Will Mobile Kill the Web? 10. July 2009 Bec Read our NETT Mag articles (0) I bet a lot of small business websites aren’t exactly mobile compatible yet – and that could be a big issue for your business if your competitors do it faster and better than you. I’ve been chatting with the two Jennifers who run the popular Swedish Beer mobile networking nights: Jen Wilson, director of The Project Factory, and Jennifer Hiley of Hyperfactory. They both say that it’s time for business owners to get up to speed on mobile – and fast. “The important thing to understand is how prevalent mobile is,” says Jen Wilson. “It’s with us 24 hours a day. So that means businesses can potentially reach consumers any time – or be reached by them. Never before has a medium allowed businesses such an intimate relationship with customers.” There’s a bit of a misconception in the market as some people think that the mobile web is just the web viewed from a mobile device, but as Wilson warns, you can’t just build a website and expect it to be mobile compatible. The navigation and screen size are both very different, for starters. “Serving an ad on a mobile is very different from web ads,” says Jen. “On the mobile, the consumer can immediately respond using click to call. Similarly, using SMS shortcode or QRcodes, the consumer [can] take your message away with them on their handset and respond to it later... that’s a unique experience to mobile that you wouldn’t find on the web.” Jennifer Hiley agrees: “Mobile is such an effective way of connecting with your customers in an intimate way.” If the reach of mobile is much greater than fixed line broadband, does that mean the www is dead? “No way,” says Hiley. “Mobile is the real world wide web.” Wilson reinforces the point: “Web 3.0 includes the idea of the ‘ubiquitous, portable web’ so, in some ways, the mobile is the future of the web, not a poor cousin.” The mobile web and all forms of mobile marketing allow consumers to have an intimate interaction with brands. For example, you can send targeted marketing messages in an SMS with a call to action; you can set up a quick-response rewards program, creating a dialogue with your customers through SMS/MMS alerts; you can capture every single customer interaction in a database; and you can build clever mobile applications that sit on your customers’ phones. “Consumers are more and more curious about what the mobile phone can do for them and businesses are starting to realise that it is one of their greatest connections to their consumers.” Now you’ve heard the two Jens’ words of wisdom, don’t panic if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet! We’re not quite there with consumer mass adoption – partly due to many of the network providers’ expensive and confusing data plans – but you should seriously consider how you can use mobile as part of your marketing strategy. Find out more at aimia.com.au and mobilemondaysydney.com. Written by Sally Mills for NETT mag.