RISMEDIA, April 26, 2010—The fact that consumers are going mobile is no secret; especially to those of you who join us here on a weekly basis. In a year (2009) when all other forms of media consumption as well as media spending decreased, it came as no surprise to me that mobile was the only channel of media which increased dramatically. The question becomes not if consumers are going mobile – they are, but how and why our mobile devices are becoming our most important?
According to the Yankee Group, in their 2009 Advertising Forecast Update, consumers spent the most time per day online; averaging 4 hours and 13 minutes per day. However, even at four-plus hours online was down 17% from the prior year (2008). Mobile was the fourth most popular media channel, with consumers spending an average of 1 hour and 18 minutes per day. Conversely, Mobile was up 39% over the prior year. This rise can be attributed to increased talk time, texting and most importantly Mobile Web; which according to the Yankee Group increased 36% to 11 minutes.
While the Yankee Group clearly defined the online channel as “web browsing, e-mailing and social networking,” they failed to define the Mobile segment. It’s safe to say that while traditional online, as defined above on a PC, may have decreased, consumers are still spending their time online – they’re just doing so from their Mobile Devices.
If we look a little deeper the connection can be made that the astounding rise in the popularity and engagement of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can be largely attributed to Mobile Devices. Both Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular sites visited as well as apps downloaded on Mobile Devices. In fact, I caught a few minutes of an award show in which two of the presenters were tweeting on stage. When asked if that’s really what they were doing, they responded, “that’s what you do – when you’re doing something, you tweet about it.” Without the constant contribution to social media made possible through Mobile Devices their impact would not nearly be what it is today.
As our Mobile Devices have become more and more sophisticated and our networks more powerful, we simply do not need to rely on and/or be chained to our PCs the way we once were. Analysts at CTIA reported that wireless data grew 160% last year and that companies will spend $126 billion on IT and wireless upgrades this year. Couple this with handsets such as the Sprint Evo 4G and the next release of the iPhone which will both have dual cameras to allow for video conferencing and what you get is truly a transformation of our cell phones turning into pocket sized PCs.
Enhanced networks and handsets will only lead to people spending more time online, from their Mobile Devices. Why be chained to your desktop when your Mobile Device gives you all the access you need to the information you are looking for no matter where you are. What this means is that we must prepare ourselves and our brand to be found on Mobile Devices. Most of us have spent a lot of time and energy building on brand online; which means a website that works on Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and Safari. With over 6,000 different mobile browsers, making sure that brand and the content to support your brand translates onto the Mobile Device properly is vital to the success of your business. How does your website look and work on your Mobile Device?