2008 – Year of the Mobile Web, Part 2

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In Part 1 of this article, we talked about setting up domains specifically to cater to the mobile user. There are many approaches to setting up sub-domains specific to mobile. I’ve seen "m." (m.facebook.com), "mobile." (mobile.nytimes.com), "wap." (wap.gc.ca) and "mobile" added to the actual URL (CNNmobile.com). My advice – remember that typing on a mobile device is not as easy as on a full desktop keyboard, so short is better.  "m." is by far the most logical approach if you aren’t convinced you need to invest in a specific dotMobi domain name.

Now that you know what the mobile web is all about, here are some reasons why 2008 could finally be the year consumers in Canada adopt it:

  1. Pending introduction of the iPhone in Canada. The mobile web experience is better on an iPhone. The iPhone safari browser makes surfing the web on mobile fun again.  Other competitors are working on mobile devices to compete with the iPhone.  At the minimum, the iPhone will drive overall consumer awareness of the mobile web.
  2. Fixed data plans in Canada. Bell has quietly introduced an unlimited mobile browser plan – Rogers can’t be far behind – and many believe it’s a mandatory condition for releasing the iPhone to Canada. When the data plans become cheaper or fixed, you’ll see mass adoption similar to what happened after the introduction of unlimited SMS plans.
  3. Consumer awareness around mobile specific sites.  Some of the most popular websites on the net like Facebook and YouTube now offer a mobile specific experience which is training consumers to expect and look for other optimized mobile sites.
  4. Google. With the announcement last week of their new open mobile platform called Android, Google is entering the mobile web space aggressively which is bound to accelerate adoption and usage of the mobile web in Canada and around the world.
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In the U.S. where there are already fixed data plans and mobile internet adoption rates as high as 25%, we’re seeing case studies from P&G that demonstrate that the mobile web can be at least as effective in driving customer behaviour as the desktop internet.  In one example, a multi-channel above and below the line campaign for Covergirl saw a higher number of unique visitors and opt-ins on the mobile web over the desktop web.

Marketers new to the mobile channel in Canada should probably start with what already works – SMS; however, those with year-end budgets and a client looking to be innovative can start leveraging the mobile web now.

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1 thought on “2008 – Year of the Mobile Web, Part 2

  1. Derek

    #2 is going to be a big. Telus is rumored to be rolling out a broader unlimited data plan. They have a new $15 unlimited data plan for select phones that’s currently only available through customer retentions.

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