I started to write about the mobile web in higher education about a year ago (The ABC of Mobile Marketing for my University Business column), but I know I’ll be writing more and more about it in the coming months (and not because of the August 4 “Going Mobile” webinar series by Higher Ed Experts).
You might have noticed yourself that several sessions and workshops about the topic have been popping up this year at higher ed conferences. So, it sounds like we have finally passed the very-early-adopter phase with more and more institutions starting to cater to their mobile web users.
If you still need to sell the mobile web to your boss, I’ve gathered some fresh data from two different surveys to help you build your case.
I’ve already shared some of the data included in the E-Expectations Report published last week, but I’d like to bring to your attention a single data point from this survey:
23% of high school students said they view college websites on their smartphones (93% at home and 66% at school)
Given the fact, that smart phones aren’t ubiquitous yet among teens (mainly due to the cost of their data plans), this is a strong indicator that a perfect storm is gathering.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project released a report about Mobile Access two weeks ago (July 7, 2010) with really up-to-date results as the survey was done by phone (landlines and cell phones) between April 29 and May 30, 2010.
You can download the 25-page PDF report for free, but here are the most useful data points for marketers and web professionals in higher education.
- 9 in 10 young adults aged 18-29 own a cell phone (compared to 82% for all adults)
- 19% use a cell phone only to go mobile, 84% use a laptop AND a cell phone
- 55% of all cell phone owners go online at least every day
- 52% of 18-29 year olds and 52% of college grads of any age go online with their phone several times a day
- 65% of 18-29 year old cell phone owners access the internet with their phone
- 19% of 18-29 year old cell phone owners have made a charitable donation by text (compared to 10% for 30-49 year old users) – Could it be the solution to get young alums in the habit of giving to their alma mater?
- Young adults are more likely than older users to engage in mobile data applications as shown in the chart from the Pew Internet and American Life Project below.
As you can see, the mobile web channel is definitely getting a fair share of attention and action from students and young alums.
While several institutions have chosen to outsource the development of their mobile websites, you don’t have to go this route thank to the higher ed open source platform based on MIT Mobile and further developed by Dave Olsen from West Virginia University.
If you want to get started more smoothly, you should definitely register for Going Mobile: How to develop the mobile website of your institution with Mobile OSP.