Mobile channels such as advertising (search and display), apps and mobile Web sites will rake in the most in spend for brands and retailers. The exponential raise in smartphone uptake is indicative of the importance mobile will soon play in the marketing mix.
“It starts with consumer behavior. Every indicator says mobile activity considerably increased in 2011,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA. “The latest was the IBM report that said sales from mobile devices doubled in December 2011 versus December 2010.
“Even the most stubborn of marketers has had to take note,” he said. “The smartest ones know that consumers expect brands to have a significant mobile presence – and they are punishing companies that don’t.
“Many mobile channels will benefit from increased spending. Mobile Web will be one of the winners driven by consumer demand. Another will be SMS because it provides reach to all, including the 50 percent who won’t have smartphones and, when used wisely, leads to permission-based, monetizable databases.”
Retailers and brands will focus heavily on incorporating check-ins and deals into their mobile apps. The next generation of retail apps will be extremely sophisticated, focusing on loyalty and driving sales among loyalists.
Will the majority of big box retailers having built their mobile database and built a relationship with the consumers that have opted-in for communications, companies will now focus on way of making the marketing messages more personalized to more effectively drive sales.
For example, instead of getting a message for a mobile coupon with 10 percent off of the next purchase, imagine getting a message that says Macy’s just got a pair of peep-toe shoes that match perfectly with the cocktail dress you bought last week.
In order for personalization like this to be possible, data mining and segmentation of lists is an absolute must. Brands and retailers will be spending a lot of time and money on understanding their database and breaking it up into segmented lists.
“Similar to social media, mobile marketing spend as a whole will impressively increase in 2012 not so much in terms of greater budget allocations by a few enterprises but in terms of volume due to more SMBs and consumer affinity groups getting in the mobile marketing game,” said Angelo Biasi, adjunct professor for mobile marketing at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and general manager of SMART Marketing Solutions LLC, New York.
“Easy to use do-it-yourself SMS campaign, mobile Web sites and especially mobile app creation tools that remove traditional barriers to entry, will become more attractive and consolidated service offerings by organizations that cater to these segments,” he said.
The fact that the big guys get mobile, has been driving mobile marketing spend. But, in 2012, the smaller guys will invest more heavily in mobile as well.
Mobile has become more mainstream for a few reasons. Faster network speeds, function-rich smartphones and tablets, a burgeoning portfolio of applications and more engaging ad formats like screen takeovers and expandable ads enable mobile to compete with more established media.
Mobile will account for 15.2 percent of global online ad spend in 2016, according to Berg Insight. According to the Berg, the total value of the global mobile marketing and advertising market will grow from $3.4 billion in 2010 at a compound annual growth rate of 37 percent to $22.4 billion in 2016.
HTML5 is already changing consumers’ perception of the mobile Web. HTML5 will play a prominent role in mobile development in 2012 and will be used to try to overcome fragmentation issues that the industry has consistently battled.
Adobe’s decision to give up on Flash was abrupt but also signals how HTML5 will have to play a role in the future because it was one of the most successful Web add-ins.
HTML5 is helping companies create rich content and bypass the App Store and we will see this trend increase dramatically throughout 2012.
“Mobile is growing rapidly and is quickly becoming the norm for many consumers,” said Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. “PriceGrabber predicts an increase in mobile budgets, both in the development of new mobile features and mobile options, as well as a raise in marketing funds assigned to the mobile category.
“Merchants are investing heavily in the development of mobile capability as far as mobile check out goes,” he said. “They want to ensure a smooth process and experience for the consumer.”