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4 Mobile Trends to Watch

  |  April 17, 2012   |  Comments

Data capturing, adaptable content, social media, and activation.

As a marketing professional, I spend a lot of time learning and educating on digital trends. With the current rate of growth, mobile marketing has been one of the most exciting to monitor. The data on user adoption is changing almost daily, with consumers actively changing the way they consume, share, and publish. To keep up with these changes, brands and media companies are regularly making advancements that impact our industry. For this column, I spent some time with my agency's mobile strategy team to define the top four current trends.

More Data Capture, More Targeting

Advertisers have been able to target by location, content, and demographics for some time now. Recently "social targeting" and retargeting across mobile-enabled platforms has emerged. The new capabilities represent a significant opportunity to hone ad delivery. They also allow for greater customization of messaging.

  • Social targeting (e.g., partners like LocalResponse, Twitter, and Facebook): Scrapes social conversations tied to location to target users. Great for determining very specific communication opportunities.
  • Retargeting (e.g., partners like Tapad, BlueCava, and Adelphic): Uses connected devices that require registration to trigger usage patterns. Technology can then serve ads based on data collected.

The "Holy Grail" will be a connection point and solid data capture between all digitally enabled platforms (desktop, IPTV, phone, and tablet)…but you can't be too greedy.

Content Is Adapting

With the proliferation of more digital access points, the attention span of customers is more and more limited. The content should mirror the expectations of the user and brands are starting to use this research to guide asset development across mobile and tablet devices, making content more accessible across all formats (app or mobile web).

Brands should be developing content tied to the consumer's primary needs. This is true if you are running standard ads in mobile media placements or if you are developing content for organic distribution (e.g., Flipboard). Content development and distribution have positioned marketers as an advertiser and a publisher. It is important to understand the demands on a brand's content in an always-on, connected culture.

Social Media Is at the Forefront

We have all heard (and agree) that a mobile device is the most personal technology a user constantly accesses. It is unsurprising that social represents a majority of a consumer's time in mobile. According to comScore, 45 percent of all Facebook traffic and 55 percent of all Twitter traffic is mobile. Unlimited access via mobile is not just changing how people access the social web, it's changing what they do when they get there.

Activation, Activation, Activation

Engaging consumers through mobile continues to be a hot topic. Many brands are trying it out, for right or wrong. I see the opportunities focused in four main areas: visual (QR codes), mobile visual search (Google Goggles), audio (Shazam), and native (SMS, MMS).

QR codes have reported the largest growth (63 percent) in the last six months. Activation through mobile can be a great opportunity to extend the conversation from a traditional medium and represents a tracking mechanism. However, it is only as good as the content provided; it needs to be done at the right time with the right content, providing value to the consumer.

These represent just a few top trends for mobile; with the seismic change in the industry, many of these developments will likely be outdated in just a few months. I am looking forward to seeing what's next!

Special thanks to Andrew Hoffman, associate director at Mobext, for his insights and help on this topic.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Richards

As an account director for Media Contacts in New York, the interactive division of Havas Digital, Jessica is responsible for strategy development and media plan execution across a variety of clients and industries. Jessica has a wide range of digital experience, managing both brand initiatives and aggressive acquisition efforts. Her knowledge extends across many facets of digital marketing from traditional media and mobile to channel planning and social execution.

Prior to Media Contacts, Jessica was at One to One interactive in Boston, managing the B2C and B2B media campaigns for several clients. Jessica's work has won several industry awards for best use of sponsorship, mobile, and display strategy.

Jessica's career expertise started at Mullen, where she was a media planner on a broad range of traditional media.

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