Time for another prediction post! As mentioned in the previous prediction post, marketers that aren't already investing in mobile will be rushing to do so in 2013.
Mashable states that 70% of marketers plan to increase their mobile budget in 2013. Even those that don't plan to spend more money on it plan to spend more time and effort to make their current budget go further.
As we head into the new year, we believe that mobile marketers will be letting go of certain things and embracing others. These are our predictions:
1. 2013 will be the year of responsive web design. – Bad news for companies that spent all of 2012 creating mobile websites: it's no longer enough. There are just too many different devices, between phones and tablets. Designing for a single operating system still means that a user could be using a myriad of devices running on that OS. A responsive website will provide the best experience regardless of device, plus eliminates the need to develop multiple versions of a website.
2. The anticipated augmented reality boom will begin. (Tweet this prediction) – While there is a lot of interest in augmented reality apps among mobile marketers, we've yet to see it become mainstream. Maybe this will happen in 2013. Even if they don't quite become mainstream, the boom will begin. Marketers are looking for ways to bridge online and offline experiences, and augmented reality does just that. With big brands like Ikea embracing augmented reality, consumers will become more familiar with the concept and there will be more demand for AR apps.
3. Mobile banner ads will get smart. – Banner ads on mobile have always been troublesome. One of the reasons are less effective than on desktops is because so many clicks are accidental. On such a small touchscreen, banner ads take up a lot of real estate, so users trying to scroll or "x" out of something accidentally click on it. For marketers to get better ROI, the ads need to get smarter. Google is already moving towards this with the recently added feature to "fight fat finger clicks."
4. Apps will find new monetization methods. – Building on the previous point, companies will look for ways to monetize apps besides banner ads. Consumers love advertising that doesn't scream "advertising." Options like sponsored content, in-app purchases, and promotions are more interesting and engaging than a banner ad taking up space that could be used for app activity.
5. Streamlining of the mobile payment app market. – Right now, there are a ton of mobile payment apps, with several companies planning to launch their own. Retailers and customers have so many options that it's almost hurting the market – stores are all accepting mobile payment from different sources and customers have to use several different services in order to have a true digital wallet. In 2013, we'll see a few apps rise above the others in order for mobile payments to streamline.
6. Daily deal services will evolve or die. – As they stand now, daily deal sites and services like Groupon are headed for a demise. This is another market that suffers from too many options; there are so many daily deal sites! I believe the problem is that few of the services integrate all 3 aspects of the "SoLoMo" boom. Either they are very localized and social with a poor mobile app, or a great app lacking local offers. With brands being able to provide offers and promotions on social networks like Facebook and Foursquare themselves, daily deal services need to catch up or move on.
7. More companies will add Passbook integration. – Passbook is still in its infancy, so I'm not taking the lack of Passbook integration as a lack of potential. Soon enough, marketers will see the value in being able to push out offers and improve user experience through a native app as opposed to their own. Developing Passbook integration takes less resources than a standalone app or website, which may appeal to smaller companies, but more big brands will also get on board.
8. Geo-location will work itself into offers and advertising.– I'd say geo-location became much more deeply ingrained into social media in 2012. With Foursquare becoming more mainstream, Facebook check-ins, and Instagram's photo map, social media became as much about where you were as it was what you were doing. Location will become more important to advertising in 2013, hopefully with the help of Passbook. Imagine being in a shopping center and receiving a push notification of an offer from a store in the center. Wouldn't you be more likely to go visit the store?
What trend do you think will grow in 2013? Which ones do you think will die? Leave your predictions in the comments or tweet them to <@eZangaInc/a>!