The mobile channel is rapidly changing not only traditional approaches to marketing but also the ways in which consumers interact with brands, technologies, and each other, according to JWT's post-event summary from the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
At the conference, the company noted fifteen major trends and insights coming from the mobile world, many of which will affect near-term marketing strategies not only for the mobile channel but in all the digital channels.
According to JWT planning director, Alex Pallete, "If one thing's clear, mobile will disrupt it all, and earlier than we could have expected. The pace at which technology is reshaping the world will only speed up, and many innovations that we may believe belong to the future are here already or even in our past. Online ubiquity provides the catalyst for a new understanding of what mobile means, what mobile does and how it is experienced."
The following key trends and insights were based on the hundreds of panels, keynote presentations and exhibitors at the conference:
- Everything is 'smart'
It's no longer just our mobile phones that are getting "smart" - that is, gaining access to the web and the ability to communicate wirelessly. All kinds of things, from cars to refrigerators and entire homes, are getting connected in this way as well. Down the road, as more manufacturers embed WiFi, SIM cards and other technologies into more products, expect anything and everything to link in to the intelligent 'Internet of Things'.
- Widening access
Internet access is incredibly important to people around the globe. Mobile providers are expanding infrastructure in rural areas and bolstering existing systems to ensure that more people can communicate, while manufacturers are producing low cost devices that will open up web access to millions.
- The humanization of technology
As voice and gesture control become more common, our technology (mobile included) will adapt to us, rather than us adapting to it. Our digital experiences will become simpler and more user-friendly.
- The mobile device as a wellness guru
Smartphones will help people lead healthier lives by providing information, recommendations and reminders based on data gathered through sensors embedded in users' clothing (e.g. shoes, or wristbands) or through other phone capabilities (motion detectors, cameras, and so on).
- Mobile device as a lifesaver
Internet-enabled mobile devices are becoming important tools in broadening access to health care, diagnosing diseases and saving lives in crisis situations.
- Smartphone as an 'everything interface'
The smartphone will become the key interface between connected devices and products (the Internet of Things) and their users. Among other things, people will use the device to remotely control household appliances, interact with screens and automatically adjust car settings to their preferences.
- Seamless living
As all kinds of devices get connected to cloud services, mobile technology will help us navigate the world more seamlessly. And as key players such as Microsoft, Google and Apple expand their product lines across devices-from televisions to tablets-we'll see more unified experiences across platforms.
- Mobile identity
The mobile device will become a summation of who we are all in one place. It will be packed with personal information and images we've accumulated over time and serve as our mobile wallet and keychain, enabled by secure and seamless technologies such as Bluetooth and NFC (near field communication).
- Friction-free purchasing
The smartphone will become a passkey to the retail experience. QR codes allow smartphone users to shop anytime, anywhere, as we're seeing with the rise of retailers' coded out-of-home displays. The integration of NFC in handsets will enable fast and easy mobile payments. And as e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retailing integrate and overlap, shopping may entail simply snapping a photo or tapping a sensor, then collecting the order or having it immediately delivered.
- Media multitasking
The mobile is becoming a complement to or distraction from most other types of media platforms and content. Consumers are hopping between screens (and the printed page), toying with their tablet or smartphone as they watch television, play video games, work on their computer and so on.
- Access over ownership
With the proliferation of cloud-based services and internet-enabled devices, consumers will shift from owning media to accessing it through subscriptions however they want (via various connected devices) and wherever they want.
Mobile devices will increasingly use the data they're privy to - from purchases made to social interactions to location information - to offer information tailored to the user. They will analyse past and current behaviour and activity to provide recommendations on where to go, what to do and what to buy.
- The data-sharing debate
Mobile owners are growing more aware of the value of their personal data. While third parties will seek access to more data (location, browsing history, social graph, etc.) in order to fine-tune personalisation engines, people will increasingly think more closely about what they're willing to share.
- Security consciousness
App usage, mobile browsing and mobile payments all put personal data at risk, and security threats are rising. We'll also see a rise in cloud security concerns and claimed solutions as people share more personal data with third parties and as more businesses store customer and proprietary information in the cloud.
This term for "no mobile phobia" refers to the fear that people feel when separated from their mobile device. With the mobile in particular, our attachments are deepening as the smartphone evolves into an indispensable 'Everything Hub' and as it becomes more closely linked to our identity. Increasingly, going without this appendage will provoke real anxiety.
The full report, entitled '15 Ways Mobile Will Change Our Lives' has been made available for free viewing online - click here.