My Super, If Not Super Bowl, Predictions For 2012

My Super Bowl mobile predictions have been anything but super so I’ll steer clear of forecasting the arrival of mobile calls to action in TV spots in February.

Instead, here are my 2012 predictions for other areas of mobile:

Device price points will continue to be brought down with offers of discounted products in exchange for a consumer agreeing to receive ads. Mobile phones with offers, including perhaps a Google phone, are coming soon.

Savvy marketers will follow research highlighting consumer behavior and interest. They know that just because you can do something technically doesn’t mean that you should. Know your customers and prospects and market to them in ways that you have the best chance of success. One major global brand allocates approximately 70 percent of its mobile efforts to ‘reach efforts’ that include SMS, 20 percent to richer experiences that don’t reach all subscribers, and 10 percent to the shiny object. That is a great example to follow.

2012 will be the year of the mobile web. As we move closer to the time when more people access the web on a wireless device than a PC, brands, agencies and others will realize that they need a mobile web offering that overdelivers. This has not yet happened, but will soon because consumers will demand it.

In such a growth industry, more vendors will enter the marketplace making claims that they will produce ROI. Proceed with caution. While the company name may not say Two Guys In a Garage, that may indeed be what you are buying.

Expect more pressure from senior management to produce results from mobile, meaning it’s critical to think beyond a one-time transaction. There are bigger opportunities if you think about what can happen after the click, namely an experience that can lead to an opt-in and remarketing possibilities.

Plan on more device types in the hands of consumers, making it important to provide positive user experiences rather than products that addresses the least-common denominator. Consumers expect top notch brand experiences and the bar is higher than ever with smartphones and faster networks.

Expect more social interaction at the point of sale, making customer service vital or a bad experience will end up on Facebook or Twitter in seconds. According to my Moments of Trust consumer touchpoint survey, 40 percent of consumers with smartphones or Internet-enabled mobile devices have used them to spread word to their social networks about an in-store experience, 46 percent of them reported a positive one and 40 percent cited a negative one.

We will see patent infringements being identified and enforced, making it imperative to work with a company that has protected IP and can keep you out of trouble. Rather than experiencing a problem later, it’s critical to determine if a vendor has proprietary technology or is working off something that could be challenged in court.

Others will chase voice as the killer app but may not deliver due to issues of ambient noise and poor search results.

Successful mobile campaigns will have prominent calls to action and provide multiple ways to engage. Much like Macy’s does with its Backstage Pass program, brands should consider using an SMS call to action and QR code on print advertising campaign pointing to a mobile website that can capture customer’s information.  This engages the consumer and introduces a concept of immediacy. Consumers are looking for interactivity in what used to be passive situations.

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