2015 was such an exciting, transformational year for every aspect of mobile, you’d be forgiven for asking “how much more can it rise?” Well, read on as we share our thoughts on the drivers and trends that will make this year, the official Year of Mobile.
(NB: Look out for links to case studies and support content, throughout!)
>1 Growth flows where the eye goes
According to eMarketer, mobile marketing reached its tipping point in July 2015. With 51% of the average adult’s total time spent on digital devices devoted to mobile screen time. Similarly, 2015 also saw mobile search overtake desktop search. Add the rollout of Google’s Mobilegeddon Algorithm and yes, this year is most certainly set to be the Year of Mobile Marketing.
2> The Lens has finally changed
The change over has happened, as brands and marketeers begin to stop viewing the world through the lens of technology, and start viewing technology through the lens of contemporary human needs and wants.
Sharing, on-demand, hyper-personaliztion, immediacy and video-as-standard will all continue to drive mobile forward as the default channel/platform/vehicle for human engagement.
>3 Here, Now, Me!
Customers are now so empowered and sophisticated in their usage of mobile that they unconsciously expect to get anything they want, immediately, and in context on their mobile devices.
Google’s drive into micro-moments, the explosion of marketing automation, the proliferation of wearable tech and the shift from customer data to customer obsession are all tangible and extremely dynamic reflections of this. Expect sophistication and urgency to increase this year.
4> Mobile Shopping to Mobile Buying
It’s safe to say (now) that M-Commerce will start to move down the sales funnel. During 2015, mobile was more of an influencer in the buying funnel. In fact mobile transactions only accounted for (eMarketer estimates) 1.6% of total retail sales in the US.
But thanks to major plays by giants such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon, this year will see a seamless and simple transition from mobile shopping to mobile buying.
5> Less Utility, More Lifestyle
With continued forced restrictions on how much people can download, app developers will play a pivotal role in creating new Apps that act more as lifestyle attachments rather than just useable “things”.
6> More Beacons
As customer obsession increases, and retailers continue to fight back against online competition, Beacons are rapidly growing in relevance. Both as an excellent means of gathering customer data, but also of delivering hyper-personalisation, value and experiences.
Google’s summer launch of its open-source beacon technology (Eddystone) not only adds competition to Apple’s iBeacon, but also demonstrates its commitment to bringing hyper-everthing capability to a wider audience.
Beacons can also connect with Wearables (see next page), alerting apps when users are approaching or leaving specific, activated locations. Making them an integral and indispensable part of the ever-expanding personalisation eco-system.
7> Mass Wearable Adoption
The Apple Watch did a marvellous job of stoking the fires of consumer fascination with Wearable technology in 2015. And as less expensive, luxury alternatives and non-watch based devices continue to roll into the market, this year will see Wearable tech go Mass.
Similarly, as marketers continue to mine and leverage the data generated from the interactivity between Wearables, Beacons and Smartphones (to deliver new levels personalisation and user relevance) our value and need-ranking of Wearables will increase.
8> Branded Virtual Reality Will Grow Up
As a trend and topic, VR needs its own presentation! Such was (and is) the current virtual zeitgeist sweeping the world of gaming, film and with increasing enthusiasm, brands. And as we accelerate into 2016, prepare for the latter of these to explode.
1// Facebook360 and 360Youtube is making interacting and experiencing 360 degree video content familiar, preferred and expected.
2// Mobile VR viewers like our own Glance and Google’s Cardboard supported by brave and pioneering content providers such as Netflix and New York Times brought the real VR experience to the masses, in preparation for the arrival of large format VR hardware (Samsung Gear VR, Oculus etc…)
3// Early adopter brands such as Mariott, Volvo, Tommy Hilfiger, Atlantis The Palm and Infiniti have demonstrated how and where branded VR can be used to bridge the gap between emotion and fact to deliver stratospheric levels of brand immersion.
Consumers are buying into VR en masse (just see Gear sales on Amazon), given how powerfully it feeds their demand to ‘feel’ new Experiences from brands. And brands are responding.
So as the Gaming, Film and Entertainment industries continue to drive up its capability (better quality, technology and more efficient production), the opportunities and NEED for marketers to on-board VR into its consumer engagement strategy will become paramount.
9> Augmented Reality 2.0
After enjoying 3 to 4 years in the limelight, 2015 was a relatively quiet year for AR1.0. Overshadowed perhaps, by the VR hyperbole, and often (and wrongly) confused as being one and the same thing.
Nevertheless, the the mystical Magic Leap narrative continues to attract it $million’s in funding without (yet) revealing the augmented promised land it teases to be creating.
Facebook, Snapchat, Google Glass and Microsoft Hololense also made significant strides in AR. With Googles recent agreement with Luxottica, to collaborate on the design and manufacturing of its next Glass generation a potential game changer, with possible integration it LUX’s leading brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley.
AR company Metaio was bought by Apple, whilst Qualcomm’s leading AR engine Vuforia was bought up by 2D and 3D software company PTC.
All very significant developments implying the technology remains very much front and centre. Set to reestablish its positioning, and position, next to VR this year, as a major engagement tool for brands and marketeers looking to deliver new levels of interactive experiences.
Expect the B2B and B2C sectors begin to look increasingly similar. Particularly on mobile.
Content marketing, marketing automation, paid amplification and mobile optimization will all continue to grow during this year. So will enterprise apps, that support sales and business development teams at trade-shows, events and networking, as Sales Enablement through mobile evolves from nice to have, to imperative.
Similarly, VR and AR will become increasingly commonplace as solutions to product demonstration, immediate customisation and virtual trial.
So, as 2016 gets started, the most powerful developments in mobile marketing and innovation will serve to build and enhance the two-way consumer relationships. Make the process of discovery and outreach far more immediate, relevant and personalised. And provide customers with branded experiences that genuinely enhance their lives.
Companies that continue to embrace mobile as a means to transform customer experiences will not only accelerate the business benefits, but also see new revenue opportunities, cost savings and consumer loyalty derived from the higher satisfaction and delight of having their Here, Now, Me needs suitably anticipated. And met.
Managing Partner, ARworks Middle East
ARworks Middle East is a leading developer of innovative mobile applications. Specialising in creative technology such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Beacons to develop innovative mobile app solutions. The company focuses on strategic and campaign app development across mainstream and wearable mobile devices, and in the commercial and experiential application of creative mobile technology. Recently ARworks was awarded with the Bronze Medal at Creative Festival in Cannes (2015), Silver for IAB MIXX Awards (2015), European Excellence Award (2014) for Mobile Communication and Social apps