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ISAE Blog

Why Mobile Matters for Nonprofits & Small Businesses

Posted by Sarah Rosenberger on Oct 23, 2013 12:09:00 PM

Why_Mobile_Matters_for_Nonprofits__Small_BusinessesRemember when the term, “communication” only meant exchanging ideas with another human face-to-face? Me either. “Communication” now refers broadly to the process of idea exchange via text message, phone call, email, status update, tweet, and more. What took the Internet 10 years to establish in terms of websites, mobile has done in 2 years with apps. And the growth is only continuing to escalate. At the end of 2012, 1.2 billion people worldwide were mobile app users, and that is projected to grow to 4.4 billion users by the end of 2017 (Source: Portio Research).

“The only constant is change,” Greek philosopher Heraclitus said quite awhile ago. While Heraclitus had no idea the changes that would overtake human communication in 2013, his words nonetheless ring true for mobile technology in the 21st century. Knowing the changes and trends in the mobile marketing sector is essential in planning for the future, especially in a world where information is outdated practically the moment it is released.

What’s currently trending in mobile tech?

  1. People crave immediacy and convenience. With a world of information just a fingertip away, people expect their needs to be met via their mobile device, and fast. According to Google, 58% of mobile users expect mobile sites to load as quickly as, or faster, than desktop sites, and 38% of mobile users are willing to wait 30 seconds or less for a transaction. If a mobile site has a significant lag time in loading or does not provide the user a satisfactory experience, 61% of visitors will go elsewhere for information. Ouch.
  2. Smartphones have gone social. With social networking sites Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram seeing more visitors through mobile than desktop, smartphones are connecting people to their networks constantly. According to Buffer, 189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’, and YouTube has a wider reach of U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network. People are tapping into mobile social networking sites to better engage with the world in real-time.
  3. Smartphones have gone social. With social networking sites Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram seeing more visitors through mobile than desktop, smartphones are connecting people to their networks constantly. According to Buffer, 189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’, and YouTube has a wider reach of U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network. People are tapping into mobile social networking sites to better engage with the world in real-time.

What are the implications for non-profits and small businesses?

  1. If 30% of visitors are mobile, and if good marketing is meeting consumers where they are, then it follows that at least 30% of your digital budget should go toward mobile-friendly or responsive version of your site. Mobile matters to your customers, so budget for it.
  2. Make sure tweets and Facebook posts translate well to mobile. What “looks good” on a desktop doesn’t always have the same visual appeal on a mobile screen. Be sure to shorten links and integrate strong calls to action to encourage your audience to interact.
  3. Evaluate your options. Mobile sites are best for quick information transfer. Your web developer or marketing agency will be a good first person to contact if considering a mobile site. If your marketing agency or web provider doesn’t offer mobile web solutions, you may want to explore other vendor options. On the opposite end, mobile apps are ideal for repeated engagement with your consumers, not single-use information. Think about connecting with a mobile app developer (I just so happen to know of an attractive option) for a conversation about how a mobile app could impact your business. 

Author: Santiago Jaramillo, CEO & Founder of BlueBridge Digital and upcoming speaker at ISAE’s October Technology Tools & Trends lunch.

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE).

About Santiago Jaramillo

Santiago_JaramilloSantiago Jaramillo is the CEO & Founder of BlueBridge Digital a mobile-apps-as-a-service company that helps colleges, tourism destinations, churches, and others communicate to their customers through visually compelling, full featured mobile apps. Apart from leading BlueBridge team, Santiago is an avid world traveler, having lived in several continents, most recently in Sydney, Australia working for ExactTarget before starting BlueBridge. He also delivers his personal and professional expertise in sales, productivity and mobile strategy to audiences around the world. He was recently named as the 2013 TechPoint Mira Award “Young Professional of the Year”, invited to the White House to attend a ceremony for “Champions of Change” – for immigrant innovators and entrepreneurs – and was recently recognized by Inc. Magazine in their 2013 “30 Under 30: World’s Coolest Entrepreneurs” feature.

Topics: Mobile, Communication

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