Mobile Internet: Does Your Content Travel Well?

Power users crave power and when they have power they crave more power. When they don’t get more power, they get angry, turn green, grow gigantic and break buildings. Well, OK, they don’t actually go “Hulk” and tear down cities, but they do get plenty frustrated. The power user has smartphones and discovers, consults, consumes and shares content over the mobile internet…

One of the most attractive things about smartphones is their ability to provide connectivity on the road – in fact, that’s the most attractive thing about them in my opinion. However, that use is still heaviest among the early adopters or “power users” and it’s not always smooth surfing and latte all around for them.

According to the “2011 Mobile Internet Attitudes Report” by Antenna Software, 20% of US mobile phone users access the web at least daily and usage is most frequent among those under 45. Men were 7% more likely to use the web on the go each day than women. I wouldn’t think that is a lead which is going to be maintained for long as smartphones gain more market penetration.

While the survey is US based, it still has some interesting insight for mobile marketers because it gives a view of what annoys users most about connecting with the mobile internet via their smartphones.

Adapting Content To The Mobile Internet User Experience

According to the survey, marketers and content producers are missing out on hooking more smartphone users simply because the content doesn’t travel well over the channels consumers use on the mobile Internet. In other words, if the content were tailored better for the display on mobile phones, the users would do more online via their phones.

For example:

  • 46% of those surveyed would use email more on their mobile devices and to interact via the mobile Internet.
  • 38% would use maps more and the same percentage would check for information via the mobile Internet more often.
  • When it comes to shopping the percentage that state they would do more of it via their mobile devices if the information was displayed better is 28%.
  • Even social networking has a high percentage of those who say the same at 27%.

See a pattern here? All the things you’d like people to do via mobile are hampered dramatically if the information/content does not display well on a mobile device and on the mobile Internet. We’ve all been there haven’t we? That meeting where you try to push for something such as a friendlier mobile website or email newsletter and some joker makes the point that there is not enough mobile Internet usage to justify the resources. Yet, as this survey seems to indicate and as common sense dictates, you won’t have anyone using mobile to visit your site or read your newsletter if it looks awful on their phone! This may be a classic example of the “Catch-22” for some marketers.

Online activities US mobile Internet users would perform more often via mobile internet
Online activities US mobile Internet users would perform more often via mobile internet

It doesn’t have to be so. The best path for someone in a situation such as the above may be to switch tactics and go for something a bit more basic. Perhaps what you should be trying to do is convince your team that it’s a multi-channel world out there now and your content has to be multi-channel too. People increasing search for content and interact via the mobile Internet and Interwebs. Certainly numbers from surveys such as the one I’ve quoted here should help by demonstrating that you are missing out if your content is not cross-channel friendly.