This Mashable article offers some very useful tips for maximizing the chances that your website will render successfully on your visitors’ mobile devices. This is especially good information for us to have given the reality of our very limited resources.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Narrow your focus: Instead of trying to support every platform out there, set out some goals for your site and your potential customers. For instance, if you know that most of your users are going to be using an iPhone, focus on making an iPhone-enhanced version of your site first. Conversely, if you get a lot of traffic from parts of the world like Asia, the Middle East and South America, you may want to focus your primary efforts on Symbian.”
P.S. If you have Google Analytics embedded on your site, you’ll be able to see which mobile devices are most frequently accessing your site. For the UW home page, it’s the iPhone by a pretty wide margin. Between late April 2010 and late June 2010, there were 11,500 visits by iPhone users and just 1,000 by BlackBerry users.
No sooner did we start getting comfortable with incorporating social networks into our daily work as UW marketers/communicators then another medium starts vying for our limited attention and resources—and that medium is mobile devices. But just like any other shiny new toy, we’d be doing ourselves and our constituents a disservice if we chase after it just because it’s pretty.
This article (called “Attention, marketers: Please don’t ruin mobile!”) on the Mobile Marketer Web site provides some helpful insights that are important to bear in mind before you begin sketching out a mobile marketing strategy for your unit. Though it’s aimed at for-profit businesses, it makes points that are relevant to us, such as this one:
“A mobile device is a very personal, intimate part of a person’s life. You have to push yourself to answer the question, ‘Is this idea going to improve my customer’s mobile experience?’ Are you going to be interrupting them or providing value?”
The author goes on to give a great example of a company he thinks is managing to market itself mobily and add value: Charmin, the toilet tissue company, has branded a mobile app that allows people to find and rate public bathrooms. As the article author puts it: “It is simple, on-brand and very useful for their customers – a complete home run.”