Tablets and smartphones enable people to text, send photos, use mobile apps and communicate faster then before. The key to utilizing mobile technology in the building industry is to make sure we have communication flowing; giving the right information to the right people so they make the best decisions on the job.
Some stats to consider:
- Global smartphone use will reach 2 billion by 2015 (Bloomberg)
- Across all industries, mobile traffic is increasing by 3.5 percent per month (Televox)
- Tablet users access search 73.9 percent of the time, more than any other activity (eMarketer)
- Local mobile searches (85.9 billion) are projected to exceed desktop searches (84 billion) for the fist time in 2015 (eMarketer)
- 33% of contractors use a tablet ((The Equipment World 2014 Connectivity Study))
- 46 percent of mobile users say they are unlikely to return to a website they had trouble accessing from their phone (Gomez)
There are many other components to consider when developing your mobile strategy. Working with a marketing firm with mobile expertise can help you to build the best approach.
In the past, we had to develop separate mobile sites for users accessing information via smartphones, but now, we develop these with responsive sites. 54% of contractors have internet enabled smartphones (The Equipment World 2014 Connectivity Study), yet many companies are still slow to develop a mobile experience. At a minimum, have mobile friendly content and contact information.
Develop an app with purpose, in order to help in achieving a specific goal. For example, apps are often developed for customers to access information when there is no cell signal or access to Wi-Fi. Consider possible features. Is this to show information and tips or actual mobile tools to help customers in the building industry? You must understand your audience and have a clear development and launch plan that includes app updates. In addition, have a clear marketing strategy for getting your app downloaded and utilized. *could link to mobile app development article
Apps for builders and developers
Hundreds of mobile apps have been developed or are currently being developed with the building industry in mind.
iTopoMaps and Gaia GPS: Used to evaluate potential properties and puts USGS topgraphic mapping capabilities in your hands at the site.
Construction Estimator: Helps estimate materials and cost of a project.
Planimeter and Geo Measure: Curious about how many square feet or acres are in a potential development parcel or house lot? Use this app to also estimate the amount of material needed for a job. (Such as a driveway or decking, based on area.)
Construction glossary: Construction Glossary provides a comprehensive list of more then 700+ construction and civil engineering terms with a short definition.
iRuler: Turns your iPhone or iPad into a measuring device.
Easy Measure: Use Easy Measure to determine approximate lot lines by measuring from your location to a landmark in the distance. The app can also measure the dimensions of a room or building footprints for existing homes.
Many companies are starting to offer mobile coupons. These are delivered to mobile devices through an app, mobile website, or text. This has been B2C driven and more B2B companies are starting to follow suite. If you’re a dealer or a distributor, consider using mobile coupons to help drive business to your locations.
Location Based Services:
Location based advertising in B2B works well for people attending trade shows. You can also target people working in certain locations with more specific offers and information. 50% of respondents of JiWires’ Mobile Audience Insights report indicated that they wanted to receive location-specific advertising such as mobile coupons.
Social Media and Mobile:
Contractors are using social media sites at an increasing rate. Many businesses use these channels for marketing purposes as well as keeping in touch with their community.
Most visited social media sites per The Equipment World 2014 Connectivity Study.
Why consider mobile? The stats do not lie. This industry is growing. You need to make sure your content is mobile friendly. Companies who take the next step to develop mobile tools such as mobile apps and push out content to social media sites will inevitably beat out their competition.