Top ten mobile marketing trends for 2012
Mobile marketing during the coming year will see a number of significant developments and changes in thinking, according to John Barratt, product lead for 2ergo, who considers what lies ahead for retailers seeking to use the mobile channel to reach their customers.
In short, 2012 is likely to see not only an increase in marketing spend on mobile search and a widespread improvement in both speed and usability where mobile web sites are concerned, but also a growing battle between SMS, mobile sites, and the ubiquitous mobile app, thanks to a range of factors including marketing costs, user convenience, security concerns, and mobile platform technology considerations.
The key mobile marketing trends forecast by 2ergo include:
- Mobile search marketing spending will increase Mobile searches accounted for approximately 9% of search activity in 2011. This is projected to increase to 20% in 2012 (source A4U m-commerce report), making it a perfect time for retailers to increase their mobile search spend.
- Mobile sites will become faster and easier to use With over half of users stating that they expect sites to download as quickly on their mobile device as their home computer and 60% stating that poor performance will make them less likely to return to the site (source Gomez mobile web user experience survey), retailers will be ensuring that their mobile sites deliver the experience quickly, easily and efficiently. A well designed site, which operates as quickly as possible could make all the difference.
- SMS will continue to rule the marketing roost Just over 50% of the UK still own a non-smart phone (source Kantar World Panel Com Tech) so SMS is key to capture all audiences. Marketers need to remember that apps and mobile sites still fail to reach a large proportion of phone owners while SMS open rates are around 90% and covert at a rate that is 400% higher than email marketing (according to a recent report by Econsultancy).
- Apps and mobile sites will go to war 2012 will see Google and Apple go up against each other in the battle of the app versus the mobile site. Google will favour mobile sites as they dominate search, while Apple will surely back the billion dollar app industry. The truth for retailers is that neither is better, and that it's really all about the timing. Users look to apps for smooth navigation, interaction and user experience, whereas mobile sites are used for their immediacy. The best strategy is to go down both routes to capture as many consumers as possible.
- Mobile commerce will become smarter Retailers will release that a mobile commerce strategy needs to be smarter that simply taking order via a mobile device. Smartphone owners are now relying on their devices to help them shop, even when in store to read reviews, compare prices at other retailers, watch demo videos, search for discounts and coupons. Use your mobile marketing strategy to reach out to these consumers and allow them to redeem vouchers via their phone. You'll be surprised to see how many new customers you attract and existing customers you redeem.
- Mobile data capture will come to the fore Think about data capture on mobile devices. Touch screens allow for lots of mistakes and data entry takes time. Keep the data capture to a minimum - email and phone number are enough to generate impressive results.
- Push messaging will push its boundaries The full marketing potential of Push messaging hasn't been realised and next year will see some interesting developments with push. We'll see retailers using it to remind users of forgotten items in a shopping basket or a long lost wish list. We'll also see a shift from plain text push messages to image-led appointment or contact cards.
- Retailers will realise the mobile channel must be marketed If you build it, they will not necessarily come. There are many examples of retailers that have taken the time to develop fully optimised mobile sites and apps across all operating systems but neglected to promote them. Think how long it took to build up the traffic to your desktop site and how much marketing it took. Use this as a base for mobile. Use SMS campaigns to send the mobile site address to subscribers, embed QR codes in direct and in-store marketing materials, purchase mobile keyword campaigns, do all the things that you're currently doing but include the mobile site and app.
- Size becomes more important when it comes to security Ask most users about their biggest fear regarding m-Commerce and it will be security. Some 32% of smartphone users cite that security is the main reason why they haven't made a direct purchase via their phone. When comparing this to the 17% of tablet users who have security concerns then it starts to become clear that size is important and that the difference is more around the risks of losing the physical device rather than the wireless broadcasting of secure information. Products and companies which develop technologies requiring a pin number to be entered into the phone or secure safes that store files and data in the cloud not on the device will start to change the perception that a phone is less secure than a tablet.
- London 2012: the first truly Mobile Olympics No set of predictions would be complete without a mention of the 2012 Olympics in London. Officials predict an extra 4 million visitors to London during the two weeks of the Olympics. In addition to enjoying great sporting moments they will all be looking for places to stay, eat, shop and visit, and most will carry a mobile device with them. Just think of the opportunity you could be passing up by not having a mobile presence.