While 2009 heralded the rise of social media on the Web, 2010appears to be the year of mobile. If you don not believe me - look here, and here and even here. Like social media, I do not think this is going to be a fad but something that will evolve as new technologies come online. But what does going mobile really mean and is it right for your business? Here are a few signs you may be ready to jump on the mobile train in 2010.
Analytics - The first sign you may need a mobile site: your customers may be asking for one without you actually realizing it. Take a critical look at your analytics. Google Analytics allows you to segment site activity specific to iPhones. If your data looks anything like the graph below you may want to consider mobile in 2010. 200% growth in this segment should be an eye-opener.
Your Minds’ Eye - Take a look at your site through the eyes of an iPhone or Andriod. If it looks like a screenshot of your .com Web site, you may want to consider going mobile in 2010. If you do not have a Smartphone to test your site, you can download iPhoney or Android 2.1 Emulator on Windows. These applications allow you to test the look and feel of your Web site as well as key functionality as it presents on a mobile device. At a minimum, ensure that your top content can be accessed and functions as intended. If it does not consider a mobile application for these sections when appropriate.
Social Media - With social media becoming a more accepted medium, mobile widgets are a great way to connect your established community to the broader mobile community. Mobile applications provide users additional opportunities while creating a viral opportunity for your brand. As we’ve seen with social media outlets, mobile applications can start small and evolve as they prove their worth to the user base. Social games like Foursquare are already creating a buzz. Why not create social games, applications or marketing campaigns that play off of the success of these types of technologies?
Droid Technology - Experts have predicted that by 2012 Android technology will surpass the iPhone. Gartner Inc. predicts that Android and Google will grab 14% of the global Smartphone market. Forrester also believes smartphones will take off in 2010 and MediaPost reports Smartphone growth jumped from 11 percent in 2008 to 17 percent in 2009. All signs point to the mobile arena not only sticking around but growing.
If you already have building a mobile site factored into your 2010 budgets, you are way ahead of the game. Be sure to tell us what you have planned or where you see mobile come 2011 – we’d love to hear your thoughts. Don’t be shy…predictions are meant to be outlandish and that is what makes them fun!