By Ruth Galpine, Group Marketing Manager, Internet World

Mobile is the future of digital. It’s on the lips (and the fingertips!) of every digital enthusiast across the globe, and Google Director of Mobile & Social Advertising Strategy and Internet World Keynote speaker, Ian Carrington, discusses the past, present and future of the digital landscape.

The internet 10 years ago was undeniably a different place. When Ian Carrington joined Google in 2003, a “googl” was a word only common language amongst mathematicians. As Carrington describes in his pre-event keynote interview for Internet World, ‘9 years ago no one knew what Google was. You’d phone up an agency or an advertiser and have to spell Google to them. These days things are a little bit different.’ And that difference is truly measurable. In 2003 there were only 20 — 30 million people connected to the internet; in the present day over 1 billion people are connected... and that’s just by their mobile phones.

Giving us an insight to mobile as Google sees it, Carrington imparts the insight that 20% of all travel and entertainment queries to Google UK are via a mobile device, and 20% of all YouTube views are via mobile. And the progression of mobile is clearly not slowing down. 3 years ago, no one owned a tablet. In 2012, over 12% of the UK population have one. With the rapid growth of mobile connectivity and accessibility, it’s clear that mobile is a key trend that we’ll see in years to come.

When prompted on digital as a business opportunity, Carrington claims ‘Digital is the biggest shop you’ve got if you’re a retailer.’ And he makes a valid point. 20 years ago, your average small business had the power of footfall and the Yellow Pages to attract customers. The concept of a business with a revenue of less than £1 million being considered “global” was alien. And that’s what the internet has given business. It empowers a company of any size to sell their products and services the world over .

To succeed in the digital age, you have to be multi-channel. You can’t just say ‘No, we’re not going to embrace the internet’. You have to embrace the web, you have to gather all the knowledge you can and learn from the success stories of the big brands and up-and-coming entrepreneurs who have been there, and done it.

If we were to take one piece of advice from Carrington’s interview, it would be his determination that mobile will dominate. Carrington’s digital must-do for the coming year — Develop your mobile strategy in 2012. Your competitors are, and if you don’t, you will be left behind.”

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