Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

August 25, 2013

TECH TALK: Growth of mobile Internet use has impact on online marketing

GOSHEN — Do you know someone with a smartphone? Chances are quite high that either you have one or that you immediately can name a few people that do.  

Mobile statistics show that smartphone use in the United States continues to grow rapidly. Up more than 12 percent from last year — at just the midway point of 2013 — smartphone penetration is now more than 56 percent in the United States. Combine that statistic with a recent report from Facebook, that reported that more than 71 percent of the activity on Facebook is via mobile devices, and it is clear that smart businesses are going to consider mobile significantly in their digital marketing strategies.

In this column, I’ll outline key considerations for businesses related to mobile marketing and sales.

To be mobile or not

To be mobile or not, is not the right question. That day has passed. The question now is what type of mobile solutions your business needs to have. One key is your website and there are two primary mobile options. Businesses can have either a mobile specific website, so that if a visitor coming to the site is on a mobile device, the website detects this and switches to a mobile version of the site.

The other option is a responsive website. A responsive website is one that “responds” and changes its structure to optimally fit the viewing screen for the type of device it detects the visitor is using. Images can shrink and structure of paragraphs and other text all can be rearranged so that the same web page displays the same content, but in a different and best format for the size of the screen the viewer is using. A responsive site also gives tablet users a better user experience.

Why is this important? It’s important because mobile users are increasingly doing more research on products and businesses via their mobile device prior to ever setting foot in the store, or before they would pick-up the phone to call. If a mobile information seeker doesn’t easily and quickly get the information they want, they’ll move on. This means they’ll go elsewhere and likely not return. That visitor and potential customer is then lost.

If more than 50 percent of your visitors are potentially going to access your site via a mobile device, wouldn’t it seem critical to ensure your business is mobile friendly online?

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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