Trends of the Trade is a monthly column written by WWPR member Cory Churches exploring, well, trends in PR. Follow her @Coricita or reach her at

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Washington Women in Public Relations.

Are you reading this on a mobile device? Chances are that you, like millions of others, access information mostly via a mobile device.

Does your communications and marketing strategy include a plan for reaching your audience via mobile devices? If not, you’re likely missing out on a huge audience.

According to a December 2012 article in Forbes, 5 Eye-Opening Stats That Show The World Is Going Mobile, venture capitalist Mary Meeker presents trends in mobile usage and global penetration of mobile access. One of her top observations is that global mobile traffic now represents roughly 13% of Internet traffic.

That means that merely pushing existing web content to customers through social media sites, leading users back to your non-mobile website isn’t sufficient in the age of mobile device proliferation. Mobile devices are ubiquitous and are in many cases replacing desktop computers, laptops, and more traditional communication channels.

Just a glance at some statistics regarding how smart phone users access information gives you an idea of how quickly potential clients (or existing clients) expect a response from information providers.

For example, it takes 90 minutes for the average person to respond to an email. It takes 90 seconds for an average person to respond to a text message. On average, 74% of consumers will wait a mere 5 seconds for a webpage to load on their mobile device before abandoning the site.

A very informative graphic shows that there are 5 billion mobile phones worldwide but only 1.08 billion of those are smart phones.

Google has a great, short video that demonstrates the basics of the mobile expansion. Here are 5 trends and 5 ways to dive into the mobile environment.


1. Mobile is entertaining us. Mobile users watch videos, play games, and connect with others everyday.

2. It is extremely local. One in 3 mobile searches have local intent.

3. Mobile is the ultimate shopping companion. 59% of mobile users visit a local store after searching it on their mobile device.

4. Enabling us to take immediate action. Priceline reports that 82% of hotel bookings are made on the day of arrival via mobile device vs 45% on a desktop.

5. People are searching for everything. 15% of finance and insurance searches are from mobile devices, 17% of auto searches are from mobile, and 30% of restaurant searches are from a mobile device.

Interestingly enough, 79% of large online advertisers do not have a mobile-optimized site.

Ways to engage:

1. Build a mobile site that’s relevant

2. Make it easy for people to take action

3. Create an experience that is useful and unique to mobile.

4. Learn from how your customers interact with your site and adapt accordingly.

5. Make mobile part of your marketing plan.

All of this information likely isn’t news to you but what you do with it to change how you’re making information available to customers and clients is important. Just as social media channels changed how we craft message and engage clients, attracting and engaging customers via mobile devices is a trend we can’t ignore.