Building Your Mobile Web Presence

Need Grows for Strong Mobile Web Presence

In a September 14 posting titled Rise of the ‘Apps Culture,’ Pew Research Center wrote that 82 percent of Americans are now cell phone users and about one-fourth of all adults live in a household that has a cell phone and no landlines.

That’s kind of the taking-off point for today’s Media Post News “Online Media Daily” interview with David Berkowitz, senior director of emerging media and innovation for 360i.

Berkowitz’s interview is quite interesting, especially coming on the heels of SIPA’s 27th Annual Marketing Conference, Nov. 10-12 in Miami Beach. Among the many relevant sessions will be: Kindles & iPads & iPhones, Oh My! Marketing to Mobile Devices with Philip Ramsey of BNA, Mitch Eisen of Real Magnet and Andy Swindler of Astek Consulting; a Roundtable on New Devices and Mobile Websites – What You Need to Know; and the second Pre-Conference Workshop titled Improving Marketing Results With Web Analytics & SEO with Matt Bailey of SiteLogic.

Asked about the “the key consideration in deciding whether to focus on apps or the mobile Web in mobile efforts,” Berkowitz replies, “The first thing a marketer should do is check [his or her] own website analytics and see how much traffic is coming from people using mobile operating systems today. That may make a clear case, if the traffic is high enough, that it’s time to focus immediately on a strong mobile Web presence. Mobile sites are increasingly resembling apps today, and the line will blur much more in the coming years.

“[Prevalence] is one major reason marketers should care about it, and the other is that within a few years it will attract wider and more frequent usage than online.”

Berkowitz says that the biggest challenge for agencies in developing mobile campaigns is integration. “Mobile marketing tends to work best when it ties in with various consumer touchpoints across online and offline media. Mobile is also so vast that institutional knowledge must be spread across a range of people and not just siloed specialists.”

One other relevant question involves social media marketing on mobile, and if it’s all about location. This thinking might favor small businesses. Berkowitz says that while “Location is central to many forms of mobile social media…it’s much bigger than check-in apps. People are already using Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social media services on their mobile devices, and not all of those uses involve location. There are plenty of other uses of mobile social media, such as logging into a mobile game with Facebook Connect or writing a blog post on the go.”

He says that small businesses can get a lot of value out of location-based, check-in apps, “but location tends to be relevant for all brands. Retail is more obvious when there are physical locations, but even consumer-packaged goods are bought and consumed in certain locales.”

Pew also tried to get at just how prevalent apps are. They asked a national sample of 1,917 cell phone-using adults if they use apps and how they use them. “Broadly, the results indicate that while apps are popular among a segment of the adult, cell phone-using population, a notable number of cell owners are not yet part of the emerging apps culture.” That would support what Berkowitz was saying about focusing on your mobile web presence.

According to Pew, apps actually still rank low on non-voice, cell-phone activities. Taking a picture is 76 percent, sending or receiving text messages 72 percent and then percentages tumble to 38 for accessing the internet and 29 for using an app.

We’ll feature interviews in the upcoming weeks before the Marketing Conference with speakers to get their takes on the current landscape. There is so much happening every day and so much detailed information—can you believe that men are more likely than women to use a productivity app and it’s the reverse for a game app, according to Nielsen?—that being in Miami Nov. 10-12 should be an absolute. Just the networking alone will expose you to so much information and perspectives—and then you’ll have those people to call on down the road.

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SIPA’s 27th Annual Marketing Conference
Wednesday – Friday, November 10-12, 2010

The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, Miami
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