How the Fortune 50 is Using Mobile: Study

Dec 29, 2010 — Allan Pulga

A recent study by Burson-Marsteller and Proof Integrated Communications has identified just how important it is for companies to have a mobile communications strategy; the research firms examined how Fortune 50 companies use the mobile interface to connect with consumers.

The study found that 62 percent of Fortune 50 companies are reaching out to customers and stakeholders using some form of mobile communications. However, only 39 percent of these companies highlight their mobile offerings on their corporate websites.

“It is surprising that companies with mobile offerings are not taking advantage of every channel to let stakeholders know about their mobile websites, applications, and SMS tools,” said B.L. Ochman, Managing Director of Emerging Media for Proof, in a release (Dec. 15). “With so many customers access the Internet through mobile devices, companies need to promote their mobile offerings with vigor.”

The study also found that 38 percent of said companies have mobile-optimized websites (e.g. Costco, State Farm and Dow Chemical), while 58 percent offer a mobile application on iPhone, Android and/or BlackBerry. Companies were most likely to develop applications for the iPhone (58 percent), followed by the Android platform (32 percent) and BlackBerry (26 percent).

“A company’s first foray into mobile is often by building an iPhone application, but they should also think about developing a basic mobile-optimized website,” said Ashley Welde, Director of Research and Insights for Burson-Marsteller. “Making basic web content easy-to-read and interactive via mobile will enable all smartphone users to connect with brands anyplace and anytime, regardless of mobile device or operating system.”

Other key findings about Fortune 50 companies include:

  • 22 percent (e.g. Walmart, Target and Johnson & Johnson) are communicating with stakeholders via text message. This is in sharp contrast, the study notes, to the finding that 70 percent of adults use text messaging.
  • 43 percent (e.g. Home Depot, Bank of America and Walgreens) have mobile websites or applications that are enabled for mobile transactions** such as shopping, updating account information, refilling prescriptions or transferring money.
  • 22 percent (e.g. Ford and Verizon) are placing QR codes in magazines, on billboards, or at any convenient location to deliver relevant content to smartphone users.

**For comparison’s sake, it’s worth noting a Forrester/National Retail Federation study released in July found only 20 percent of U.S. retailers had implemented an m-commerce strategy (see M-Commerce Goes Mainstream).

To see a cool “infographic” of the Burson-Marsteller/Proof study, go to

Topics: Retail Operations, Mobile Industry

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