Laura: Unlike the great literary white whale, mobi web is here – and mobi is here to stay. From the omnipresent iPhone, to the Droids, to the Blackberry in my own pocket, mobi is everywhere and is fast becoming the number one way that business users check email and surf the web.
Are you ready?
According to yesterday’s eMarketer report, more than 29% of mobile phone users log on to the mobile web at least once month — up 22% from last year. And one-fifth of those are heavy users – considered anyone who goes online via mobi more than 10 times per week.
One fifth of mobi users perform a local search.
In Italy, there are more mobile devices than PEOPLE – yes, you read that correctly! (Streaming Media survey puts penetration in Italy at 140%)
According to the report, US consumers have basically doubled their use of the mobile platform for non-voice communications. This represents a fundamental shift in media use, according to Rick Ducey, chief strategy officer for BIA/Kelsey.
As you are finalizing your 2010 marketing plans, we sincerely encourage you to put mobi in the mix. And if your service is in any way consumer based, you need to get there faster than your B2B counterparts. This Christmas, I am planning to order at least a few of my gifts from my Blackberry — probably while others are waiting in line at the Mall.
Active on Facebook and Twitter? Already more than 25% of Facebook users update status on their mobi devices.
Getting started is easier than you might think. While it would be wonderful to have, for example, a full-blown mobi version of your Web site like Amazon does, baby steps are simple and mostly painless:
- Consider offering your customers the ability to sign up for text messages from you. My current favorite text messages are those I receive from a certain bookseller, with coupon codes imbedded in them. I never have to worry that I have the printed coupon with me when I hit the book store.
- Ensure that key pages of your site are easily viewable on a mobi device. You do not need to start with your entire site – simply those pages that folks might want to access while away from their computer.
- Consider advertising on someone else’s well-done mobi site.
- At the very least register your site’s .mobi extension (or make sure your platform can support an m. subdomain).
- Make certain that your email blasts are text-based or have a text-based version – you have to work under the assumption that many of your opens will be from a mobi device.
- Begin to monitor your incoming mobi traffic – track how many people are coming to your site from a mobi device.
All of the above mentioned items should be on your January list – if not sooner.
In coming blog entries, we’ll address each in detail and offer additional mobi-suggestions and ideas.
Jeff: Laura’s excellent advice notwithstanding… if you don’t have an overall marketing strategy, simply piling on .mobi isn’t really going to get you anywhere.
As a real-life for instance, let me save some of you the trouble of checking up on us. Tin Cans Unlimited does not — yet — have a .mobi extension. Our site — and this blog — technically are compatible with mobi browsers. But it’s a bare technicality. (Ok, the mobile version of the site is really kinda sad. Moving on.)
Here’s the thing. Our lack of mobi at launch was intentional. We DO track how our readers reach this blog, and six months ago, mobi barely registered. That is rapidly changing, and so is our strategy. Your goal should be the same as our goal — to be wherever your customers are, to provide information about your products and services where, when, and how your customers want to receive it. And now like never before, that includes mobi.