Thursday, February 21, 2008

Can your marketing reach cell-only prospects ?

I was just listening to a seminar by Ed Taylor ( the internet marketer who gets paid something like $8750 for a half day seminar). Luckily, it was free.

He started by reminding me of something so obvious: the huge increase in the number of people these days who don't have a landline any more. They use their cell phones at home. They use them at work (and in the car, on the john, etc.) And people who don't have landlines don't get phone books. They don't use the print version of the Yellow Pages. And they don't use old fashioned telephone books.

So where do they go when they need something? They Google something or try Yahoo's local directories, etc.

That resonates with me. I can't remember the last time I looked for anything in an old-fashioned phone book. I have noticed lately that Yellow Pages seem to pile up on people's front door steps in a way that didn't happen in the past. And our Web marketer Joy Larkin (who's been cell only for the past four years) was telling me the same story about her apartment block.

Figures from the National Health Interview Survey put the incidence of cell-only homes at more than one in eight – or 28 million adults – for the first six months of 2007. And there are stories circulating that show these cell-phone only households are becoming an increasing issue for political pollsters because they put these folk out of reach.

That raises some obvious issues:

How do you reach these prospects? That's particularly important if you target young people (the biggest users of cell phones) and execs who travel a lot, relying almost exclusively on their Blackberries, etc., to find a number, a link, etc.

The good news: Listing your company in most local directories, like Google's local service, is free. And even if your company sells to business, it makes sense to list it on these directories. Why not list each local office, your resellers and your corporate head office? Even if you sell across the United States, people often will call the local office first.

Wait there's more!!!! Other stats show average annual household spending on cell phone services is now about $524, just slightly below the $542 that the average family spent on residential and pay phones, according to Labor Dept. spending figures released in December.

That's a big change since 2001 when three-quarters of the typical household's phone budget went to landline service versus only 23% to cell phone use.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online blog editor Julie Power Thursday February 21 at 8 a.m.


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