Barely five years ago, mobile traffic accounted for less than 1 percent of all online traffic. By May 2013, mobile traffic had soared to 15 percent worldwide. How are professional firms reacting to this rapidly changing landscape?
Without wanting to give too much away ahead of our article in Professional Marketing magazine next month, we wanted to share some interesting insights into how the UK's Top 100 law firms are using the mobile web and apps to market their services as well as make life easier for employees and clients who need access to information while they are out on the road.
To put our findings into perspective, 10-15 percent of the web traffic going to the typical UK professional firm's website will come from visitors using smartphone and tablet devices.
A review of the Top 100 UK law firms certainly shows some evidence of firms moving in the right direction to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the mobile web. However, only a handful including Scott-Moncrieff, Lewis Silkin, Birketts and Mills and Reeve have succeeded in integrating mobile into their marketing strategies.
Of the Top 100 law firms, 11 have an app, while 26 have a website that is mobile friendly. In total, 34 law firms have either a mobile friendly website or an app.
Clearly some firms are unsure how to approach mobile.
More than one way to skin a cat
There are three main approaches to mobile: responsive web design, a separate mobile website, and apps. Which option is best for your firm will depend on your use case, your users' preferences, and of course, your budget. For the most part, users won't really care which approach you take. All they care about is that you deliver the experience they expect.
Too many firms are content to simply cover off mobile without really capitalizing on the opportunity. It shouldn’t just be a case of ‘How do I make my website available to mobile users?’ Instead firms should be thinking 'How can we make the firm available in a mobile context?”
What information do your clients and staff need from you when on the move?
The mobile user often wants a completely different experience to that provided by your website. As their mobile device is likely to have GPS capabilities, they may want information that is relevant to their location. They may want to know how to get to your office from their current position or they may want to click on a partner’s profile to call him or her directly.
A mobile presence gives firms an opportunity to provide the right information to the right audience at the right time. Clients are busy and are increasingly on the move –they want you to make it easier for them to find what they need.
App development is getting easier
Although the fragmentation in the smartphone market does make app development more expensive, technology is changing fast and development tools are available that make the task of cross platform development faster and more cost effective. Also, it's now very much a two-horse race with Android and iOS out in front on their own, BlackBerry set to drop out of the picture completely by 2014, and Windows Phone struggling to get a foothold.
Stand still and you'll go backwards in a fast changing market
The market is changing fast, and firms need to react soon or they risk alienating their more progressive clients. Talk to London based mobile specialists Appergy and we can help you to work out the optimum and most cost effective, long term strategy for your business!
We'll soon be providing an insight into how the Top 100 UK accounting firms compare, but look out for our article in Professional Marketing magazine next month!