With PC sales projected to decline in 2012 for the first year since 2001, one of the key marketing observations going into 2013 is that mobile is, for the first time, set to overtake the web. The question is, are advertisers and brands ready for this shift in consumer behaviour?
Adam Levene, chief strategy officer at Grapple, believes mobile is not yet fully understood as a mainstream marketing channel, and argues that it is about to change everything.
“2013 will see the most disruptive shift in marketing and business since the invention of the web. For too long, businesses have treated web as the pinnacle part of their digital strategy, with mobile and tablet seen as an extension.”
Levene observes that while forward-thinking businesses such as Apple and eBay are prepared for this shift, “traditional businesses will be forced to embrace the changing landscape quicker than ever before”. Amy Vale, VP global research and strategic communications, Mojiva, says: “I'd like to see mobile move away from being an afterthought in a brand's larger advertising strategy to shifting to a mobile-centric approach.”
Vale argues that there is a need for mobile to form “the core of a campaign right from its conception” – and that it's not just advertising, but mobile search, online content and promotional activity which aren't being utilised fully in terms of mobile. In Vale's words: “there is still so much potential that isn't being harnessed.”
IMPACT OF M-COMMERCE SPEND
“M-commerce spend is expected to approach £1bn this Christmas - up 15 per cent on last year, and it will account for one fifth of online payments,” observes Weapon7 chief executive Adam Graham.
“I think, for the first time, this will have a real knock-on effect on post-Christmas shopping habits. With apps becoming increasingly sophisticated and user friendly, and consumers more and more used to, and trusting of, shopping via mobile, 2013 will see a real shift in behaviour. It’ll be normal, not novel, to shop via mobile in 2013.”
INCREASING NORMALITY OF TABLETS AND SMARTPHONES
It's not just mobile commerce which will become normalised in 2013, as tablets look set to become a household commodity and smartphone penetration reaches 70 per cent. James Connelly, co-founder and MD, Fetch, highlights the growth of UK tablet penetration as a key development in brands' approach to mobile:
“The rate of UK tablet adoption and market penetration has increased exponentially in recent months. Apple sold 3 million of its fourth generation iPad mini and iPad in as many days, and competing tablets from Amazon and Samsung are also experiencing extremely strong sales; and it’s not even Christmas yet! I really think that tablets will become as common a sight in the home as the family desktop computer once was.”
USE OF RICH MEDIA TO CREATE SHAREABLE ADVERTISING
John Stoneman, general manager, InMobi UK & Ireland, predicts 2013 will see an increase in advertisers' use of rich media.
“The next year will see the battle for consumer attention become even fiercer than it is now, as more platforms and devices are launched onto the market,” says Stoneman. “For advertisers and brands, this means that creating immersive, engaging, memorable and – importantly – shareable advertising is critical to capturing these valuable eyeballs. Rich media ads that incorporate games and multimedia content, click-to-call ads, and social elements can be leveraged both to share ads as well as to communicate directly with consumers.”
Amy Vale argues that the coming year offers brands the opportunity to “think and act more creatively than ever before” when it comes to delivering engaging content via mobile.
GEEKS ARE THE NEW MAD MEN
As mobile and tablet continues to chip into traditional marketing budgets, Adam Levene argues the role of marketers and IT decision makers will continue to blur, prompting structural change within organisations.
“The task of proving ROI from a one-time 30 second TV advert when compared to the investment in mobile services that organically gain millions of downloads and repeat uses, will force significant organisational change that sees a convergence of IT and marketing departments.”
This year has seen continued growth in second screen users, with an estimated 41 per cent of tablet owners and 38 per cent of smartphone owners using their device while also watching television at least once a day, according to a Nielsen study. John Stoneman predicts that this will increase in 2013.
“We expect that 2013 will see a boom in dual screening, allowing marketers to create more timely, targeted and cohesive cross channel campaigns across mobile devices and other types of media. The public is consuming content across numerous platforms and in non-linear fashion, meaning successful marketing campaigns can no longer simply redeliver the same message or ad already running on TV. For marketers to succeed, cross-media campaigns incorporating mobile will deliver high impact, targeted campaigns.”
Smartphones image via Flickr