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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : December 27, 2011

2012: Year of Mobile?

Mobile has come into its own through 2011, but over the 2011 holiday season retailers and manufacturers have seen demand for mobile devices skyrocket. Tablets are leading the new phase of mobile adoption, but the always changing smartphone arena is also bringing more people into the mobile sphere.

by Kristina Knight

I recently chatted with Andrew Martin, of Metia, about the impact of mobile devices on ecommerce. You can read that article here. Andrew is back today to talk about trends for mobile heading in to 2012.

Kristina: There has been an app vs. mobile site debate for probably 3 years now. With more areas becoming 3-4G compatible, thus allowing 'always on' functionality, is the mobile web moving more toward site? Or are apps still important?

Andrew Martin, Vice President, Metia/Seattle: Apps are definitely still important, and brands are learning that they are only part of the answer to the smartphone opportunity. They are also learning that their investment into custom applications doesn't mean that they aren't responsible for addressing their mobile web experience. The line between mobile apps and mobile web is blurring as users increasingly demand consolidated access points for their data.

Recent research says that users make more purchases in apps, but the downside is that there are issues with less distribution of the app. There are also app development and maintenance costs to consider. What mobile web offers is great because it offers consistency across devices and platforms, but isn't necessarily optimized for each device.

The technology that brands use to drive their content needs to be compatible for both experiences. If you can only do one, default to mobile web.

Kristina: Location based targeting and geo-fencing started to grow in popularity in 2010; with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, how important is LBS to a mobile strategy?

Andrew: LBS offers a huge opportunity in digital marketing, particularly for B2C brands and small businesses. There's a huge opportunity with LBS and shopping malls. Malls can combine LBS with price checking and mall mapping to drive consumer behavior. It could revolutionize Saturday afternoons for teenagers across America.

Marketing campaigns incorporating LBS are immediately actionable and highly relevant to users out in the physical world, plus LBS enables personalization to an individual. Social, push notifications, and location-based information incentivize users to consume your content. Small businesses have struggled to figure out how to harness LBS, but it's a massive opportunity for mobile.

The digital marketing industry has been experimenting with LBS for a few years, and those experiments are paying off with better-targeted campaigns, better integration with digital marketing campaigns, and stronger outcomes. It's not right for every brand and every campaign, but any brand that totally ignores location-based marketing is shortchanging their mobile strategy.

Kristina: Looking ahead, what do you expect to see from mobile through 2012?

Andrew: We expect a lot from mobile in 2012 and beyond. In the coming year, we expect our clients to get more aggressive with their mobile strategies in developing countries, which require a scalable SMS strategy. Of the 4 billion mobile phones in use around the world, 3 billion of them are SMS enabled. That's three times greater than the 1 billion smartphones currently in use.

Mobile web will catch up with the advances in mobile apps, so users will enjoy better mobile web experiences, resulting in stronger brand loyalty. Brands have finally had the epiphany that mobile web and mobile apps need to work together to support overall marketing efforts. So all those brands that fixated on mobile apps over the past two years are finally getting back to their websites and giving them some critical attention.

Brands will expand the ways that smartphone features, such as cameras and location-based data can integrate with brands and messaging; the expansion of HTML5 will impact the use of media in mobile experiences.

Tags: Andrew Martin, appvertising, Metia, mobile apps, mobile marketing, mobile trends

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  • dany

    Retail is going mobile. People are not only using their phones to get more information on goods and services, both in-store and on-the-go, but also to purchase.



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