2011 has been an important year for mobile marketing. It was the year of app mania. It was the year that mobile marketers realized that measurement was mission critical. It was the year that mobile commerce finally meant big bucks. Per eMarketer, mobile commerce sales will reach $6.7 billion this year.
If 2011 was a year of apps, commerce and analytics, what does 2012 have in store for mobile marketing? Here are five trends that will define mobile marketing in 2012.
Your Site, App And Brand Will Be Mobile-ized
Half of all mobile phones currently sold are smartphones. By the end of 2012, we may see eight of every 10 phones sold being a smartphone.
To keep up with the growing market, mobile-optimized content becomes the standard. We will see a mass deployment of sleeker, easier to navigate mobile-optimized versions, making it easier for consumers to purchase, search, consume videos and play games on mobile devices.
Brands will also move rapidly to deploy "tablet-specific” applications that better utilize the form. In 2012, app mania will be as much about tablet apps as 2011 has been about smartphone apps.
More Attention – and Dollars – Shift To Mobile
In 2012, being relevant in mobile will be more important than ever. Consider that one-third of all of Facebook's site traffic stems from mobile devices and over half of Pandora's and Twitter’s traffic also comes from mobile. A recent eMarketer CMO survey revealed that more than 80% of all CMOs are prioritizing digital -- and specifically, mobile -- as two areas of focus for 2012 and moving forward.
The growth in mobile use and the greater allocation of marketing spend in this sector means that the measurement of mobile marketing efforts will be more prevalent than ever.
You Will Buy More Stuff Via Mobile (and Social)
According to new research from comScore, 38% of smartphone owners have used their phone to make a purchase at least once. While digital content purchases like music, ebooks and TV episodes were the most popular items bought in September, clothing, accessories and event tickets were also purchased. There’s a place in the mobile commerce sphere for retailers across all verticals.
eBay effectively doubled its mobile commerce revenues from 2010 to 2011, and now has approximately $5 billion in revenue that stems, in some form, from m-commerce. eBay has identified mobile commerce as the future of the company, which is why it acquired GSI and Magento.
Other well-known retailers, including Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, JC Penney and countless others are building out their mobile commerce efforts. These brands realize that their future is intimately tied to dominating commerce in mobile and social channels.
App Mania Continues -- But More Meaningful Ones
The number of branded apps that are "failures" is skyrocketing. In 2011, brands created apps just for the sake of creating apps, without necessarily understanding how to bring added value to their customers. As a result, the apps were abandoned by both consumers and the brands themselves. Marketers have learned their lesson.
In 2012, branded apps will be more about loyalty and commerce and less about awareness and engagement. They will deliver value. They may provide special deals or coupons or exclusive content, but they will be stickier and more meaningful.
Marksmanship Marketing: Segmentation, Targeting And Optimization
Segmentation and targeting is already at the top of digital marketers’ wish lists for 2012. According to a recent survey by eMarketer, 81% of respondents said they are prioritizing spend in digital analytics to better segment, target and optimize experiences for their customers.
However, the vast majority of mobile sites and apps deal with purely anonymous behavior. It’s not surprising, then, that the next level of marketing maturity -- segmentation, targeting and optimization -- is virtually unknown in the mobile channel.
Industry players, including Webtrends, provides marketers with the capabilities to take all of the data from their mobile channel and create profiles with it, much like traditional Web data today.
These insights allow marketers to create personal level profiles for mobile users, tracking attributes and insights into mobile customer behaviors both within the mobile channel and in relation to a brand’s other digital properties. It will also mean more personalization in terms of advertising and content, and exciting new possibilities with geolocation.