In the second installment of our four-part 2012 prediction series, we’ll take a look at what’s next for mobile marketing.
1. OS showdown
iOS, Windows, BlackBerry, Android and upcoming contenders want to grab more smartphone operating system share. At the end of 2011 we’re seeing negative signs from BlackBerry while Windows Phone is eking out an existence. Look for 2012 to be a year of head to head competition between iOS and Android. Marketers take note: this fight is far from over, and if mobile is a big part of your strategy for 2012 consider apps and interfaces that work equally well on either platform. You’ll get more bang for your buck and help diminish the stereotype that digital marketers are Apple elitists.
2. Piracy and privacy backlash
While privacy is a fundamental tenet of freedom in our society, technology works to make our lives less so. It’s a tradeoff many consumers make willingly. But recent privacy gaffes highlight a growing trend in the mobile space: technology is outpacing our understanding of privacy repercussions. Marketers should take care to fully disclose the intent of their mobile offerings, ensuring consumers aren’t left feeling violated. As the Carrier IQ saga unfolds consumers will undoubtedly discover other transgressions – souring the overall mobile experience.
3. Context takes the next step
The user base of social networks like Facebook and microblogging services like Twitter exploded in 2011. The quality of information inside those networks is another story. 2012 will be a year of advanced targeting based on location, historic actions and in the moment desires. It’s one of the missing links between a large user base and customized content that provides real utility for the end user while allowing marketers to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, eliminating waste. Be on the lookout for new offerings from the major ad networks to help make context more relevant.
4. Consumerism quantum leap
From Amazon’s perspective, the best customer is the most informed. And while it seems like a logical statement many traditional retailers would disagree. The fight that’s taking place over the Price Check app is just getting started. The coming year will challenge what we know as consumers and marketers about selling products and services online. Regardless of how the battle ends the “information cat” is out of the bag. Consumers have been exposed to getting what they want when they want it at the lowest possible price, and there’s little hope of going back.
5. eReader opportunity
We’ve seen some pretty cool digital reading devices hit the market in 2011. And there’s more to come in 2012. Combined with a rich pipeline of content and better functionality like built in web browsing means these low cost devices need to be on marketers’ digital radar. Implications are big and opportunities abound – especially for mobile content marketers. Expect to see more specialized mobile only content and websites catering to the tablet format.