Mobile Web Opens up New Stage for Content Marketing
By DOUG DAVIDOFF
Call up the Chicago Tribune’s website on your iPhone or a friend’s iPhone. You’ll get a website specially formatted for the look and feel of the iPhone’s famous touch interface.
Take a web-enabled Blackberry, Treo, Q, or other phone and examine a website on its screen. Incredulous as you might be, the tiny screen that you'll be looking at is the stage for the next big platform expansion on the Internet. Meet the "mobile web."
Running low on readers for their printed editions, newspapers are hungry for the audience comprised of people looking at their cell phones. In Chicago, at any one time, that’s a big number of people.
Although advertising and content marketing on the mobile web is still in its infancy, all signs point to its rush arrival during the next year or two. The Economist framed its special report last month on "mobility" with the powerful idea that the mobile web and devices like smartphones bring back the ancient construct of human beings as nomads.
"A modern nomad is as likely to be a teenager in Oslo, Tokyo or suburban America as a jet-setting chief executive," Andreas Kluth wrote for the Economist. "He or she may never have left his or her city, stepped into an aeroplane or changed address. Indeed, how far he moves is completely irrelevant. Even if an urban nomad confines himself to a small perimeter, he nonetheless has a new and surprisingly different relationship to time, to place and to other people. ‘Permanent connectivity, not motion, is the critical thing,’ says Manuel Castells, a sociologist at the Annenberg School for Communication, a part of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles."
And here’s data from the Economist report that cannot go unmentioned: “According to the International Telecommunication Union, 3.3 billion people, more than half the world's population, now subscribe to a mobile-phone service, so the internet at last looks set to change the whole world.” To underline this point, take note that the game-changer for the Internet is not the computer. It’s the telephone.
Adotas, an online advertising company, reported a Nielsen Company finding that the mobile Internet is driving traffic and extending the reach of many top Web sites by 13% over home PC traffic alone. Topics approached the fastest: weather and entertainment – stuff easily accommodated to the tiny screen of a smartphone.
In financial services, eMarketer reports (subscription required) on a Javelin Strategy and Research projection that 108 million Americans may be banking from their mobile phone in 2012 – a ten-fold increase from this year. eMarketer also reported a Tower Group study that reports that nearly 41 million U.S. consumers will conduct some banking activity by mobile phone at least once every 90 days by 2012.
“Where will the statement stuffer go?” asks eMarketer in the headline on its report.
The projections suggest that content marketing will of necessity and agility be married to sites such as weather, news, and entertainment, perhaps even sports.
And if your product associates well with consumer finance, you might be among the first mobile web “statement stuffer” messages attached to the telephone-banking platform of a bank near you.