If you have not already, now is the time to go mobile.  There are 7 billion people on the planet, and 6 billion of them use a smartphone.  Mobile internet use is not a passing fad; it has settled into a secure role in the daily lives of a majority of the global population.  Mobile internet usage is skyrocketing, which has critical implications for business.  Smartphones and tablets are now particularly vital to the marketing industry.

Mobile internet usage has increased nearly twofold each year since 2009, and mobile users are forecasted to outnumber desktop users within the next two years. Mobile strategy should be integral to your overall marketing plan.  There are numerous ways to go mobile, such as using responsive web design, sending mobile-optimized email and upping your game with mobile SEO.  Tablet and smartphone ownership have increased significantly over the last few years.  In the US, %31 of Americans own a tablet—compared to just 11% in 2011 and 22% last year.

In the US, 91% of Americans own a smartphone—a huge increase from 35% in 2011 and 44% in 2012.  The vast majority of Americans are projected to own a smartphone within the next two years.  Globally, 80% of the population owns a smart phone.  Tablet and smartphone use is rapidly growing for both genders.  Those in the in their teens, 20s, 30s and 40s represent the majority of smartphone users.

A 2012 Pew Research Center survey revealed that rather than gravitating toward a single device, a growing number of Americans are becoming multiplatform digital consumers.  These individuals access content and research products and services on all of their devices—PCs, tablets and smartphones.  We now live in a time of multi-device and second-screen internet usage.

People are using their mobile devices in diverse ways.  Seventy percent of Americans use a second screen, such as a smartphone or tablet, while they watch television.  An impressive 75% of mobile internet users make purchases on mobile devices.  Sixty percent of internet searches are conducted on a mobile device, and an amazing 90% of smartphone internet searches lead to a purchase or visit to a place of business.

More and more people are using mobile apps to engage in social media.  Time spent on mobile social media rose by a whopping 387% from 2011 to 2012, and use of social media apps outranks all other types.  Facebook and Twitter are the most popular of the mobile social apps.  There is a major misconception that mobile internet use happens mostly on the go, when people are on their way to and from work.  That is not the case; mobile devices are commonly used in the home—as second screens—and at the workplace to surreptitiously check social media.

Mobile Internet Usage Statistics 

  • 70% of American consumers wish to receive offers on their smart phones

  • 70% of all mobile transactions occur within the first hour of a mobile website visit

  • 74% of mobile users read email on smart phones or tablets

There is no time like the present to get on board with mobile marketing and mobile business.  Mobile device users are five times more likely to abandon your website, if it is not optimized for mobile navigation.  It is vital to enable mobile website capability.  Fail to go mobile, and you risk missing out on significant mobile internet traffic, leads and higher new business generation.  You should not think of mobile optimization as optional.  If you offer a service, your content must appear clear and attractive for mobile website visitors.  If you sell products online, your website should feature streamlined mobile buying options.

To discover the impact of mobile internet use on your business, turn to Google Analytics to get your mobile statistics.  Figure out exactly how many prospects view your website on a smartphone or tablet, and do not neglect your email marketing.  Contact your email service provider to uncover precisely how many prospects and clients read your email on the go or at home on a second screen.  Make sure that your email marketing is optimized for mobile display.  If your emails are difficult to read for mobile users, you risk losing a significant number of email subscribers.  The influence of mobile internet usage shows no signs of weakening.  Hop on the mobile marketing train before your competitors leave you sulking at the station.