The great mobile scare of 2014

It’s pretty clear that the Golden Era of people accessing the Internet from a desktop/laptop 100% of the time is over – and it’s never coming back.

I encounter many “old school” direct marketing-oriented Internet marketers who find this reality terrifying.


(They would be a lot less freaked out if they had attended our System Seminar which starting in 2008 laid out the probable pathway of the mobile revolution with what’s turned out to be near total accuracy.)

Instead of freaking out, it would be a better idea to focus on this big still-unanswered and highly relevant question: What will the ultimate mix of desktop/mobile use be in individual users lives: 80% desktop/20% mobile? 70/30? 60/40? 50/50?

Yes, mobile usage creeps up steadily and desktop time loses (along with TV, radio and print reading).

And yes some consumers will go 100% mobile, but that said there will be a ratio of usage, not a total abandonment of the desktop format for most people.

What people am I talking about?

* Students
* Employees and contractors
* People who for whatever reason have the need to be in front of a real keyboard and mouse with a big screen.

That’s a lot of people and it’s a very healthy part of the audience most businesses want to reach.

The fact is that there are a whole lot of common computer tasks that simply don’t work well in a mobile environment – and never will.

For example, what are the odds of me composing these comments on a smart phone?

Zero and less than zero.

That said, I can see a day where many people won’t have desktop and laptop hardware and instead will dock their mobiles into a “normal” keyboard and screen set up.

But that’s Dell’s problem, not ours and a set up like that will serve us just fine.

The thing that mobile kills for us as direct marketers is the way it discourages the filling out of forms, the reading of long sales letters and most importantly the ancient art of hanging out in one place in a seated position for a relatively prolonged period of time.

And we thought the Internet was “Short Attention Span Theater.” Mobile, of course, is much worse and short attention span is the enemy of sales.

So, yes by all means adapt and include mobile use in your marketing mix (there’s a lot of money to be made doing that), but don’t worry that your “sitting down and focused” users are going away. They’re not.

More about this later.

P.S. What would a six year head start on the mobile “problem” have meant for you? Members of the System Club know.

If you want to be on the profit side of the learning curve, experience shows that System Club members have been the best positioned Internet marketers of the last twelve years when the Club first opened its doors (not to mention the last twenty when we first started teaching online marketing.)

If you want some independent verification of this claim, look who was picked over hundreds of Internet “gurus” to explain Internet marketing at the highest profile direct marketing event of the last fifty years.

– Ken McCarthy

P.S. For over 25 years I’ve been sharing the simple but powerful things that matter in business with my clients.

If you’d like direction for your business that will work today, tomorrow and twenty years from now, visit us at the System Club.

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