20% of American web users already access the internet ONLY on mobile phones and tablets.


One in five Americans who access the web rarely or never use a desktop browser to do it.

My job is to stay up to date on marketing technology, and I was flat-out stunned by these stats. One in five people use phones or tablets instead of computers. This is the Mobile Only customer, and businesses need to recognize them.

If your site is lame on mobile, 17% of 88% of adult Americans will access your business first on mobile and get a lame first impression of you. I'm not great at math, but I think that's millions of people. And you wouldn't believe how many companies, Fortune 500 companies, are behind the 8-ball on this.

Google will soon release a new algorithm that penalizes sites that aren't mobile-friendly in mobile search results, and most businesses aren't prepared for it. This means market opportunity for businesses that are prepared, or are smart enough to get their sites mobile-friendly ASAP.

The part that's really jarring is that this is a hockey-stick situation. In Q4 2012 one in 5 e-commerce site visits came from a smartphone or tablet.

In a call to arms for mobile-first strategy, Mitch Joel points out that the iPad is only three years old and the iPhone 5 sold 2 million pre-orders in 24 hours. Customers will have more mobile devices tomorrow than they have today, and they'll be exponentially more likely to search on them.

The push for mobile-first design is a painful disruption to business owners who've had to react and adapt to e-commerce, SEO, social media, and content marketing in just fifteen years.

Yet the rewards for the bold are already significant- about 8% of Amazon's 60 billion in 2012 sales were on mobile. Because growth is explosive and adoption uneven, opportunities abound.

It seems crazy to say there are still chances to get in on the ground floor in technology- but the business that creates a standout mobile experience in a niche market where their competitors don't have responsive sites will have 1 in 5 customers all to themselves.

Isn't that worth updating to a mobile-friendly site for?