It's amusing to think that for a decade you'd consistently see the question 'Is next year the year of mobile?' pop up in every end of every year digital round up. Amusing mainly because we're quite definitely through that time and mobile should now be central to all brand's plans. With the penetration of smartphones now beyond 33% in the UK and rising fast putting mobile first is not desirable, it's essential.
So we thought we'd outline the 5 things we believe will be central to thinking next year.
1. Less reliance on apps and more investment in mobile web. The diversity of smartphone device types means that building apps will start to become an expensive and far less scalable solution than building a high quality mobile web solution and we will start to see serious investment in holistic mobile web development.
2. Development of APIs as a central tenet of mobile strategy - data as a centralised resource will become the oil in the company's mobile strategy, by developing centralised APIs companies will cut out the costs associated with developing multiple apps per business unit and work off a centralised data resource.
3. Dedicated mobile web development for campaigns. Too many mobile campaigns are pointing to landing pages optimised for a PC experience. 2012 will see the power of HTML5 harnessed to deliver true mobile advertising innovation.
4. Geo-location as an embedded function – as social media is transformed by the use through mobile devices understanding how to use location to build campaigning strategies will be essential. That could be through companies well versed in geo-fencing for campaigns such as O2 with its More product or by analysis of brand mentions by geo-location so that a more flexible less campaign based approach can be taken.
5. The explosion of contactless payments through smartphones – as manufacturers start to build smartphones with Near Field Communication (NFC) chips as standard, wallet functionality will start to be adopted quickly by consumers. The Olympics will be the contactless games and this will lead to increased adoption.