Go Mobile or Go Home: The Rise of the Phone First World


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I suspect I already know something about you. Your smartphone is probably right beside your pillow, or at least, not more than two feet away from your head while you sleep. You reach for it first thing in the morning. You never leave the house without it. You put it on the table at breakfast, like a gunslinger. You’re even starting to do some business functions with it. More than once, that special someone in your life has told you to pay attention to him or her and not your phone, right? If this is true for you, it is also true for your distributors in the field and for their customers.

It’s clear that the world is moving toward more and more digital relationships. The question is, Are you, as the business owner and collaborator with your distributors and customers, moving with it? It’s imperative that decision makers in your company be focused upon asking the right questions about how mobile interactions are and will be conducted. The first step could be taking a look at your own company site using a mobile device. Are you happy with what you see?

According to commentary at Pew Internet: Mobile, from the Pew Research Center’s Pew Internet & American Life Project (www.pewinternet.org), 55 percent of adult cell owners use the Internet on their mobile phones—nearly double what they found only three years ago. In fact, a report from NPD DisplaySearch forecasts that by the end of this year, 30 million more tablets will have shipped than notebook computers.

Yet, in a recent survey by Crain Communications Inc., 80 percent of websites aren’t mobile friendly, and only 4 percent are built to be what’s called “mobile responsive,” meaning they look good on your smartphone as well as the desktop. It’s clear from the data that although many people may be having meetings about what they should do with mobile access, most have still to act on their plans.

But the mobile trend is not going away. In fact, it increases every day. I call this phenomenon the “Phone First World.” As the number of smartphones and tablets increases, it simply means the number of your distributors and their customers who utilize the Internet by way of their mobile phones also increases.

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