This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

June 4, 2008

Mobile Web Gaining Momentum

Recently the organization Rareplay conducted its "Mobile Web Presence Survey 2008". The study found that 14 percent (141) of the "Top 1000 U.S. Brands" have mobile Web sites. To calculate the percentage, Rareplay randomly selected 1000 brands from Brandweek's 2007 list of Superbrands. This statistic represents a 75 percent increase over similar research conducted last year which found only 8 percent of the brands had a mobile presence.

The introduction of the iPhone last year, the influx of other smartphones with larger screen sizes, higher bandwidth capacity and wireless carriers opening up their networks to greater access, have all made surfing the mobile Web closer to reality.

We expect, by the end of 2008, there will be over three billion cell phones users globally. Currently, over 83 percent of the United States population or roughly 250 million people are connected through various types of mobile devices. As we have discussed in a previous Herman Trend Alert (https://www.hermangroup.com/alert/archive_3-19-2008.html), mobile web services may well be the next big thing.

Not surprisingly, Americans are becoming more dependent on their cellphones than landlines. In fact, over 10 percent of US citizens and 5 percent of Canadian citizens do not even have landline telephones. As previously quoted, the Pew Internet and American Life Project stated we value cellphones over our other technological tools, including the Internet, television and landline telephones.

Rareplay's Mobile Web Presence Survey 2008 revealed that industries with the highest mobile web adoption include: travel (36 percent), entertainment (28 percent), and ISP and Telecommunications (28 percent), a significant increase from last year's findings. Lately, several consumer marketers, including McDonalds, Starbucks, and Procter & Gamble have been testing ways to reach out to "mobile" consumers, offering discounts/promotions at local fast-food restaurants and retail stores.

With improved usability and navigation of mobile devices, higher bandwidth capacities, a move towards open standards, plus innovative ways of delivering mobile content, like Rareplay, we expect to see more and more brands creating engaging content. This optimum use of this medium is to provide highly localized content, targeted to mobile-savvy consumers---ultimately tailored to individual users---first in North America, then worldwide.


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