts forth the effort to scan the QR Code with their smartphone is going to have trouble simply reading the content on the website! Even if you rely on them to tap-and-zoom, chances are that they are going to be less than pleased with their interaction with your company. Big images may cause the site to load slowly, and certain functionality may not work at all (such as Flash).

Since QR Codes are going to be accessed by folks on mobile phones, the value of pointing people to mobile-optimized content should be clear to your clients.

By presenting your ability to provide that service to them easily, it should help you to grow your business!

Also, it should help them to increase the success of their QR Code efforts.

Become the Local Mobile Expert

While there is no doubt that mobile is a very hot topic in the marketing world, there are still many people that are not yet up-to-speed with how it affects their business.

This means that you have the opportunity to aggressively educate your customers, prospects, and other businesses in your local area about items such as mobile websites. If you can position yourself as a thought-leader, your chances of being the ones that they turn to when they realize they have a need should absolutely increase.

This educational effort can be done in a number of ways. Here are a few:

  • Offer to speak about mobile marketing at local Chamber of Commerce events (or similar events that bring together local businesses)
  • Write about it on your company’s website and blog
  • Discuss it in your monthly newsletter
  • Talk about it on your social networks
  • Send direct mail and emails that highlight important mobile statistics… and your services

Set the Example

Of course, one of the best ways to convince someone why they need your services is to walk-the-talk.

If you are going to tell someone that they need a mobile website, then you certainly will want to investigate what it will take to create a mobile website for your own company.

Not only can this help to demonstrate that you truly believe in the importance of “going mobile”, but it also can be a great conversation-started (“Hey! I noticed your website looks different on my phone”) and a way to increase your effectiveness as you seek to reach the growing mobile audience.

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7 thoughts on “3 Ways That Printers Can Sell Mobile Websites

  1. Marion

    There is no doubt that mobile is becoming a critical part of how we do business.

    John provides great advice, both on how to get yourself started as an expert with mobile websites and how promote your expertise. I would just add becoming the expert in mobile websites now will also give you an advantage down the road as mobile technology -especially mobile to print – advances.

  2. Mike Porter

    Integration of printed direct mail and mobile sites can be a way to deepen a relationship between a printer and their customers, making it much tougher for customers to take their business to a competitor with a lower price on printing services.

    Development of mobile sites isn’t a one-time opportunity. Every direct mail offer should have a unique mobile landing page with a call to action. Printers can create the mobile pages for each new campaign. Fulfillment, as a result of actions taken on the landing pages, presents another revenue opportunity.

    Personalized follow-up mail along with other lead-nurturing activity would also seem to be an area of growth for printers seeking to use mobile technology to become a more valuable partner to their customers. Not simply the provider of a commodity.

  3. John Foley Post author

    Hi Mike,
    Thank you very much for reading this article and for leaving that comment!

    I’d certainly echo your point: In today’s world, it’s absolutely vital that printers take steps that will help them become a “more valuable partner to their customers”.

    I do believe that mobile websites are one way to help printers progress in that direction.

  4. John Foley Post author

    Hi Marion,
    Thanks very much for your comment.

    Mobile is absolutely changing everything that people do online —- from social networking, to researching, to consuming static information, and to placing orders as well!

  5. Joe Lazzaretto

    Great article! I am starting to work with this concept and my customers are very open to it. All you need to do is point out that Mobile web traffic is projected to surpass desktop traffic within three years and they are all ears.

  6. Kit Hamilton

    John: Mobile has definitely come of age–and there are a lot of play as you mention–but a lot of organizations are struggling to make it work. We recently pulled together a panel of industry experts to share some of the issues and best practices in mobile and new media. If you have the interest (and five minutes) can check it out http://apps.vg/v/4edbc03deaeac03a10000127/

  7. Brew

    John, when you talked about qr codes you said they were a “tremendous opportunity to engage them in a conversation about mobile websites”. I think this should be emphasized even stronger. Printers have an obligation to insist that a qr code leads to a mobile friendly site with value. If we don’t apply more effort to this, we will collectively slow scan adoption rates and add to the death of the qr code. A post I had written last year pointed out 5 things that were done incorrectly to a qr code ad I found in an inflight magazine – http://www.houseofbrew.com/2011/05/14/5-qr-code-failures-to-learn-from/ – I can’t believe how relevant that post has been for well over half of the “in the wild” codes that you had referenced.

    I also love your point about being a local expert. In fact, I would say you want to try and build up key employees within your organisation to become local or even global experts in mobile, social, email marketing, seo, and so forth. It takes tremendous time and effort, but the eventual payoff is exponential.
    Have an awesome day, John.

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