Marketing and Technology pundits have been saying for years that "This Year" will be the "Year of Mobile". I think those Pundits have had their nose buried too far into the Data.
Forget the Data for a minute and look at the way our culture has been swept up in the wave of mobile technology. We eat with our phones, sleep with our phones, and are often never more than roughly 5 feet from our mobile device at all times. We're hooked. We're obsessed with the next version of the iPhone, or release of Android OS.
And it's not just smartphones, it's tablets as well. The modern version of the tablet, as defined by Apple's iPad in 2010, has enabled us to do even more and move further away from the desktops and laptops we have been chained to. We can use our devices whenever and where ever we want. It's no big secret that PC sales have been on a steady decline signaling the beginning of the end of the PC era.
The technology just keeps getting better and better, smaller and smaller, and more and more useful. Your average smartphone back in 2012 already had more computing power than the Apollo 11 lunar lander. We can do more with less. In fact, the reason smartphones have grown in screen size is because, for a lot of users in Africa and Asia (two of the largest population densities), their phone is their singular computing device.
So yes, the age of Mobile is already here, and for those who need data to back it up, there is more than enough. According to Pew Research, 58% of American Adults have a smartphone, 42% have a tablet. And while people 18-29 are the largest demographic of smartphone users, usage amongst almost all other age groups is above 50%, regardless of race, education level, or income. 63% of all users access the internet with their devices.
It's clear we are in the midst of a huge shift in the way people access and consume data on the internet. They are mobile, on the go, and the trend is only going to continue. Cloud technologies have given us the ability to access our data and any number of tools, where ever we are and whenever we need them. Upcoming improvements in wi-fi technology that will almost triple connection speeds is only going to accelerate this trend.
So what does this mean for your business?
You need to be prepared to meet your clients on mobile devices. Is your website responsive for multiple device display sizes? Same for your email marketing campaigns? After all, more of our emails are viewed on our phones than on a computer screen. Are your online advertising campaigns targeting mobile users? Are you ready for mobile e-commerce? Are your apps optimized for phones and tablets? Is your website SEO optimized for local search?
Internally you need to be thinking operationally about the impact mobile will have in your organization. Are you ready for the Cloud? Are you giving your employees the mobile tools (Salesforce1, Xero, Google Drive/Docs) they need to be efficient and productive from everywhere?
These are all things you need to consider or you will be left behind. Not everything in your business needs to be mobile but I'm betting there is at least one area that will be significantly impacted by mobile. Figure out what that part of your business is and get out in-front of it, or you will be left behind. Go Mobile, or Go Home.
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