2011 has been quite a year for mobile. Unlike any communications device before it, mobile has opened the possibilities of multi-channel communication to unimagined heights—from shopping to B2C text messaging. According to a CTIA survey, the total number of US wireless subscribers outnumbers the total population of the United States, 327.6 million vs. 312.4 million. I think 2012 will usher in even more significant advances, which will further mobile’s domination. As I peer into my glass ball (there is a mobile app for that) some predictions:
- A road to obtain consent – The key to consumer engagement is gaining express consent, or an “opt-in.” B2C organizations must make it a priority in order to build their mobile databases. As more businesses embrace mobile, more creative means of gaining the crucial opt-in will emerge.
- Further pin-pointing of location —Your customers are checking in… but will they check in with you? Location-based technology will continue to thrive in 2012, as businesses realize the power these applications offer. Customers who earn a discount, coupon or other special offer by simply checking in at your business are instantly engaged and rewarded. Meanwhile, their check-in status is broadcast to everyone in their social network(s), causing viral spread. It is a win-win that will gain even more momentum in the coming year as more and more consumers engage in social networks.
- More customer loyalty initiatives—Challenging economies and mobile domination creates a veritable breeding ground for customer loyalty program: When times are tough, consumers are looking for the best value, and mobile is the perfect vehicle to facilitate that desire in a personalized way. According to COLLOQUY, Americans are enrolled in an average of 18 loyalty programs. With the further saturation of mobile, the opportunity for businesses to create customer loyalty widens, no matter what’s happening on Wall Street.
- The Mobile Web – More and more consumers are going mobile every day. Smartphone sales are on the rise. therefore the mobile web will see explosive growth in 2012. Consumers are using the mobile web in more ways: shopping online at home, or in- store checking the best price or finding product information. Brands are using the mobile web, exploring how they can use it to engage consumers with more relevant offerings.
That’s our take. What trends do you see emerging in 2012?