Judging by the headlines, the mobile revolution is well underway. Last year, Adobe ran a story on CMO.com titled, “The Moment Is Now: Brands Must Embrace A Mobile-First World.” Think With Google wants to show us “How to Drive Growth in a Mobile-First World.” And a few months ago, Entrepreneur declared that “The Dominance of Mobile Marketing Is Complete.”
At first glance, the narrative makes sense. Mobile ad spending has surpassed $58 billion this year, accounting for 70 percent of all digital spend, per eMarketer. This “mobile-first” mindset gives consumers the ability to access information wherever they want to research and make purchases. So if you don’t invest in mobile, you risk getting left behind.
But it’s time for us to rethink this blanket advice. Mobile optimization and investment may be necessary for a lot of brands, but for B2B companies, its importance has been wildly overstated.
To debunk this misconception, let’s talk about the desktop computer. Sure, everyone owns a smartphone, but that doesn’t mean everyone uses it for business purposes. So while smartphones are great for scrolling through social media and looking up directions, desktops still play a huge role in research. Forrester found that only 20 percent of B2B web traffic originated from mobile devices, per the Internet Retailer Q2 2016 B2B Sell-Side Online Survey.
On Search Engine Journal, writer Clark Boyd dug deeper into this topic by looking at the Consumer Barometer, a survey tool. According to the research, more than twice as many people in the U.S. rely on computers over smartphones for product information.
Workplace email habits could have a big impact on the mobile divide. This summer, Adobe released survey data that shows a majority of professionals prefer to use desktops or laptops to check work email. For personal email, however, 59 percent of people primarily use smartphones, compared to just 35 percent of people who use desktops or laptops.
So if you work in B2B, think twice the next time you see a headline or an article touting the rise of mobile. Desktops and laptops aren’t going anywhere.