Key milestone reached in mobile device usage and what that means for you

Josh Stailey

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Josh Stailey from the Pursuit Group is here this week to share some interesting insight about mobile device adoption rates. For the first time, people are now using mobile devices more than a desktop or laptop computer and this is why you need to have a mobile strategy for your business now more than ever.

HI, Josh Stailey from the Pursuit Group. Today I want to talk a little bit about mobile applications. And that’s in part because an interesting statistic that just was published, that is that people who use Smartphones now spend more time accessing applications on their Smartphone than on their computer. It’s kind of a stunning number considering that these things didn’t exist a few years ago. Now they’re getting more attention and more use from most users than their computer. This has some significant repercussions but I want to toss out one other interesting statistic and that is that some analysts now predict that this year, 2011, that the combined sales of Smartphones and tablets like iPads will pass the combined sales of all PCs and laptop computers. That is a striking statistic as well. It means we’re moving more and more to mobile, more and more to untethered communications and there are more and more implications for your business in terms of how you take advantage of that, how you respond to it.

One of the simple issues is if you use your website for much of anything beyond just a brochure for your company, then it may become obsolete faster than you think because most websites are optimized for PC users with a big screen and a keyboard and lots of time. They don’t work well on phones. I sometimes check my email and when I have to go to a website it’s not very easy to do that for most sites. But I run across a few that are actually optimized for the Smartphone and they have the same functionality as a typical website but I can use it efficiently on my Smartphone. If I’m part of that trend and more and more will be done this way, then your website has got to be optimized for this, perhaps even more so than for people’s PCs. So that’s a unique challenge.

The other part of this challenge is that people are going to be using this more and more for effective communications even e-commerce. We have a client that sells of all things steel and sells it in very large chunks. The average coil of steel is 20 tons, and that’s what the unit is they’re selling. And they have people who have asked to be able to buy this on the fly using this, not their computer. So we’re having to optimize the e-commerce system to alert people that are on the fly when certain products are available or sold in an opportunist way for them. They want to be able to pick up their phone, check, hit a button or two and order. You’re probably going to face the same challenges yourself if you’re doing any form of e-commerce and in many cases if you’re not.

The third thing is if you have a business that has a location that is an address that customers need to come in to to transact business, mobile computing is going to become more and more important because location specific applications are proliferated. And it’s not just four square where you can oust to somebody it’s the mayor of your local coffee shop or whatever; that’s a nice interesting application. But you’re starting to see advertising online, on mobile line, where you can send out a notice to people who only happen to be in this area, at these times, to bring people in to your sandwich shop, for example, for a meal.

More and more of this is going to happen and more and more creative applications are going to be made available which will increase demand, increase usage, and for people who don’t adapt make it increasingly hard for their customers to come back to them and for them to find new customers. So if you don’t have a mobile strategy in 2011, you need to start thinking about it at least because chances are most organizations that I’m talking to out there sooner or later will need to have a mobile strategy and will need to act on it. And for some of you, sooner is more important than later.

About Josh

Our friend and contributor Josh Stailey passed away unexpectedly on September 10, 2011. We have valued his expertise and willingness to share his insights with us. We discussed the appropriateness of sharing content he provided before his death with his business partners at The Pursuit Group and they agreed sharing his expertise was a fitting tribute to Josh.

Josh Stailey was a 40-year veteran of the marketing and sales wars, a journalism-trained professional who understood the role of information and technology in today’s business world. A consultant and writer, he was a founding partner of The Pursuit Group, which specializes in designing and implementing demand-generation systems for small- and medium-sized businesses. He has also consulted with Fortune 500 companies on customer experience management and content system design.

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