Metia/Seattle’s Andrew Martin Lays Out 2012’s Mobile Trends And Predictions

imageMetia/Seattle’s Andrew Martin, takes a look at the shifts and changes we’re likely to see in the connected devices marketplace in 2012 in his insightful peek into the future. Checkout  Andrew’s list of mobile trends and predictions – see if you agree.

1. Not everyone has a smartphone

a. India, China, Latin America, Middle America – Metropolitan marketers could easily believe that smartphones and iPads are in the hands of everyone on the planet. At best, the majority of consumers are still using feature phones. The future of media will require adapting not just to emerging technology, but to emerging markets. Their needs are different, and you cannot market to them in the same way that you would to metropolitan areas in industrialized countries.

b. SMS still has a higher and faster response rate than email to mobile devices.

2. Mobile websites vs. Mobile applications

a. The line between apps and websites will continue to blur. Users care less and less whether something is an app or a mobile web – they just want content.

b. The technology that brands use to drive their mobile offering needs to be compatible for both experiences. If you can only do one, default to mobile web.

c. Users will decreasingly store app information separately from web information. There will be a drive toward consolidated access points.

3. Platform Fragmentation

a. Brands need to (and are) get(ting) better at addressing the demand for well-branded mobile experiences.

b. With several platforms available, brands have to jump through different development, design, and release hoops for each one.  Smartphones have finally been around long enough that some best practices are taking shape and brands are able to address customer demand better and faster.

c. Fragmentation is increasingly important. 3 years ago there was only iPhone, and now there is also Windows Phone and Android plus multiple tablets, multiple form factors, and different user behaviors regionally. Mobile devices have lost their novelty and are embedded in users’ daily habits – even true in regions that do not have smartphones.

4. Impact of Tablets on mobile

a. Tablets have proven to be extremely easy to use and adopt, as demonstrated by the volume of young children who play with them (did you see the viral video of the toddler who thought that a magazine was a broken iPad?).

The impact of this is that children are being trained to use and understand Natural User Interface (NUI, i.e. touch, gesture, and voice navigation) from a very early age. This will lead to increased adoption and understanding of NUI best practices by this generation.

The current generation of designers and developers were trained in a keyboard and mouse world and must adapt to a touch and gesture world… the latest generation of technology users won’t have any transition or learning curve – they will have a more ingrained understanding of NUI.

5. Mixing brands – client brands blend with platform branding (ex. the AmazonFresh iPhone experience vs. the AmazonFresh WP experience)

a. Having an app is no longer a differentiator – it has to be well branded because competitors have apps too

b. App marketing – it’s not just about creating an application – it’s about creating an application that is unique to the brand.  The UX is an expression of the brand.  This is different than it was a year ago because brands are getting better and smarter at it. Developers are getting better at mobile so they are doing a better job of representing brands on mobile. Best practices finally exist.

6. The trend of location-based marketing & apps

a. Mobile devices make location-based marketing possible.

b. Location-based promotions will be increasingly integrated into marketing programs.

c. Purely location-based social apps like Foursquare will struggle because other platforms like Facebook are integrating location-based features that make location-based apps obsolete.

7. Privacy

a. People will keep talking about it but not doing anything about it.

b. Individual corporate privacy policies are going to involve a cycle of announcing the policy, dealing with fallout, and proceeding once people have moved on. Facebook has demonstrated this repeatedly.

c. People talk about privacy like it’s a hot button, but they are actually very comfortable releasing confidential information (look at how many people broadcast their vacation plans to potential house thieves via twitter).

d. The federal government is finally taking action against abusers of email privacy and spam laws – it took a while. But there will be a trend where the government will take a more active role in pursuing personal privacy issues.

e. Because mobile applications tend to use personal information, this will be a growing issue for mobile application developers to consider.

About Metia:

Digital marketing leader Metia/Seattle is the North American headquarters of global agency Metia Group, headquartered in London with additional offices in New York and Singapore. As digital craftsmen, Metia/Seattle blends a deep understanding of technology with strategy, creative, content, analytics and optimization.

Their results-focused digital marketing solutions are used by brands including Microsoft and AT&T in websites, email, social, digital applications and other online communication programs.

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