Mobile Next Year May Be One Year Too Late

I like to experiment with Google AdWords, and today I received a report on the performance of an campaign that’s been running for a few weeks. I was shocked: Out of the 237 clicks on my ads, 188 were on mobile devices with full browsers. Almost 80% of those searching for “RIAs and twitter” (my Google AdWords keywords) were using phones?

This report is just another tiny piece to throw onto the pile of data about mounting mobile phone usage. Also in the Inbox today was an email about ComScore’s "The 2009 U.S. Digital Year in Review" including an analysis of the drivers that accelerate mobile phone use. Note that 3G phone ownership is now at 43%, according to ComScore.

Oh and in its latest research, kasina reported that four out of five advisors use some type of mobile device and that the phone is how many access the Web.

Out of curiosity, I wandered over to the iTunes App Store to search for “investing” apps and then “mutual funds” and “ETFs.” In an industry with almost 8,000 mutual funds and 800 exchange-traded funds, guess how many investment companies have iPhone applications? Exactly two: Vanguard and TIAA-CREF.

Maybe you're working on your mobile strategy right now. If so, we'll keep this short so you can get back to it. But if your firm thought you had at least a year to think through your brand experience on a phone, you might want to reconsider your timing. 

Can you afford not to provide a mobile Website, at the least, this year?