“What The Heck Is Mobile Marketing and Is This One More Thing I Need To Worry About?”
Q: What is mobile marketing and is it something I need to give some attention to in regards to my online business?
A: People become either excited or frightened when a “new” marketing strategy and/or content platform grows in popularity on the web. I remember how a lot of my peers were very nervous about blogging and wouldn’t try it for years. Time wasted if you ask me. Then there’s social marketing. I must admit, I waited a bit in the wings to see how that would all play out. Yet it’s still here, going very strong, and a very big part of most businesses marketing presence. Now a new marketing strategy has emerged based on the growth of technology and that’s mobile marketing.
So what exactly is mobile marketing? Well, it’s a method of taking your marketing message and spreading it via mobile devices: cell phones, iPhones, Blackberrys, iPads, etc. And all of us article and content marketers need to spend some time learning more about it because of the fact that statistically :
1. There are over 4.2 Billion mobile devices worldwide.
2. Mobile web growth is happening 4 times as fast as the Internet.
3. One out of every seven minutes of media consumption takes place on mobile.
4. There are over 5,000 different mobile devices that can access the mobile web.
5. Over 80% of Americans carry a mobile phone, that’s about 250 million Americans
6. Mobile data traffic is expected to rise over 40-fold over the next five years
7. People web browse via mobile devices more than they browse via computer
8. Mobile web more popular than reading
9. 80% mobile websites attract global audience
10. Mobile marketing to reach $24B in five years
11. 70% of print publishers step up mobile efforts
Now I don’t know about you, but these statistics are a bit startling aren’t they? Yet if I think about it for one second, my 11 year old saw a pay phone for the first time in her life last year. She didn’t even know what it was. Cell phones are a way of life. There are people that don’t know how they are going to pay their next electric bill, but have a cell phone.
So these stats bring up a larger point. While the trends I’ve been reading do not suggest that mobile phones will replace all print media, television, etc. – we do know that it is the primary source of information and entertainment for certain segments of the population (especially under age 20) – which means that as our children age — mobile phones may one day be THE primary source of information and entertainment for much of the income-generating population.
It would make sense just as that print publishers are quickly trying to catch up to the e-reader explosion, that we as marketers should prepare our websites for the mobile market.
What you need to realize is that if you take a look at your site stats, is that you may notice that people are already starting to visit your website through a mobile device. Your stats should be able to show you that (where traffic comes from). So the real question is what does your website look like on a cell phone? Does it load fast? Can people navigate your site? Take a look right now and get a good idea.
There are complex solutions for creating mobile versions of a webiste because of cross-device, cross-browser issues, but if you have a WordPress blog you can use the WordPress plugin: WPtouch to create one for your site. It’s a pretty powerful plugin and best of all – it’s free. It’s all you probably need right now to get started. As mobile marketing grows, and as you see proof in your stats that your web traffic is growing, you may decide to build an even more customized mobile version of your site for visitors. But hey – let’s take baby steps:)
If you have any thoughts or input on this issue of mobile marketing and today’s rapid growing mobile market, please feel free to add to the conversation by leaving your thoughts in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing what kinds of traffic people have been seeing via mobile devices to their websites. I know that I have, which was my motivation for writing this article.
*Statistic sources: MoFuse & MobileInc