I just read some unnerving statistics today. More than half of smartphone or tablet users (51.1%) say they check email only on their mobile phones. Nearly half (45.3%) perform Internet searches that way. More than one-quarter (25.4%) do all — yes, all — of their online shopping from mobile devices.
This and similar data from Prosper Mobile Insights hits us on two levels.
First is our own marketing initiatives. In this industry, if you’re in business, you have a smartphone. If more than half of smartphone users only check email on their mobile phones, this means any emails you are using for self-promotion are being read on your customers’ or prospects’ mobile phone screen half the time. Better shorten those subject lines!
More unnerving are the mobile search and online shopping stats. What happens if people hit your traditional website with a mobile phone? Will it automatically direct them to a mobile version? Or will they have to hunt and peck at 2.5″ diameter to find what they need? If they do need to hunt and peck, will they bail out of frustration before finding what they need?
You might think that some of these stats, such as the percentage of people who access Facebook (42.3%) exclusively on mobile devices, don’t relate to you. After all, that’s managed by the Facebook app, right? Yes, in this case it does. But do you really know how heavy mobile or mobile-only use impacts all of the different areas of your marketing? If you don’t, you need to figure it out. Plus it affects you because of impact number two — the marketing campaigns you create for your customers.
The more users are mobile-only, the more pressure there is for you to be savvy enough to incorporate mobile marketing into your toolbox. There was a time when mobile marketing was niche enough for the deeper diving to be on your “to do” list for, well, maybe next year. But mobile usage — now including mobile-only usage — is hitting such critical mass that this schedule needs to be accelerated.
It’s not news that I want to hear, either. I’ve got enough on my plate without having to accelerate my own adoption curve for marketing via mobile and social media. But the stats don’t seem to want to wait for me to catch up.