The changes in technology as well as how people gather and share information is part of what makes modern marketing so exciting. It is also what makes it so frustrating. Marketers in this day and age are constantly on their toes, waiting for the next trend or dominant social media platform to emerge in order to take full advantage. And then, inevitably, that trend gives way to something new, seemingly overnight.
Take the world of mobile marketing, for example. Just a few years ago, the thought of mobile devices being ground zero for large marketing campaigns wasn’t exactly on most people’s minds. These days, the writing is on the wall. Here are just a few statistics from KPCB and Pew that illuminate just how dominant the mobile revolution has become.
- 172 million people in the U.S. alone own mobile devices – and 48% of those devices are smartphones.
- 74% of smartphone users rely on their device for real-time news and information.
- 29% of adults own a tablet or reader, and this number is only expected to increase as the devices gain in popularity and drop in price.
Needless to say, mobile devices are the next great frontier on the marketing horizon. And since mobile marketing deals directly with technology and social media, there are many trends to look out for in the coming year. Here are just a few.
A rise in mobile commerce accompanied by Apple Passbook
As more and more merchants utilize the mobile payment methods offered by organizations such as PayPal and Square, 2013 is poised to be the year “paying by smartphone” really takes off. This should be accompanied by the rise in popularity of Apple’s Passbook, one of the features included in i0S 6. This “mobile wallet” stores just about everything, from coupons to gift cards to event tickets.
Marketers would do well to focus on this particular app, if for no other reason than it can’t be deleted from Apple’s mobile devices. Also, with the rise in popularity of location-based apps, Passbook’s location-aware nature should be a hit with users. Make no mistake: Apple releasing a stock location-based mobile commerce app on the iPhone is not something marketers will want to overlook in the coming year.
Increased Facebook mobile functionality
Despite Facebook’s abysmal IPO, the social media giant isn’t going anywhere. In fact, with over a billion users, the world is still very much their oyster. And they certainly have not overlooked the fact that 60% of mobile users in the U.S. access Facebook via their smartphones. So, after a couple years of false starts in the form of Places and Deals, the announcement of Facebook Nearby will likely be just the location-based functionality that cements their dominance in the world of mobile.
A focus on mobile analytics
Just as marketers are mastering search analytics, here comes the rise in their mobile brethren. For years, many marketers marginalized or simply ignored mobile analytics, as they weren’t sure of the role they would play in the future advertising landscape. Well, now that it has been revealed that 24% of all online Black Friday purchases in 2012 were conducted via smartphone, the importance of mobile consumer behavior is all but solidified. And that means more and more marketers in 2013 will be considering new strategies about how to build relationships with potential customers through mobile devices.
An increase in passive location-based applications
While the average mobile user certainly enjoys checking in on social media sites like Foursquare and Pinterest, the process of doing so and uploading pictures is still a little time consuming. 2013 should see stark increase in location-aware apps that allow the user to be a passive participant in the program’s functionality. For example, users may earn discounts and reward points simply by walking into their favorite retail clothing store, or perhaps the will receive an alert reminder when passing by a favorite restaurant. Marketers will need to take this into account in 2013.
Many of the trends listed above focus on mobile’s ability to get “hyper-local,” which allows for precise consumer targeting, be it in-store or online. Above all, marketers are going to want to open their repertoire and focus on mobile analytics, as they will be one of the main keys to consumer behavior in the coming year. New services like MyLife.com is an online searching tool designed to help you re-conect with long-lost friends, ex-lovers, childhood friends or coworkers, so you can rekindle the friendships that you have made over time. Search by area code directory or zip code directory.