That's what we found in a new study, "Fortune 50 Use of Mobile: If You've Got It, Flaunt It," conducted by PR giant Burson-Marsteller, and my employer, WPP-owned Proof Integrated Communications.
They're missing a huge branding opportunity, and a chance to increase the return on their (considerable) investments. While many mobile optimized sites automatically "see" a smartphone and direct the user to the mobile site, many don't. And an awful lot of business users aren't necessarily mobile-savvy enough to know that a mobile site exists, or that there are options for mobile payments, mobile applications for their phone, or text messaging to the company.
Specifically, the study found that 38 percent of the Fortune 50 companies have mobile-optimized websites and an even higher proportion (58 percent) of companies offer a mobile application on the iPhone, Android and/or Blackberry. Companies were most likely to develop applications for the iPhone (58%) followed by the Android (32%) and Blackberry (26%).
Why are companies keeping all this a secret? Here are my guesses:
- corporate silos pitting IT against marketing (as in, "ok, we'll build it, but don't go shooting your mouth off about it until it's really mainstream")
- fear of the wrath of cash-conscious shareholders
- fear of the perceived risks of change (i.e., many pioneers got shot)
- fear of technology snafus
- fear of being different (or of not being different enough)
Check out our data yourself: