Forrester Research has just released its “2013 Mobile Trends for Marketers,” a smart report about the mushrooming mobile business that predicts $4.6 billion in mobile ad revenue in 2013, an increase (in the customary Web-incredible way) of 52%, and retail revenues of $12 billion, up 62%.
Don’t’ get that excited. The report’s authors, Thomas Husson and Julie A. Ask say up top, that in 2013, “While there is no doubt that some retailers and media companies will be able to easily measure a positive mobile ROI, we expect the majority of players to face a mobile monetization gap.” (I think that’s a way to say they won’t make much.)
Forrester has a good reputation for taking long looks at the media business, and this report is in that vein, basically concluding that companies that advertise on mobile still aren’t “all in” and suggesting that marketers set up separate units at their firms to deal exclusively with mobile efforts.
Marketers are often shopping their mobile efforts to outsiders, treating in-house IT staff “ ‘like your kid brother who ‘just doesn’t get it.’ In 2013, you will need to build this relationship and convince them to move mobile requirements higher on the list of design parameters — or you’ll find yourself even further behind in 2014.”
Likewise, Forrester concludes, “While connected devices will remain outside the mainstream in 2013, marketers need to prepare for new scenarios for engagement by capturing and putting to work information about consumers’ bodies and the physical environment they inhabit. As a consequence, there will be a further blurring of the lines between digital marketing and digital product development. Marketers should stop considering these new connected devices as just gimmicky shiny objects. Time spent in cars and in front of a TV is too huge to ignore the early opportunity to start experimenting with apps and servicees that can engage perpetually-connected consumers.”
Not all (or even most) of this report is actually talking about mobile video but a lot of it is, because as mobile grows, so does the use of video on smartphones and tablets (which Forrester looks at as distinct from a smartphone and more as a kind of hybrid PC).
Forrester notes that in 2013, there are 1 million apps available, and globally, 150 million tablets and 1 billion smartphones in use.
“But more important than the scale of the numbers,” Husson and Ask write, “is the fact that mobile devices and their connectivity fundamentally shift how people behave and how businesses engage with them.”