How To Catch Up

iStock_000003616737XSmall Very few companies lead the market in everything unless they do only one thing.  Instead, most companies lead in one area, maintain parity in most, and lag in one or two.

Trouble starts when when you’ve missed something new altogether.  One example is mobility an

d social media, which are now blending.

The market no longer looks at text messaging as a cool extra feature—it expects everyone to do it.  Mobile applications for smart phones and PDAs are quickly achieving the same “table stakes” status that a web site achieved a decade ago.  If you don’t have answers, you’ll soon find yourself in a terrible conversation with a client where you’ll learn that you are slow, old, predictable, and boring.

The problem most companies face when trying to catch the field—especially larger companies—is process.  The reason you fell behind is that your processes and culture discourage innovation.  Ten years ago, someone talked about mobile solutions and the organization collectively said, “no.”  Five years ago, that innovator raised the issue again, this time demonstrating a simple prototype.  The organization said, “we don’t have time: other priorities.”  Two years ago, the sales force said, “Everybody’s asking about our mobile capabilities,” and the organization answered, “Tell them its on the roadmap.”

Now it’s 2009, and your organization is the only one that doesn’t have a mobile solution.  You’re passing up $40 million a year in business because many prospects won’t even talk to you.  Your existing clients have you scrambling to interface with their mobile solution provider.

If you’re in this boat, don’t try to conquer the world.  It’s too late.  Instead, get one mobile solution in place, then tackle the next one.

Here’s your game plan:

  • Contact a mobile solution provider you trust.  If you don’t know one, contact Message Buzz.  They are reputable, experienced, and ready to get you started in a day or two.
  • Pick the simplest, meaningful SMS service you can possible deliver.  Example:  Text mybal to 35350 and receive your current account balance and last 3 transactions.  Another:  Text timcrank to 41411 and receive a link to a loyalty marketing social network.
  • Use the simplest possible interface to the text messaging provider.  If an Excel spreadsheet of phone numbers and account balances can go out the door today, do it.  Improve the interface over time.
  • Provide your customers, members, or clients with a mechanism to suggest mobile solutions they want.  For instance, text ‘idea’ plus the suggestion to a short code.
  • Commit to adding one new mobile tool every month for the next year.

Again, if you have nothing to offer the mobile world now, you will probably never lead in mobility.  But you need some answer to everyone else who already has a solution.

This process applies to anything in which you’re behind.  If you don’t understand social media, create a Twitter account and tell the world you’re listening.  Or create a facebook account and tell your best 5 customers about it.

If you need more help with mobility or other solutions, email  We’ll be happy to help.  Or text “helpstart” plus a short description of your needs to 41411, and we’ll get started right away.

Technorati Profile