Online education portals like Udacity and Coursera are really changing the world of remote learning in significant ways. By making free and high quality education accessible to a global audience, these platforms are opening up undreamt of possibilities for communities around the world to improve, grow, and prosper in the digital economy of the 21st century. Education at top tier colleges and universities has traditionally been a social and economic privilege, but now anyone can join in the learning revolution by sitting in virtual classrooms with the world’s best and brightest educators. Whether this involves learning how to code and build smart phone apps, or starting up a new business, or learning about public health literacy, the sky is the limit of what’s now possible.

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Is your business leveraging the mobile web? – part 4

In response to the question posed in the title of this series, we’ve been advancing several key points so far. First, we’ve said that the predominance of mobile today – increased mobile sales, more internet searches done on mobile device, more consumers shopping globally with mobile – requires businesses to embrace a paradigm shift towards a mobile first strategy. Second, responsive web design is not enough because its frame of reference is the traditional website. Third, businesses can’t afford to get bogged downed in the “developer’s dilemma” but must focus on doing whatever it takes to please their customers. And fourth, businesses today must embrace a mobile-centric approach to development, analytics, and marketing; a mobile first strategy starts and ends with mobile as the frame of reference.

In yesterday’s post we focused on mobile analytics as a key component of this revised mobile first strategy. So let’s continue the discussion by looking at how mobile marketing plays into this framework.


Mobile marketing is a set of best practices that allow organizations to engage with their customers interactively through a smartphone or mobile device. Mobile marketing is the future of marketing and it goes without saying that traditional approaches no longer will work in today’s competitive landscape. Simply tweaking or tuning your existing social media strategy for mobile users is not enough. The same point was said about responsive web design on the development side. New paradigms require new approaches.

Again, to emphasize the critical point of mobile marketing, let’s throw in a couple stats to prove this out:

* 80% of mobile device time is spent on mobile apps with the majority of time spent on game apps.

* People browse 70% more web pages on tablets than smartphones.

* In a recent study comparing marketing ROI to traditional initiatives, 52 percent of mobile marketers stated mobile returns were higher while only 15 percent stated their returns as lower.

The only appropriate response to this reality is to ensure that your organization starts leveraging the mobile web. At a minimum this approach must include an integrated mobile marketing strategy. Here are a few guidelines to help you get started:

* Realize that mobile marketing is multi-faceted and encompasses a number of avenues such as app-based marketing, in-game mobile marketing, QR codes, location-based marketing, mobile search and image ads to name a few.

* Check on Google Analytics to see what your current mobile traffic segment is, what kind of mobile devices visitors are using, and the percent of mobile traffic in relation to all site visits.

* It goes without say, but your business needs a customized mobile app to enhance and advertise your brand.

* Ensure that you have a robust email mobile marketing campaign; as you ramp this up ensure the emails are correctly formatted for mobile traffic. MailChimp is your go-to source for all things related to email campaigns.

* Get onboard with Facebook mobile ads!

This last point is critical enough that it deserves further expansion. One of the biggest draws for mobile are Facebook Ads. In fact, the social media giant recently hit a major milestone with 1.23 billion monthly active users, including 945 million mobile users. These numbers are quite staggering but what it essentially means is that every business should have a Facebook marketing strategy in place!

Fortunately, there’s a great solution out there designed precisely for helping businesses manage their Facebook presence and grow their customer base. The name of this solution is ShortStack. It’s a custom iframe tab designing tool that allows you to create custom, professional-looking Facebook apps on the fly. With ShortStack you can create Facebook promotions, such as video, photo, and voting contests, and then easily manage those promotions.


One of the real value adds of ShortStack is their new Smart URL feature. Smart URLs are custom URLs that might look something like: The primary value of this new functionality is that whenever a visitor clicks on a Smart URL in your Facebook app, ShortStack detects whether the user is accessing the app on a computer or on a mobile device, and adjusts the app accordingly.


As we’ve been repeating time and again, mobile is ubiquitous and it’s the present and future of business. The message can’t be clearer. And what this means is a radical paradigm shift in how you leverage mobile. Traditional web analytics, marketing, and development (including, responsive web design) must give way to mobile-centric development, mobile analytics, and mobile marketing. These components must be integral to your organization’s mobile first strategy.

In the next and last part of this series we’ll wrap everything together and offer some takeaways and next steps for how to ensure that your business starts leveraging the mobile web today.

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About Jeffrey Walker

Jeff is a business development consultant who specializes in helping businesses grow through technology innovations and solutions. He holds multiple master’s degrees from institutions such as Andrews University and Columbia University, and leverages this background towards empowering people in today’s digital world. He currently works as a research specialist for a Fortune 100 firm in Boston. When not writing on the latest technology trends, Jeff runs a robotics startup called, along with oversight and leadership of - an emerging market assistance company that helps businesses grow through innovation.