Too big to ignore

I think people have been saying, “this is the year of mobile” in the marketing industry for about 5 years. That statement always prompted me to wonder what exactly would have to happen for the Year of Mobile to actually be THIS year. Would we have to grow cell phones from our arms? Have we already? Our office space abuts the College of Charleston campus, and I regularly see this type of thing going on as the students walk by, and sometimes almost walk into oncoming traffic.


You might be able to take your cell phone out of your hand, but many of us never seem to. The mobile phone is less and less a phone, and more and more an information gathering and sharing device. If you do 100 tasks every day on your phone, how many of them is a call? I’d venture a guess of less than 5, and maybe less than 2 if you are under thirty (and the task number probably spikes quite a bit higher than 100). I know this is not a new topic, but to me all of this behavioral change in the world seemed to give me a gut feeling: last year was the “Year of Mobile,” at least in my eyes.

Being a data geek, I went to Google Analytics in search of some validation of my feelings. The Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s GA data tells a story that seems to mirror my feeling. Looking at the 1st week of the year in 2014, almost 10% of their traffic came from phones and nearly 35% from mobile devices. In 2013, the year began with 3.9% from phones and the year before only 0.7% from phones! We are talking about a major behavioral change in just 2 short years.


This makes me wonder what the pie chart will look like in 2020 (or if there will be any delineation between mobile vs non mobile as the lines blur). But, I take some comfort in the fact that I no longer have to guess at what the Year of Mobile will be and feel confident that the mobile user is simply too big to ignore in a marketing plan anymore. What works on your computer simply has to work on your phone and your tablet. Getting the B version is no longer OK. Users expect more.

Of course in business, things don’t change overnight and we have to address many marketing initiatives with what annual budget is available. But seeing these trends and understanding that our clients’ businesses need to evolve, Blue Ion is helping our clients be ready to meet these challenges. Responsive websites, mobile-friendly ad campaigns, app development: it’s all part of the solution.

Personally, I’m looking forward to our team helping the CVB open up more content on their mobile site and redesign aspects of their site to help improve the mobile user’s experience. We look forward to sharing more about these changes with you in the coming months.

Note: I realize that many businesses have a customer base that adopts new technology ahead of the curve, so maybe your business’s year of mobile was 2011 or 2012. My guess is that to you, it probably was that point when the user base became too big to ignore. Tell us what your year of mobile was.