The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

4 Reasons Why Mobile Matters To Associations Right Now

Posted by Chris Bonney on Thu, Jun 11, 2009


BlackBerry-8830-SmartphoneGot a BlackBerry? Maybe an iPhone? No doubt your members do, too. So what happens when they go to your website on their handheld? Yep, that's what I thought. Not much. Virtually all of the associations we talk to (and we talk to many everyday) have no mobile strategy for their organization. Intentions to get their site mobile-enabled are strong, but few have actually done it.

Here are 4 reasons why getting your organization mobilized today is priority one:

1. Market Penetration

Nearly 66% of online consumers have a mobile phone today and purchases continue to increase dramatically each year, according to a recent survey by In fact, there will be over 266 million wireless users in the U.S. by 2013, says Jupiter Research.

It's projected that in just a few short years there will be more people accessing the Internet on their phone at any one time than on their desktop. Can you say, "The future is here?" Your members are already there.

2. It's Not Just A Phone

We call them cell phones because we're dinosaurs. A cell phone hasn't been just a phone for years. It's a device now, a "mobile device." It does more than make calls. In fact, my good friend Mark Schuldt recently told me that he hasn't had a conversation on his "cell phone" in weeks. He's been using his mobile to Twitter and to surf the Internet and to text message. How are your members using their mobile devices?

3. It's Not Just Your Website On A Small Screen

Going mobile isn't just optimizing your website so that it looks good on a small screen. Context is key when developing a mobile campaign. People are checking their BlackBerrys as they leave Olive Garden on their way back to the office, they are checking it as their plane approaches the gate. The context of their experience is a vital consideration.

Don't assume they want the same information from your site on their handheld as they may want on their laptop in their cubicle at work. Check out on your mobile to get the idea of an organization that gets how to deliver wireless content.

4. What Are You Missing?

Two things to think about here. How many people have heard of your organization and their first impression is over their mobile device? What happens when they find other relevant industry information that is viewable on their handheld? Have you lost them?

Think about this one. What if your members want your content, just not from your website? Are you still trying to drive everyone back to your website? Like somehow making them go to your site will somehow make their world a better place? Your members want your content, but they want it on their terms. And for some, they want it on their smartphone. Why aren't you ready?

So, what do you think? Is there a number five? Have you tried mobile yet? Know any association doing it really well?

Topics: web, mobile, association technology, Websites, associations

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