Going Mobile with School Marketing

Just the other day I was walking through the mall and saw a new store: Best Buy Mobile. I decided to browse through the specialized and much smaller mall version to see what they had to offer. I found three rows of cell phones and smart phones and a row of tablets.

It’s amazing to see how technology is changing.

It seems like just yesterday that Apple announced the iPhone. And then, this past year, their iPad (and now the iPad2).

Technology is changing at a very rapid rate of speed. In fact, I was just reading a report from Nielson that smartphones will be used by one half of Americans by Christmas 2011.

I’ve had my smartphone for a year now and I love it (even though I don’t have an iPhone). I like having access to my email and to the web anytime and anywhere that I want.

I use my smartphone to catch up on the news on CNN, sports on ESPN, updates on Facebook, and any type of searches I need on Google to find phone numbers, addresses, or answers to my questions.

According to PewInternet, “Nearly half of all American adults (47%) report that they get at least some local news and information on their cellphone or tablet computer.”

One thing I like is that all of these websites have specially designed mobile website versions for smartphones. I really don’t like trying to view a regular website on a smartphone.

This is a significant issue.

What if someone searches for your school on their smartphone? Will they find the same version of your website and be frustrated that it is difficult to navigate? Will it be difficult to scroll across the page on their smartphone? And, if you are using Flash on your homepage, they won’t even see the pictures on your smartphone!

Take a look at how your school website looks on your smartphone. Then, compare the University of Tampa website on your home computer (www.ut.edu) with their mobile version on your smartphone. See the difference? University marketing is often where private schools should look to see what should be included in their strategy.

While many schools are just now getting their act together by developing a high quality website, school marketers must now include a mobile version of their website in their strategy.

Have you thought about your mobile marketing strategy?

You need to.

Mobile website browsing has significant implications for school marketing and it’s not going away.