The sheer scale of mobile has always been its most impressive feature for media and marketers. The raw penetration of mobile handsets and the hockey stick growth of smartphones still occupy that first slide in so many pitch sessions. As if there is anyone left in the marketing industry who doesn’t already know just how extensive mobile’s reach is.
Yet there still are numbers related to mobile use that still can astonish and impress even grizzled vets. At yesterday’s OMMA Mobile show in San Francisco, I asked our panelists to share as much as they could about what their users are doing on mobile and what we can lean from the emerging “use cases,” as we are fond of calling them.
In no particular order, here are some of the data points that underscore just how intense the velocity of mobile has become. Let’s just review some raw data.
12%: That is the share of traffic Beachbody.com has seen coming from mobile devices even before it had optimized its site, says Online Marketing Director Anie Hong.
8% to 12%: This is the lift in mobile traffic share the American Cancer Society saw in just the first three weeks of offering a mobile-optimized site.
10+ Million Uniques: The number of visitors coming to ESPN’s mobile site on each of the two past Sundays, says Brian P. Doyle, Director Mobile Strategy.
400% increase in mobile traffic to its sites: What Intuit has seen between tax season 2010 and 2011, says Alison Ganz, Mobile and Emerging Platforms Leader. In fact, Ganz says there is a surprising number of people not only using Intuit’s app to fill out and file their easy tax forms, but many people who use their mobile phones to access the tax filing system on the main Web site that is not mobile-optimized.
She was joined later by Walgreens’ Director of Emerging Media Rich Lesperance, who said that they were surprised by the number of people accessing their full-sized reprint of the weekly print sales circular on mobile devices.
“People even are willing to go even to a sub-par experience” on their phones, Ganz says. Those analytics tell her that for many people, mobile is likely the primary device now.
25%: share of online prescription ordering now coming from mobile for Walgreens. Lesperance demonstrated his brand’s code-scanning app that lets users refill a prescription from their phones, noting that the app is proving very popular. He also announced for the first time at OMMA Mobile that all Walgreens stores now have scanners in place that will accept mobile coupons.
In a line chart comparing times of day that people use Web vs. mobile to order or refill prescriptions, it turns out that mobile gets an unusual spike in the evenings.
Lesperance says that they are calling this late-night pop in mobile ordering the “bedroom and bathroom experience” of people refilling their prescriptions as it occurs to them when they’re looking at their medicine cabinets.
This is the kind of insight from mobile deployments that can change marketing plans, Lesperance suggests. “People are behaving differently on this device,” he says. When you understand and track these behaviors, it alters the way a brand considers its marketing plan. If your customers are making orders from bathrooms late in the evening, how does that change other parts of the plan? “Then you have you have to think about when you push out your marketing.”
The growth of mobile is impressive indeed. It has come a very long way in the span of a few short years. The data above is just a snapshot of what can be gained through a proper mobile campaign, therefore there is no excuse for companies not to have some sort of mobile presence.