“If you don’t have a mobile strategy then you don’t have a strategy for growth”, said Diane Mermingas, editor at large for Mediapost in her recent article Future Growth: It’s All About Mobile.
I agree, and the growth of the mobile web is poised to help you to have a strong mobile strategy all while meeting tight budget constraints in 2011.
For too long “apps” have been the first item businesses think about when getting their mobile brand strategies moving. That made sense when bandwidth was limited and handsets were weak. For many reasons the mobile browser will ultimately be the primary pathway to using the Internet on a phone. That’s really good news for businesses because unlike the building and managing of Apps, you only have to build one mobile site to work across all mobile browsers.
Not so long ago, computing applications went from the desktop to “software as a service” or to the cloud. Businesses save enormous time and money because they no longer have to “install” and update 10,000’s corporate computers with new memory resident software.
Mobile is going through the same evolution. You don’t need an App for every brand interaction; now you can go to a mobile phone web page hosted on the Internent.
Mobile applications are moving to the mobile web, because new smartphone handsets are quickly becoming as powerful as any desktop computer. Bandwidth is quickly evolving from 3G to 4G. Higher bandwidth takes the lag time off the table. Applications from your brand no longer need to be resident on the handset.
By 2011 more than 85% of handsets will be connected to the Internet according to mobiThinking.
As for Apps, around 1/3 of U.S. adults have apps on their phones, but out of that, only around 2/3 ever use those apps according to Pew Internet Study. Further using Apps ranks very low on the scale of what people like to do with their phones. More people use their phones to access the Internet than Apps according to Pew.
Here’s the good news, you don’t need to have an App to have a solid mobile strategy. With mobile web readers on the rise, building a mobile website optimized for all mobile devices is a good way to go.
Why will the Mobile web win over Apps long term?
-Easier for people to find your company, discovery in App stores is difficult for most brands
-Far less expensive for your business to implement mobile web sites
-With better bandwidth and more powerful handsets – everything moves to the cloud
-New advances in HTML5 will give the browser abilities to access mobile device functions such as the camera
-Mobile web saves money.
-For most businesses building and managing an App is expensive and complex
A few final reasons why the Mobile Browser is the killer app:
Mobile search is seeing tremendous growth.
-People accessing a seach engine on the mobile web is the leading mobile web traffic indicator.
-One in three mobile searches show local intent which means we are using the mobile web browser to find local businesses.
-Google CEO Eric Schmidt asserts that mobile search activity and revenue will eventually become bigger than desktop search. He’s said more than once that mobile search peaks at night and desktop search peaks during the day.
People are using the mobile web today – your business needs to connect with your mobile web audience today!