December 19th, 2012
Before smartphones, 3G/4G cellular data speeds, and tablet PCs, accessing the Internet on your mobile device (re: cell phones) was a painful experience. I remember 10 years ago speaking to a mobile solutions salesperson for my software company. This is when the first mobile apps were becoming available through your cell carrier and the promise of the mobile Internet was just another “would be” next big thing after the dotcom apocalypse. At that time, I shrugged off the potential as being an expensive solution for my route optimization software clients. It required meeting proprietary programming requirements by the cell carriers and did not have the speeds and hardware prices that would make an application something that could be adopted by small companies. The thought of using mobile applications for business-to-consumer marketing was virtually out of the question.
It has taken much longer than expected, but the mobile Internet and, subsequently, the need for mobile Internet marketing has come of age. Consumers using mobile devices will soon surpass the use of personal computers to find businesses, especially local businesses.2,5 Four in five consumers use their smartphones to shop and find businesses/products.1,3 Google conducted some entertaining research on the importance of the mobile Internet to consumers.4 Way back in 2010 (and mobile Internet usage has soared since then), 43% of survey respondents said they would give up beer for a month over losing their smartphones. Maybe they were the female survey respondents? In comparison, 26% said they would forego high heels. I am not sure what to make of that stat. Maybe women actually hate high heels and men actually don’t care about the sex appeal of heels after all. Regardless, to be seen by customers and compete in today’s market, you must have a mobile website and a mobile marketing strategy.
Although mobile Internet usage and mobile shopping is booming, the vast majority of businesses do not have a website that can be read easily on a mobile device. Even of those companies paying for Internet advertising, only 33% have a mobile optimized website. For many small businesses, they not only do not have a mobile optimized website, they hardly have a website. They have a one page website that is ignored by search engines and must be scrolled painfully on a cell phone. I have been using the web since before there were graphical browsers in the early 1990s and making my primary occupation from it since 2000. It befuddles me that businesses still ignore its potential.
The times have changed, but it is completely understandable why mainly small businesses have not adopted mobile Internet marketing. It keeps changing all the time. Technology companies thrive on the buzzword. In the past few years, business-to-consumer marketing has blossomed with the mobile apps for marketing your company. The concept is great. Provide a means for your customers to easily find out what’s new on your menu or your recent coupons. However, many companies are making it complicated by having a separate app for their primary website and for their mobile presence. With the adoption of HTML5 and websites designed to be “responsive” to varying screen display sizes, this is no longer necessary.
As I have been researching mobile Internet usage and mobile Internet marketing statistics recently, I found it disheartening how numerous websites (many of them sales organizations peddling Internet marketing services) have copied and pasted stats from other websites, which were not factual. To properly reference the great sources of statistics used in this blog, see below.
At TESSA, we are ethical and professional in our business. We are boiling down the voodoo of Internet marketing into scientific and quality-controlled processes found in other mature industries.
All The Best,