Marketers would do well to ramp up investment in mobile this year, as the consumer shift from the PC to portable devices requires a change in strategy.
Asserting that mobile is driving a “second Internet revolution,” the new report from Forrester outlines several key mobile trends for 2013 and steps that marketers should take in response. It points out that advanced mobile services rely on Web services, analytics and real-time data that demand investment.
Forrester cites the recent decision of Mondelez International (formerly Kraft Foods) to allocate 10% of its global marketing budget to mobile as an example of a company that is making mobile a strategic priority.
The research firm projects that tablets will have a major impact on e-commerce as they increasingly become a replacement for PCs. Conversion rates are already higher on tablets than smartphones and will continue to gain wider adoption. Brands and retailers should not lump the devices together as “mobile” but treat them as separate platforms.
For global corporations, mobile will play a key role in expanding into emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Forrester estimates more than 900 tablets and 3 billion smartphones will be in circulation by 2017, with most of the growth coming in these developing regions. To capitalize, companies should find local partners and marketing specialists to build their mobile presence.
Internally, companies will take over more responsibility for managing mobile operations from agencies and vendors. Forrester envisions the rise of mobile marketing managers within organizations to spearhead and track programs.
While offering advice based on emerging trends, Forrester analysts and report authors Thomas Husson and Julie Ask also warn about hyped mobile technologies that will not will gain much traction this year. These include NFC (Near Field Communication), cross-channel attribution, automated targeting solutions and responsive design.
They note that companies need different app and Web strategies; not every mobile device will have a browser.
Apart from not-ready-for-prime-time technologies, Forrester does not expect to come across many “great user experiences” in mobile this year. “In part, this is because too many marketing professionals are designing for mobile with PC-centric use cases in mind."