Many people ask me what exactly is happening in the mobile world: what kind of businesses are being developed, how consumers are reacting, and how companies can maximise the opportunity in all of that.

Here is an overview.

It seems that everybody has realised smartphones are the most convenient way to get informed and also to purchase all kinds of products and services.

Among all smartphone users, 81% browse the Internet. When they are browsing for a product or service, 76% decide to buy within a couple of hours (30% decide immediately). From those, 53% make a purchase decision. And only 22% are using apps for this decision, so browsing Web sites is key for business.

Mobile ads are becoming more and more important, too, as 82% of users are noticing them on smartphones. Curiously, prime time on smartphones happens exactly as on the old TV, especially for evening hours.

It is important to mention that among all platforms, mobile ads and banners on iPhones perform two times better than on Android, and five times better than on Blackberries. Apple users seem to be more interested and have already learned how to use the smartphone as a purchasing device.

Two tips for companies interested in capitalising on smartphones: create your mobile site and start defining your mobile advertising campaign.

First, a mobile site is not a Web site that users can access using a smartphone and have to zoom in and out, trying to find out what they are looking for, which delivers a not-so-positive experience. It’s a site developed on a mobile platform that works with a large number of different mobile devices. When the user accesses a site, it’s formatted in the best way for the several different types of smartphone screens.

The app that you probably already developed to promote your brand on iPhones or Android phones is not enough any more. Apps reach a number of users but not the majority of them. Besides, you have to develop so many app versions and then update them that it is not even funny.

Make sure you use a mobile platform that works with the majority of telecom operators’ technologies and that also supports the largest number of mobile devices. Once you have it, you will be able to develop a mobile site that will work with 99% of devices and you won’t have to create different versions. One mobile site will be enough, and if you update it, it will happen with all smartphones at the same time.

Second, you will want to promote your mobile site, and the best way to do that is with mobile ads and banners. In the same way it happened with the Internet, now there are media companies already developing and offering mobile opportunities. But pay attention, because it is not only traditional media companies that are doing it; new businesses are being created in the same way that many new companies like Google and Yahoo were created during the Internet’s early days.

So many incredible opportunities are in front of us. It’s a great time to be working with media!