Yes, most definitely. B2C companies always seem to be ahead of B2Bs when it comes to adopting new technology. While B2B companies don’t have the same opportunities as consumer-oriented companies or retails stores do, like take advantage of geo-locating on smart phones to give special offers, there are plenty of reasons to work it into your marketing arsenal.
The biggest reason is the sheer proliferation of smart phones. Millions of Canadians are using smart phones for more than texting and talking and the number grows every year. You can surf on regular cell phones, but smart phones have made it a much better experience.
So many people have and use them for looking things up now that you can be sure people are going to look at your site on one. I often arrive at meetings early and check out their website on my iPhone to refresh myself on research, or to double-check the suite number, and I’m relieved when I see it has detected the iPhone and switched automatically to the mobile version.
Do You Have to Create and Maintain Two Websites Now?
No, not at all. The design may need to be altered due to the smaller screen-size, but many websites can be easily adapted to mobile. While smart phones will continue to get more sophisticated, I don’t see the screens getting much larger. Right now people are squinting at many sites, but the best mobile sites are reconfigured to allow healthy font sizes, and have much cleaner, simpler designs.
Be aware of what people see as it loads. There aren’t scroll bars to indicate there’s more content below like a desktop website, so make sure the content starts above the fold. For Rapport’s, the vertical navigation took up the whole screen so we created a collapsable navigation. We also minimized the images — which is a consideration for download time. People are on data plans – keep your graphics simple and quick to download.
The key to easier maintenance is setting it up to pull the data from one source – a database. That way, you only need to update content in one place but you’ll see it in both regular and mobile versions. Platforms like WordPress have modules already built to make this even easier. However, if your site is already built a different way, it may still not be hard. Ours wasn’t.