In an era where there are more and more ways to reach and communicate with your customers and prospects, every day challenges us in how to connect and have meaningful dialogue. How do I capture their attention? What is it about my brand and my promotions that they care about? How do I best engage customers for meaningful feedback or to reward them with special incentives that are relevant?

Smart devices provide a new and unique way to communicate with your customers. Smart phones are projected to hold a 50% market share in the US by the end of 2011 and a 75% market share by the end of 2013. This new medium provides incredible new opportunities to reach your customers in ways never before imagined. Are you able to take advantage of these opportunities?

According to an April 2010 study conducted by Luth Research, consumers are increasingly using their mobile phones for transactions with 21% indicating they’d made a transaction in the last month. More specifically, 17% of mobile phone users purchased content for their mobile phones (e.g. ringtones, applications) and 6% used coupons or discounts and purchased physical goods or non-mobile content or services.

The exponential growth in use of smartphones, iPhone/iPads, and tablets (we’ll group all of these into ?smart device? for this article?s purposes) attests to our preference for portability. Unlike the PC or laptop counterparts, we typically keep these devices within 3 feet, 24x7x365( Will 2010 Be the Real Year of Mobile? (December 10, 2009), Jason Steinberg?) indicating our strong preference for smart devices as the communication device of choice.

With this strong preference from a rapidly growing segment comes tremendous opportunity. Imagine being able to your customers? everyday for 2-5 uninterrupted minutes, or sending a targeted ad because they’re interested in your product and near a store that carries it. Perhaps you want to ask your customers for their thoughts and feedback on new ideas, or recent purchase experiences and event provide incentives for purchasing your product.

The capabilities are manifesting themselves today in a handful of smart device apps aimed at connecting you with your current and future customers. Within some of these is an ability to specifically target an audience, rapidly receivethum feedback and quantify results in as little as two days.

Just as social networking changed the way companies communicate with their customers, so too will the adoption of smart devices. While any business should consider how to take advantage of this trend, consumer driven companies in particular MUST start incorporating smart phone and device communications as an important part of their overall communications plan.