Almost two-third (62 percent) of Fortune 50 companies are reaching out to their customers and other key stakeholder groups using some form of mobile communications, according to a new study by Burson-Marsteller and its sister firm Proof Integrated Communications.


While a relatively high proportion of Fortune 50 companies leverage mobile communications, the research found that only 39 percent of these companies highlight their mobile offerings on their corporate websites. The study examined whether Fortune 50 companies offer mobile-optimized websites, mobile applications, SMS/text messaging, or two-dimensional barcodes known as QR (quick response) codes to communicate externally.


 “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,” says B.L. Ochman, managing director of emerging media for Proof. “With so many customers accessing the Internet through mobile devices, companies need to promote their mobile offerings with vigor.” 


 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 iPhone, Android and/or Blackberry. Companies were most likely to develop applications for the iPhone (58 percent) followed by the Android (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, research and insights. “Making basic web content easy-to-read and interactive via mobile will enable all smartphone users to connect with brands anyplace and at anytime, regardless of mobile device or operating system.”


Other findings include: 

·         Twenty-two percent of Fortune 50 companies are communicating with stakeholders via SMS/text message.

·         Forty-three percent of the Fortune 50 have mobile websites or applications that are enabled for mobile transactions such as shopping, updating account information, refilling prescriptions or transferring money.

·         Twenty-two percent of the Fortune 50 are placing QR codes in magazines, on billboards, or at any convenient location to deliver relevant content to smartphone users. (QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that are encrypted with information.  Smartphone users who install a QR Code Reading application can scan the codes with mobile phones and in return receive any content ranging from photos, videos, and product data to applications and instructions.)