What I Learned on Summer Vacation

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While resting on this mountain pass, I finished a book on my iPhone.

In the last two weeks I’ve developed a new appreciation for mobile computing and instant gratification, and their impact on sales, products, and customer service.

While visiting family in rural Montana and Minnesota, I had the opportunity to rely on my iPhone for most of my computing and communications. Why? Land or satellite-based internet access was very limited. However, cell coverage was available, if not always blazing.

The funny thing, though, is that I was still able to do most of the things I would normally expect to do on a laptop, with the added bonus of having the mobile device serve as an always-on travel aid when looking for restaurants, coffee-houses, or…well, let’s be honest…it was really all about the coffee :^)

Since purchasing the iPhone and installing Amazon’s Kindle application, I’ve read more books in 4 months, than I read in the last two years combined. In the last two weeks I read on the road, at the gas station, at the house, on a mountain…you get the picture. But why so much more reading? Because I can browse, buy, download, and begin reading books virtually instantly. I’m still buying regular books (I’m reading a great book now on homesteading), but being able to satisfy a product craving anywhere, anytime is simply powerful.

I live and work in a beautiful, seaport and arts community. One of the things I hear frequently from businesses, is “Hey, no one uses the internet when they are on vacation – they are here to unwind.”

Wanna bet? I think that businesses in ANY industry that meet customers where they are, when they are, give themselves the opportunity to succeed. For-profit, non-profit, large or small. I don’t think there is any real distinction now between ‘traditional’ and ‘mobile’ computing. The devices are sophisticated enough to make it possible for customers to find you anywhere, at any time.

I found that those businesses that had useful information that I could download or consume at the moment I needed it got my business. I’m sure I’m not alone.

About Keven Elliff

Keven Elliff Google profile is a business development and marketing consultant who helps businesses, organizations, and individuals connect with customers. Keven advises solo entrepreneurs and small businesses, as well as large enterprises and nonprofits.

22. September 2009 by Keven Elliff
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