opinion

Mobile Is Ubiquitous

Stephen Yagielowicz

During the earliest days of the mobile Internet, many adult website operators either simply ignored or redirected the few mobile visitors they received, because they were not equipped or able to handle this type of traffic. Sure, there were forward looking operators who decided to build WAP-enabled sites who may have offered a basic option for dealing with mobile visitors; but for the most part, these users represented a small-percentage of a website’s visitors, and were often seen as a nuisance that could be dealt with another day.

Fast forward to 2012 to see what a huge difference a decade can make.

Growing base, profitability of adult mobile users is turning this “marketing side show” into a valuable opportunity that goes beyond redirects, sponsors and white labels.

These days, mobile devices are so ubiquitous that I’m not actually typing this column, I’m verbally dictating it to my shiny new Apple iPad 3, using its integrated speech-to-text functionality — the awkward results of which will admittedly need some “cleaning up” to address the auto-corrected Pig Latin that my gibberish seems to generate on the device.

No, they’re not perfect by any means, but the current generation of mobile technology — including Smartphones and tablets — reveal such a tantalizing glimpse at the future of communications, that it convinces me that focusing on old-school web applications at the expense of understanding and using the new-school mobile arena, is counterproductive to the bottom line and detrimental to your ongoing success.

In other words, whether you built mobile enabled websites in the past or not, it is no longer good enough to send your site’s mobile visitors somewhere else to be monetized; you need to keep them within your own network and ensure that your properties are able to accommodate and serve these next-generation customers, which will shortly dominate the global Internet landscape.

The experts agree.

According to a report by International Data Corporation, the rise of tablets will result in the percentage of mobile Internet users eclipsing the Mac / PCbased browsing crowd by 2015 — less than three short years from now.

In some parts of the world, that shift has already happened.

“Forget what we have taken for granted on how consumers use the Internet,” stated IDC’s Karsten Weide. “Soon, more users will access the web using mobile devices than using PCs, and it’s going to make the Internet a very different place.”

The question isn’t really “if” this switchover will occur, but “are you prepared for it?”

Part of this preparation is thinking global — as in accommodating different currencies and languages, platforms, price points and local sensibilities, in your marketing approach.

Challenges for marketers, certainly, but this isn’t the future, it is today’s audience.

I know that some readers will doubt the profitability of chasing pennies from far-off lands, but scooping up that spare change is an increasingly important part of the current marketing mix — if you’re not on board, then you have already been left at the dock.

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