How mobile should you be?

Today’s “service announcement” by Google that businesses need mobile websites brought me back to 1996.  Agencies were telling and selling companies they needed a web presence and the first self service platform, Geocities, launched.  It was the dawn of the web as marketing and today Google reminded companies that the dawn of mobile marketing for SMBs has begun.  Today, more than half of SMBs ( still don’t have a web presence of any kind so the journey will be long.

“Apple has sold the concept we need an app for everything on the Internet,” says All Things D.  Do companies need a mobile website or a mobile app or both?  That of course depends.  If a company wants their basic brochureware to work on mobile devices, they need a site that is optimized for mobile of the kind Google is pitching.  If they want deeper, more sophisticated, direct relationships and interactions with their customers or partners, they probably need an app.  Look at SunPac, a mobile site Google focuses on.  Now look at the native iOS app.  The latter is baked with native specific functionality and more engaging design.

So the question isn’t really should you be mobile?  It’s how mobile should you be.