Finding Your Place on the Mobile Web

In an increasingly competitive business environment, staying connected to your customers is more important than ever. As mobile Internet use goes mainstream, it will change the way consumers communicate—both with each other and with the brands that define their lives. Simply put, the mobile Web is getting easier to use and becoming more relevant to consumers.

As a business, it is important to recognize this shift not only because people are finding the mobile Web an exciting place to spend their time and money, but also because it’s crucial for businesses to realize that the mobile Web is not simply an extension of the Internet on a PC. Users of the mobile Web have different needs. They are in transit, multi-tasking, and accessing the Web on their mobile device in short bursts. It involves less surfing and more concentrated interaction.

While your business may not call for a mobile presence today, here are some suggestions for tuning in and learning more about the mobile Web:

•Start networking. According to market analyst firm Juniper Research, more than 14 million people are engaged in social networking on their handsets, and that number is set to grow to more than 600 million by 2012. The mobile Web has its own social networking utilities that are taking off—log on and explore a few of them.

•Get to know the medium. WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) is almost a taboo acronym on the mobile Web. News, sports, and brand messaging have evolved into more dynamic formats like video, audio, and games. Log onto your mobile browser and check out these new media.

•Know your demographic. Pay attention to how your customers are using the mobile Web. The blogosphere is a great place to keep up on how different age groups and market segments are using the Internet on their mobile phones.

Ben Keighran Founder and CEO Bluepulse San Mateo, Calif.

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