Mobile’s Next Big Opportunity

Mobile’s had a lot of shiny new objects for marketers to chase. First it was SMS databases. Marketers hurried to roll out their own vanity short codes and built out lists of loyal customers. Then all the action was happening around the mobile Web. After the first iPhone was released, marketers set their sights on apps. What’s next?

Digiday reached out to brands, publishers and agencies and asked them what the next big opportunity in mobile is for brands. No two answers were the same.

Fred Reinfelder, senior manager of digital marketing, Nissan  
Near-field communications. Google has first-mover status, but everyone else will catch up soon. Wide adoption of this technology will eventually eliminate the need for wallets among men and women. In the automotive space, it will also allow dealerships to instantly recognize customers, their service history and/or new vehicle requirements upon arrival, maximizing time efficiency for both the dealership and customer.

Chia Chen, svp and mobile practice lead, Digitas
Anticipatory content delivery. You’re literally going to think that your mobile device is psychic. We’re starting to see this with features like Google Now, which uses all the data that the mobile device captures via its sensors, such as your location, with data it gleans from the cloud, like your calendar and contact list, to serve up the most appropriate features and functionality. It’s how it knows that you’re traveling today to Chicago and gives you the forecast for that city before you leave your home. This kind of intelligent, data-connected platform is going to enable brands to truly integrate their content into the most optimal moments.

Sol Masch, mobile sales director, Time Inc.
Mobile is one of the fastest-evolving platforms for brands, and there are a number of things brands should keep their eye on. In particular, audience targeting, cross-platform retargeting, and video are all going to change the mobile marketing landscape over the next couple of years. Data connection speeds have held back the growth of mobile video, but we’re starting to see a shift as 4G penetration begins to spread. And with new solutions from third party vendors for tracking data on mobile, there will be a greater potential for audience targeting on the platform.

Adam Kmiec, director of global digital marketing and social media, Campbell Soup
When we evolve from “mobile,” a screen, to a mindset of mobility, we’ll see the full potential of this space. Efforts like Google Glass and Ford’s in-car app strategy are giving us glimpses of what’s possible. Content, be it recipes, your emails or dinner reservations, doesn’t want to be contained by a screen. It wants to be liquid, nimble and free flowing. We value the idea of mobility more than mobile.

Brian J. Maynard, director of brand marketing, Jenn-Air
Being able to better understand where someone is in a showroom and then helping them do research on our specific appliances by model. We are a luxury appliance marketer with price points that approach $10,000, so it is a very considered purchase. I have a number of vendors telling me that I need to offer coupons or “buy now” offers in this space. The issue there is that I am not a CPG marketer, and I need to behave like a luxury goods marketer. One key aspect to that is to provide details around how smart my customers will be when they choose my brand. They need to really understand and believe that they have done the appropriate research to make them feel comfortable when they spend thousands of dollars on my products. The good news is that more and more the high-end consumer is using mobile to research. In some cases, they are more knowledgeable than the sales associate.

Steven Cook, former CMO, Samsung Electronics
Geo-location and contextual personalization are the next customer mobile engagement opportunities where brands can deliver content and interact with people on an even more personalized level. With the significant majority of people now having smart mobile phones and/or tablets, brands need to develop ways to not only understand their customers’ general mobile Web behavior; they also now need to learn about their time of day and, if possible, their geo-location behaviors. This won’t be easy, but it is where our mobile customers will have rising expectations from brands.

Jonathan Greene, managing director of mobile and social platforms, R/GA
Context is next the big mobile trend and we are beginning to see it now already. Our devices and the apps and services we use are evolving to include linked information to make our connections stronger and our lives easier. Address books are updated with social updates; calendar appointments linking to directions and times to leave based on traffic; photo sets that auto-share amongst friends attending the same event — each of these  layers adds utility to actions we are already taking and can enhance the experiences we have.

Kyle Sherwin, vp of media, Sony Music
Clearly and most importantly, and this may not be “the next big thing” but rather “the current growing thing,” is mobile commerce. Depending upon what research source you are loyal to, mobile commerce ranged from $10 billion to $15 billion in 2012 and is forecasted to grow 45-55 percent in 2013 and nearly maintain those growth rates in the years that follow. While perhaps comparatively low against other channels (offline retail, e-commerce), it clearly is significant for the mobile channel. And for our business it’s dramatic and meaningful — especially in context of apps that help organically drive m-commerce (think Shazam) or when our advertising/content is natively threaded into gamified experiences (KIIP, Tapjoy etc.) and help lead to m-commerce.

Bob Arnold, associate director of global digital strategy, Kellogg 
Mobile video is very exciting for a couple reasons. The first is lower barrier to entry for traditional brand marketers. And every day the technology is improving: better phones, faster download speeds and better advertising opportunities. Although the consumer experience has its challenges, such as smaller screen and potentially lower quality playback, it is an immersive experience like TV versus something that can be easily multitasked like the PC.

Image via Shutterstock

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