Today’s Mobile Bubble

Today I attended MobileXcincy, a conference that assembled mobile experts and enterprises from around the OH, KY, IN region. Presenters flew in from around the country to address a packed house. Enthusiasm, numbers and ideas flew all day, and I typed as fast as my fingers and that little iPad on-screen keyboard would let me. I’d like to share a few of my notes, and beg your forgiveness for lacking the sources. As with many statements, let’s assume most a true and a few not so much.

  • 9% of online web traffic is now mobile. In two years 40% of Internet access will happen on mobile devices. Only 10% of websites are mobile-ready.
  • 90% of population has mobile phones, 33% of which are smartphones. People have their phones within reach 90% of time, even at night. So marketers’ targets are always available, looking for recommendations, and can be geolocated. By 2014 12% of ad spend will be directed at mobile devices. 60% of users say they are being bombarded with mobile ads.
  • Smartphones and tablets are now outselling PCs. Global daily demand for bandwidth will double by 2015. iPhone’s represent 8% of market and 40% of downloads. Tablet sales hit 31 million in the US last year. Estimates are that 50 million will sell this year.
  • 75% of phone owners text on a regular basis. Text messages are opened within 4 min, versus 48 hours for emails. But they have only a few seconds of life. Must be the right message at the right time.
  • So much information is being gathered about us that if it were used in active marketing, we’d be creeped out. Some of the displays in Walmart are looking back at you with facial scanning to estimate gender and age, then pushing ads based on the conclusions.
  • Marketers are using QR codes far more than the population uses them. (Only 28% of the population has ever scanned a QR code, and only ~ 5% of people do so weekly). Most QR codes just take the user to an ad or a website page that hasn’t been optimized for phone and doesn’t offer useful info or value add.
  • Mobile allows a different/better level of customer/user experience. But it has to be customer tested and validated. Can’t just be what the enterprise thinks customers want. Enterprises shouldn’t evaluate success by quantity of followers, but by the quality.

Not quite sure what to make of all this – still digesting. But it strikes me that this industry (if it can be grouped as one) is in an exuberant growth phase. The infrastructure is increasingly in place and demand is high.  Money could be made if people were sure how to do it. Lots of business models are being tested, with paradigms shifting right and left. Sounds almost like the dot-com era.  Are we in a mobile bubble?

About Lorena Harris

Lorena Harris has more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience with large business service companies. Her expertise is in designing research-based content marketing programs for brand building and demand generation. Since earning her MBA from Duke, Lorena has built revenue-generating marketing programs for $B+ B2B service companies such as Fiserv, First Data and Vantiv (financial services), ADP (employee benefit services), Convergys (contact center services) and Donnelly (publishing services). More information available on
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1 Response to Today’s Mobile Bubble

  1. Good takeaways, Lorena. Although if I recall the Marketing track correctly, you probably need 2-3 more bullet points hating on QR codes. 🙂

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