NDG Senior Marketing Manager
Many of NDG’s marketing managers (often called “account executives” at other agencies) recently attended a seminar presented by BDX Internet Marketing entitled “BDX Roadshow: Internet Marketing Beyond the Basics” where the most frequent question asked by homebuilders was “Do I need a mobile website or a mobile application to reach homebuyers?”
The seminar leaders discussed many topics, but most impressive were the trends and statistics that demonstrate the growing value of mobile marketing to homebuilders:
83% of the U.S. population now connects to the web via a mobile device—a phone, tablet, or e-reader—so having a user-friendly mobile website is imperative in order to reach these shoppers.
30% of the U.S. population owns a smart phone and this number is expected to reach 50% by the end of 2011, which means mobile shopping will exponentially increase over the next year.
As for developing mobile applications, the branded standalone programs that run on mobile devices independent of a web browser, a homebuilder’s first question should be “What is the exact purpose of this application and exactly how will it help our customers?”
You must have a solid answer to this question based on facts or your application will be an expensive and ineffective endeavor, unlikely to be used by your customers and prospects. A mobile application must have a clear purpose and should be a useful tool for homebuyers in the home shopping process, not just advertising.
Homebuilders should be prepared to use this opportunity to capture mobile homebuyer traffic while their competition is still a few steps behind. Most builders will require a mobile-optimized website sooner than later, but your goals for a mobile application must be clearly defined from the beginning of the process before embarking on any development.